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Is male violence against women ever acceptable?

(221 Posts)
LoafersOrLouboutins Tue 11-Nov-14 18:30:10

I'm not sure how to articulate this and my 'evidence' is purely anecdotal. Just dipping my toes in the feminism board.

I used to be a keen polo player 16 years ago and regularly played with my boyfriend. On the morning of one match we had a fairly serious argument. He seriously injured me (broken nose, fractured cheekbone and two chipped teeth) during the game. I accepted this as polo is a VERY dangerous sport and people seemed to accept it without asking any questions as to why he was SO determined during that particular game. Most people aren't so competitive they would risk this.

With hindsight, I wonder whether violence against women in sport is a way men conduct their violent fantasies?

People would be horrified if I said my boyfriend did this to me during an argument but in the course of sport it was accepted.

This was many years ago and I probably don't make any sense but it has started to play on my mind that he may have used sport as a cover for his desire to hurt me.

LurcioAgain Tue 11-Nov-14 18:44:03

I have played a lot of mixed 5-a-side football and (without wanting to go all "playing fields of England") you can, in my experience, tell an enormous amount about a bloke by how they conduct themselves on the football pitch. Decent blokes remain decent and temper their level of physical interaction (in theory 5-a-side is non contact, but in practise there is a lvel of physical contact, albeit not as much as in 11-a-side) and aggression to the circumstances and the people they're playing against - so in a "friendly" they won't go in hard, they won't go in hard against a weaker opponent of either sex, they'll do it on skill (and I used to play with some very good players - one had played in Lazio's youth squad). The ones who can't switch off agression and competitiveness are aggressive nobbers off the pitch too - and they use that aggression against everyone, because it's all about dominance and continually proving they're "top dog" even when actually there's nothing to prove because they're so obviously physically bigger and stronger all they're doing is making themselves look like emotionally inadequate fuckwits.

So my feeling is that what you're describing (I don't know much about polo so don't know how easy it would be to do that level of injury by accident) was not accidental. A skilled player would not have done that.

redwarf Tue 11-Nov-14 19:59:33

Im sorry that happened to you OP. I know nothing about polo but It does sounds like it was an excuse. I hope your well away from him now.

As for acceptability, i can only think in extreme life saving circumstances or police arresting a resistant suspect same with all violence. not in sport.

it disagree with lurcio, at school ive seen people act nice as pie on a field yet be vile off it and vice versa.

Zazzles007 Tue 11-Nov-14 20:05:28

Loafers violence against women is never, never justified. Neither is violence against children, or men's violence against other men. Your ex-BF was a complete twat to take your pre-game argument and use it as an excuse to seriously hurt you. I have not played polo, but have been involved with horses for most of my life, and no person around horses has ever hurt me that way, ever. I hope you dumped that Physically Abusive Twat shortly after that incident, and found someone so, so much better, who values you enough to not physically abuse you [anger]

Zazzles007 Tue 11-Nov-14 20:06:38

That should be angry, and once more for good measure angry

LoafersOrLouboutins Tue 11-Nov-14 20:48:14

I split up with him a few months after the incident and, thankfully, made a full recovery (I was 17 at the time)! Its fairly easy to cause injury in polo but as he was a very experienced player and I was new to the sport he should have known to limit his aggression. He had never previously injured a fellow player. IMO its difficult to tell whether nice on the pitch= nice guy. My friend has divorced an emotionally and financially abusive man who was the epitome of a decent guy by appearances and outward behaviour. I wonder how common it is for men to manifest their anger towards women through sport. FWIW the argument was about him cheating.

YonicScrewdriver Tue 11-Nov-14 21:33:18

"he was a very experienced player and I was new to the sport he should have known to limit his aggression. He had never previously injured a fellow player. "

Well, I think this is strong evidence it was personal. What an utter twat.

Catsarebastards Tue 11-Nov-14 22:10:17

Wow! I can tell you now that you had a really lucky escape getting out of that one when you did OP and i guarantee there will have been other instances in that relationship where he 'put you in your place'. Just have a think about it and you will see a pattern. I will be amazed if there werent.

Catsarebastards Tue 11-Nov-14 22:11:41

Dont doubt for a second that your injuries were deliberate on his part OP. thank fuck you got out of it. What a nasty bastard.

