I was sitting on the couch, next to my boyfriend and his friends. I was twenty. He said something rude about me, and I reacted with a slap across his face.
I didn’t think much of it. Yeah, that’s right, you said what you said, it pissed me off, and you got a slap across your face; what did you expect?
And then a hand went flying across my face. He slapped me back. Twice. And the second time was even harder.
I was shocked, I didn’t expect him to hit me back. I left his apartment in tears. How could he slap me back?
Now, I don’t like to remember that moment. Who would? But it’s time we talk about it.
I received an email a couple of weeks ago from a woman who explained to me how she slapped her date across the face at a restaurant – and that he took it.
Young me would have replied, good for you, girl! You show him!
But me today reacted differently. Did she really show him? Or did she just cross his personal boundaries and expose her lack of emotional control and inability to express them healthily and safely?
I’ll let you think of the answer to that (even though I think you know the answer).
Ladies, stop slapping guys in the face
There’s no doubt that I’m writing this story from a place of trauma. I was traumatized. While I had slapped men in the face before, this was the first time there was a physical reaction.
At the time, I thought slapping my boyfriend wasn’t a big deal, but I now see the physical dominance and shame I was placed onto him. And he wasn’t taking it.
A situation that didn’t have to become aggressive or physical did end up that way because of my emotional immaturity.
Yeah, sure, one of the reasons I don’t support slapping men in the face comes from being slapped myself.
I was slapped back. And it wasn’t fun.
As a woman, slapping a man shows dominance, yet, do you know who you’re slapping? Invading someone’s personal space may have worked before, but not everyone will take it.
But the reason why I think we need to stop slapping guys in the face goes beyond personal safety.
To be equals, we must act as equals.
As women, we want to be equal to men. And there’s nothing wrong with that. However, to be an equal with someone, means holding ourselves to the same standard.
If men are shamed for placing hands on a woman, why are we given a pass? Because our slaps cause less damage?
Additionally, whether you’re a man or woman, when was it ever okay to become physical with another person?
If we are seeking equality and mutual respect, it starts with personal boundaries.
We cannot go around merrily slapping men in the face while allowing ourselves to cross their personal boundaries without consequence.
We talk about equality, we talk about feminism, but where is it in practice?
If we are to develop healthy relationships with one another, relationships where boundaries are respected and words are used for self-expression, then we need to hold ourselves accountable for our actions.
If anyone is making you so upset to the point where you need to show physical violence, you need to ask yourself what you’re doing around this person. Remove yourself from potential conflict.
Ladies, it’s time to stop slapping guys in the face and start behaving as equals.