Very Smart Brothas' Damon Young reflects on the role that he believes gender played in the recent punch by a Cleveland bus driver, and wonders whether it's problematic that he wasn't more upset by the violent footage.
… [T]hat uppercut heard 'round the internet reminded me of the fact that some men — myself included — have absolutely no idea what to do if in a situation where a woman is potentially jeopardizing your safety. I know how to handle a guy — well, I know the socially acceptable ways to handle a guy — but women are a completely different animal. Obviously, "uppercut dat hoe" probably isn't the best answer, but aside from knowing that I wouldn't have punched her, I honestly have no idea what I would have done if I was that bus driver. Stop the bus? Restrain her crazy ass somehow? (Btw, it amuses me when people say things like "just restrain her." like grabbing someone while they're smacking, scratching, and spitting on you is the easiest option. [Sh—], I'm 6'2 and 225 pound and I can't even restrain my cat. How the f*ck am I supposed to subdue some hoodrat high off the steroids found in project Similac without exerting some real physical force?) Call the police? Call my mom and my sister to come kick her ass? Turn around, walk away, and chance them cracking you in the back of the head with a bottle?
Obviously, stop the bus and call the police is the best option, but while I maintain that he was 100% in the wrong (more on this in a bit), if he's at all like many of the men I know, I'm (somewhat) sympathetic towards him because most guys don't sit around thinking about "What should I do if some crazy bitch starts fighting me?" That's a question I've never asked myself, and one of the reasons why I date nothing but bougie Black chicks is that I don't ever want to.
… It's interesting how much of a role gender plays in how we process what happened. For instance, there'd be no negative push back if this was a female bus driver dealing with an unruly male or an unruly female patron. In fact, if it was a female bus driver knocking out some thug who threatened her, she'd probably be on “Good Morning America” this week and she'd get a shout out from the president.
Read Damon Young's entire piece at Very Smart Brothas.
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Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VerySmartBrothas.com. He is also a contributing editor at Ebony.com. He lives in Pittsburgh and he really likes pancakes. You can reach him at email@example.com.