The following essay is my response to this article by Tracy Clark-Flory that was posted on Salon.com circa September 29, 2010.

Thank you for taking this much needed stance, Tracy. You will notice that our society is strangely tolerant of female-on-male violence on many levels. Have you ever noticed, for instance, that for the longest time on sitcoms, it's common to see women do things like punch men, slap men, kick men, or pour drinks over their heads or throw food in their faces if the man in question irritates them or gets caught in a lie--and the audience laughs? Would the same audience find it funny if a male character on a sitcom kicked a woman in the shin if he caught her lying to him about something, or poured a glass of wine over her head if he caught her cheating on him? Yet the audiences of these shows have long found the reverse to be extremely amusing, as if women have some sort of cultural license to commit certain types of violent acts on men in response to irritation or lies that would be considered abhorrent if men did the same to them.

Just because the average man is physically stronger than the average woman doesn't mean that men should be expected to tolerate the above antics in situations that do not actually require self-defense. But our society would say, "Real men should be able to take slaps and punches from women, but a real man would never hit a woman even in self-defense." Why can't this sort of uncivilized behavior be considered equally repugnant and unacceptable regardless of which gender perpetrates it against the other gender? Equal rights must come with both equal responsibilities and equal standards of behavior.

Then again, after decades of the general public watching men routinely being hit and having food and drinks dumped on them by women who get aggravated with them on sitcoms, and finding such actions amusing or as signs of a confident and empowered woman, is it any wonder that the real thing is so greatly tolerated?