Difficult subject.

If the shove takes place after the grope, it really isnt self-defense unless there is another grope or feel is about to happen.

An example, I walk by and slap you on the butt/grope your butt and walk on. You cannot touch me without it being assault. (As was my slapping/groping.)

It has to be preventative of an imminent assault, not retalitory.

The Happy Feminist

Chris, I understand the confusions that result when we are dealing half-told stories on a blog posted primarily for humorous effect.

But that's why I found Dr. Helen's response so confounding. The original post lacked details but made it clear that the groper had behaved aggressively towards Krissy. There was a humorous picture of Krissy with a caption clearly meant in jest. And, just based on that, Dr. Helen's very gendered conclusion was:

It is giving women license to use force when no clear danger is present other than dealing with annoying drunks who find them attractive. Is this annoying?--yes. Upsetting?--yes. But deadly? It sure didn't seem that way from the description.

Fathers teach boys the boundaries of when and how to use violence appropriately--at least they used to. Boys with good role models for fathers teach them how to control their aggressive impulses when necessary as well as when to use them appropriately in the right situation. Perhaps we should be teaching the same concepts to girls and women.

She erroneously uses a half-told anecdote on a blog as a basis to proclaim (a) that Krissy's recation was unwarranted because the effort to touch her was not "deadly," and (b) girls and women in general don't understand the boundaries of self-defense the way the male half of the species does. These are both pernicious myths. Women do not have to tolerate unwarranted groping or touching just because it's not "deadly." Too many people also assume that when women use violence, they "overdo" it because they don't know better.

I think that Dr. Helen buys into these pernicious double standards. That is why she was so quick to read the anecdote about Krissy in the way that played into these values and stereotypes, despite any evidence in the anecdote itself. So I am not giving her a free pass on this one.



Hadnt the assault already taken place? You cannot use self-defense after the fact Only if it was about to happen again, imminently.

The Happy Feminist

Well, the way I read it, the guy had touched her and was continuing to try to touch her.

The Happy Feminist

In fact, that's not just the way I read it. The first post stated that he was trying to touch her. The second post clarified that he actually did touch her as well.


You would agree that after he touches her, she cannot grab, shove, slap, or hit him unless it is to prevent him from immediately doing it again?

"Women do not have to put up with being groped" sounds like retalitory in order to show him to never do it to another woman.


What the hell was Krissy doing out with no burkha on? Where the hell was her male chaperone?

She clearly brought this on herself!


Now imagine if Krissy was Kris, a male, and another man had tried to grope him. I'm willing to bet that people like Helen would've been cheering from the sidelines.

The Happy Feminist

Right, Will. I was trying to stress that very distinction in my post. Retaliation bad, prevention good.


Good. I thought you were turning Republican on me.


An example, I walk by and slap you on the butt/grope your butt and walk on. You cannot touch me without it being assault. (As was my slapping/groping.)

Sorry, but I'd slap him and take my chances with the law. I feel really strongly about the fact that I'm not a piece of meat for male amusement, and it burns the shit out of me when one treats me as such.

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