FuckOffGerbil Wed 12-Nov-14 22:45:32

He had never previously injured a fellow player.

Says a lot doesn't it? You'd expect he'd go easy on you if you were new surely?

I don't think violence is OK anywhere. Field or no field

kentishgirl Thu 13-Nov-14 15:53:39

It does sound as if he was angry and took advantage of the situation. Polo is a dangerous contact sport and he should not have done anything that might injure a novice.

I doubt these things happen very often though. Few sports are mixed, even fewer contact sports.

zippey Thu 13-Nov-14 16:36:06

I think male violence can be acceptable if its in self defense against another male or female.

In sport, it depends, because some men and women tend to get overly aggressive, eg Roy Keane/Jane Couch. But just because you are aggressive in sport doesn't mean you will be like that off the field. Look at Hilary Swank winning all those titles in Million Dollar Baby, but outside the ring she was a lovely person.

It sounds like your ex targeted you in the field of play. Im surprised someone didn't tell him to calm the fuck down.

King1982 Thu 13-Nov-14 17:01:43

I think it can in self defence, as others say.
Sport is a grey area. I have been assaulted on a rugby pitch but also I have been seriously injured by accident playing hockey. I think it comes down to intent to harm or acting in way that is unreasonably reckless.
I used to box when younger and there is clear intent to hurt the opponents with in the laws. However, intent outside of the laws like heads and elbows is deemed violent behaviour

Shlep Thu 13-Nov-14 20:40:55

No violence of any sort against anyone is ever acceptable unless in self defence, IMO.

AnyFucker Thu 13-Nov-14 20:48:06

I am surprised, OP, that at the time you were surrounded by people who accepted the attack upon you as "just part of the game"

I hope as well as dumping the physically aggressive perpetrator you also jettisoned the enablers around him

AnyFucker Thu 13-Nov-14 21:42:48

Actually, I don't mean surprised, I mean depressed

SolidGoldBrass Thu 13-Nov-14 22:23:32

Yes, this man hurt you on purpose and if you hadn't left him, he would probably have done it every time you disagreed with him or were disobedient because he could get away with it. Yes, polo is dangerous, but I bet he didn't 'accidentally' hurt other players, particularly men bigger than him, very often.

zippey Fri 14-Nov-14 09:59:00

One other point, I think you tailor your game to suit who you play against, especially in a "fun" environment. So for example if you are playing adults with toddlers, lets say football or polo, you wouldn't go full force and smash up their faces (which he did to you).

Finola1step Fri 14-Nov-14 10:06:51

You had a very lucky escape from this thug.

The only acceptable use of violence is when it's purely in self defence or if an adult is protecting a child or very vulnerable person.

For example, I have never hit a child. But the two young lads who jumped me 20 odd years ago.. Yep, I kicked the bastards repeatedly until they let me go. But once I was free, I ran. I didn't stay to carry on. I used violence to free myself from the situation, not as a tool for revenge.

Doobigetta Sat 15-Nov-14 08:41:00

I used to train in martial arts, and found that the behaviour and attitude of the men I trained with could be very revealing. A worrying number seemed to me to relish the opportunity to hit that little bit too hard (our club used touch/light contact rules). There were lots of couples training together at the club, and it really bothered me that my partner at the time was almost the only one who didn't subscribe to the belief that being inside the dojang meant it was ok to "punish" your girlfriend.

Zazzles007 Sat 15-Nov-14 10:12:24

it really bothered me that my partner at the time was almost the only one who didn't subscribe to the belief that being inside the dojang meant it was ok to "punish" your girlfriend

That is shocking Doobi. I am very bothered by your statement, so I can only image how you felt going to this dojang [shocked]

Zazzles007 Sat 15-Nov-14 10:12:49

Argh shock even

Moln Sat 15-Nov-14 10:16:53

IMO intentional violence inflicted from on human to another is never acceptable. Male or Female.

Taking advantage of a sporting situation to do so is very disturbing

scallopsrgreat Sat 15-Nov-14 10:24:07

It is disturbing. And I wish people would stop erasing the gendered nature of this.

CelesteToTheDance Sat 15-Nov-14 22:42:43

Violence is absolutely acceptable if it is in self defence or in defence of another regardless of the sexes involved. In your situation, your (hopefully ex?) boyfriend was a violent thug.

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