May 14, 2014

"If I see a guy in the city wearing khaki cargo shorts and flip-flops, I'm inclined to kick him in the nuts..."

"... grab him by the ear, and drag him into the nearest store where he can buy pants and shoes, and dress like a real man."

You might think I'm blogging that because of my long-term mission to save men from the childish look that is shorts, but I'm not. The link — sent to me by a reader — goes to a 2011 piece in The Stir that links to some pronouncement fashion designer Tom Ford made back then. But I blogged the Tom Ford pronouncement at the time.

I'm linking to that piece in The Stir because of the casual reference to gender-motivated violence — like it's cute or always only a joke when a woman physically, brutally attacks a man.

And that's especially timely right now, as the world on the web watches viral video of a woman pummeling and kicking a man who is trapped with her in the small space of an elevator. Solange physically, brutally attacks Jay-Z and — what? — are people laughing? Are you getting ready to make a joke observing the correspondence between the length of Jay-Z's pants and the justness of the wrath of Solange?

Is anyone even talking about whether Solange should be arrested? I Googled "arrest solange" and found a Yahoo Answers discussion of the question: "Why hasnt Solange been arrested for her attack on Jay Z?" That link goes to a very low-level discussion, with the questioner advocating that the lack of arrests for female-on-male violence means that men should "always retaliate against women and beat the living daylights out of them."

The other hits on my search were mostly just the happenstance of editors putting the Jay-Z story on the same page with the news that Alec Baldwin got arrested for bicycling the wrong way on a 1-way street. Huffpo was having fun with Jay-Z's victimization with "8 Elevator Rides That Were Way Crazier Than Solange And Jay Z's." That includes the word "arrest" because one time a man got arrested for biting an elevator door.

33 comments:

rhhardin said...

There's a double standard for a reason.

The man is voluntarily attacked, meaning he could stop it but doesn't.

Comparative toughness and strength.

PC doesn't like it though.

James Pawlak said...

I keep my legs covered. Why? I fear arrest for "Felony Aesthetic Violations"!

rhhardin said...

If somebody criticizes crocs and cargo bermudas I assume they're gay.

James said...

What if they wear a kilt instead? I wear pants all Winter and most of Spring and Fall, but jeans in Texas when the temps go north of 90 is just brutal.

Are skirts on middle aged women also infantile?

TMink said...

She certainly should be arrested.

And bona fide adults do not care what other people think of their wardrobe. 8)

Trey

JRH, esq. said...

>>>I'm linking to that piece in The Stir because of the casual reference to gender-motivated violence — like it's cute or always only a joke when a woman physically, brutally attacks a man.

That's supposed to be "cute"? It's a threat, period. And it sounds exactly like the kind of threat guys make when they have no ability to back up their bold words. Were this big talk ever put into action, it's hard to see it going past one or two attempts.

Prof, the juxtaposition that you think is present? I do not think it is actually present. I give it a charity C.

Virgil Hilts said...

The HuffPo list should have included the Brazil elevator prank videos, which are pretty good. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7N5OhNplEd4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H35SOGtW4P8

MadisonMan said...

If somebody criticizes crocs and cargo bermudas I assume they're gay.

Not all people with a modicum of good taste and the ability to criticize are gay.

glenn said...

I wouldn't mow my lawn dressed the way I see grown men dressed in nice restaurants these days. Put on a jacket and necktie, take your sweetie out for a birthday dinner and be seated next to some Boomer Dude in wrinkled shorts and a tee shirt. Bleech.

Michael said...

Solange. Google this word and it seems to be unique to the attacker in the elevator. Odd.

The funny part of a woman attacking a man is that the man typically covers up and waits for the woman's arms or emotions to tire. Funnier still would be for a man, say JayZ, to quickly and efficiently break her jaw. Then her nose. Equality.

MadisonMan said...

I suspect Solange hasn't been arrested because her BIL is reluctant to press charges, although the video evidence is pretty damning. Would they even need his testimony?

Sigivald said...

Michael said: Solange. Google this word and it seems to be unique to the attacker in the elevator. Odd.

Nonsense. It's the name of the cat in 9 Chickweed Lane.

Also a French saint.

Roughcoat said...


I wear shorts. But I have beautiful legs.

skybill said...

Hi Ann,
'What "James" said about the temps going north of 90*F!! If I'm not "on the job" or "Going out to dinner of the like" then like WTFover? Unless I'm truckin' thru the woods and bushes in summer, it's cutoff jeans and flipflops for me!! BTW we attach a suspension line stow band around the thong on the flops to wrap around our big toe when Skydiving so the flipflops won't blow off in Freefall!!! Good fun!!
BSBD,
III%,
skybill-out

Rusty said...

Just be thankful, Althouse, that I wear clothes at all.,

Brando said...

Some prosecutor should certainly bring charges against Solange, not so much to protect men but to protect women in the future. After all, unless women get the point that they can't simply go around hitting men consequence-free, they're going to make the mistake of hitting some guy who will certainly hit back. A Chris Brown rather than a Jay-Z, for example.

Besides, would there be so much laughter if Jay Z had his eye (perhaps unintentionally) gouged out while she was hitting him?

As for the fashion writer quoted in the headline, try replacing "kick him in the nuts" with "kick her in the crotch" and see if it gets treated with the same level of casualness. We've devolved into a society that can treat male genital trauma and mutilation as fodder for cheap laughs. It really says something about how disposable we consider men to be.

Brando said...

On the subject of cargo shorts and flip flops, I think women are just going to have to learn to deal the same way men of a hundred years ago had to learn to deal with women wearing pants instead of long dresses. Shorts (and man-kilts) protect our legs and sperm counts from the oppressive heat of summer. Sure, there'll be some grousing, but women will get used to it.

And don't get me started on neckties. They suck.

FullMoon said...

Not only will I wear tan cargo shorts with brown birkenstocks, I also wear black socks with them,'cause I'm a rebel, that's why.

drunkdebunker said...

I'm never wearing shorts in Madison, that's for sure.

William Chadwick said...

I've often read conservative bloggers and columnists defending the suburbs against the charge of being hotbeds of conformism. I live in a Sunbelt "Edge City" which--where it isn't ghetto--is pretty suburban, even within city lines. And in recent years a lot of youngish surburbanites have decided to move into the city proper, I suppose to give themselves some veneer or sophistication. And whether they're in-town or from out-of-town, one thing I notice is The Uniform (as I call it). And in warm weather the "de rigeur" part of that uniform is Cargo Shorts. One time I saw a bunch of obvious suburbanites (you can tell them by how out-of-place they look in a city . . . like they're expecting to be mobbed by "roving bands of Negro youths*" or frenzied gang-raping Gays. Looking at these young Whitebreads, I thought: "Wow, it's a convention of the Legion of Cargo Shorts." Some had the sandals, some had shoes-without-socks (also popular among the Fashion Eloi) but ALL had cargo shorts.

And that brings up a sub-topic I've been wondering about: are more men shaving their legs these days? That's what it looks like. Is that a thing now? Do the chicks dig it?

*to you use a classic phrase from the late, great Michael ("Mr. Mike") O'Donaghue.

William Chadwick said...

I've often read conservative bloggers and columnists defending the suburbs against the charge of being hotbeds of conformism. I live in a Sunbelt "Edge City" which--where it isn't ghetto--is pretty suburban, even within city lines. And in recent years a lot of youngish surburbanites have decided to move into the city proper, I suppose to give themselves some veneer or sophistication. And whether they're in-town or from out-of-town, one thing I notice is The Uniform (as I call it). And in warm weather the "de rigeur" part of that uniform is Cargo Shorts. One time I saw a bunch of obvious suburbanites (you can tell them by how out-of-place they look in a city . . . like they're expecting to be mobbed by "roving bands of Negro youths*" or frenzied gang-raping Gays. Looking at these young Whitebreads, I thought: "Wow, it's a convention of the Legion of Cargo Shorts." Some had the sandals, some had shoes-without-socks (also popular among the Fashion Eloi) but ALL had cargo shorts.

And that brings up a sub-topic I've been wondering about: are more men shaving their legs these days? That's what it looks like. Is that a thing now? Do the chicks dig it?

*to you use a classic phrase from the late, great Michael ("Mr. Mike") O'Donaghue.

Unknown said...

I initially read the post quote as being said by a guy. I thought "what a loser that he would be that affected by a perfectly normal outfit." When I realized it was a woman, I was disappointed in her, but it did change my perception, especially in the snarky context of the entire article. It seemed more stupid than violent precisely because she likely doesn't have the physical backup to really kick any random guy in the nuts. She is just talking trash to be expressive, which comes off as petty, rather than threatening.

Regarding women and verbal violence against men in general: I think, it started back when women were first finding their feet as a group, swearing, sexing, and whatnot. It was an adolescent step. Now that women have more real power legally, financially, sometimes even physically, it is perhaps time to relearn the value of verbal restraint. IMO, it's still very much on a case by case basis, however.

Relatively few women can or will back up their words with physical threat. That's why historically, it's been viewed as "cute". I know you know that and disagree (there are guns, blunt objects, etc.), but it needs to be restated. The upper body strength disparity is just incredible in most cases - even for a relatively weak guy and a relatively strong woman.

Women on the whole haven't had to learn verbal restraint precisely because there is very little chance it's going anywhere. A guy, on the other hand, can do real damage without even realizing it and so his emotions and words have been more tightly controlled. Historically, women were put down, hit, even killed for the insult to one of higher societal value, rather than any genuine direct physical threat.

Unknown said...

More re: Jay Z:

From my viewing, Solange barely touched him before the huge security guy held her at bay at which point she could try all she wanted (for effect) in relative safety. Not a hair was out of place on either Jay Z or Beyonce. She wasn't completely out of control because she managed to wait until the elevator closed. She was already arguing with him as they went in. Whatever the specific motivation, a private, physical display was likely due to their disparity in power. If she were the mogul with the security retinue, and he were the lesser brother-in-law, can you see her attacking him physically for any reason? Doubtful.

I've been confronted by a woman in full crazy mode before - in my case, in a ghetto area (long story). It's hard to explain, but a lot of it was simple, physical bluster, like a cat sticking its fur up to look bigger and more threatening. You're not necessarily in that much danger. It's no fun, in any case, but not necessarily as bad as it looks from the outside. (Now a pack of people - that's when you're in trouble.)

$9,000,000,000 Write Off said...

I really enjoy the old-fogey hates younger people's clothes and Jay-Z TMZ contrast in this post.

Old-fogey is meant in the most endearing sense possible. I generally agree about men in shorts, but concede carve-outs for dads on outings w/ kids, outdoor activities (baseball games, concerts), walking within 2 miles of the beach, taking January selfies in L.A. to email to relatives in Wisconsin, etc.

(Last Weekeend's WSJ Style section had an article on the rising hemline in men's shorts.)

Oso Negro said...

I live on an island in the Gulf of Mexico. Shorts and flip flops is pretty much what we do, even the roving bands of Negro youth and the over-sexed gay dudes. Of course, it is an island in the Gulf of Mexico that is also a part of Texas, and a lot of us pack heat. Attempt nut-kicking at your own peril.

Paul said...

Once the crazy bitch hit him he should have just knocked her out with one punch. That's what she deserved, and if he wasn't a punk that's what he would have done.

Now pre-feminisim, in a more chivalrous age and culture he should simply have restrained her and nevt raised a hand. But that was a time when the natural differences and respective roles of the sexes were understood.

However now it's game on. Buy the ticket take the ride.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

It's 100 F at the beach here in Southern California. I don't give a flying fuck if you approve of my khaki shorts and flip-flops or not.

T Rellis said...

Kicking someone in the nuts and pulling their ear could rightly get you shot.

grackle said...

… quickly and efficiently break her jaw. Then her nose. Equality.

A stiletto heel to the temple can kill. If I'm attacked by a woman, which has never happened, and if I cannot easily ward her off or back away, a couple of slaps to the face would probably suffice to discourage her. I have big hands and it would sting like the dickens and leave red marks I'm sure.

I wouldn't be looking to put her in the hospital.

I've seen a woman attacking a man in person as a bystander I think 3 times in my life.

What I told one of my sons: Realize this - 99% of the time, no matter the provocation, if a woman is roughly treated the man is going to be blamed.

Maybe this is fair, maybe not, but it's true.

Guys, stay away from hot-tempered women. The sex ain't worth it.

MadisonMan said...

I'm never wearing shorts in Madison, that's for sure.

Good luck on those days with a morning low of 75.

Anonymous said...
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Ann Althouse said...

"Good luck on those days with a morning low of 75."

What's that like 2 days a year?

Ann Althouse said...

I've always had an exception if the weather is hot enough, but it should be over 80° at least.

Around here, I see guys in shorts when it's not even 60°.