Do two behavioral standards exist for the genders?
A YouTube video showing an altercation between Jets and Patriots fans culminates with a man punching a woman in the face at Met Life Stadium. The video went viral.
The skirmish is still under investigation, but it appears a group of men and women assaulted another group over the controversial game. What transpired before the assault is a concern for the authorities, but the video evidence clearly indicates two females, 26-year old Jaclyn Nugent and 24-year old Amanda McDowell aggressed against others, including 38-year old Kurt Paschke. Paschke, after backing away, punched Nugent in the face.
Four parties have been charged with assault. Normally this skirmish would not dominate headlines. But as the online rage brewed, an observation stuck: the media’s sexist, dangerous hypocrisy cages advancement of gender issues, reinforces stereotypes and treats men with little respect, even as victims.
A TALE OF TWO CRIMINALS
NY Daily News took the story lead. The tabloid-style exaggeration of events was unsurprising. Clicks are profitable. The crazier the headline, the more online rage, the more money earned.
They hit the jackpot with:
“Jets goon and “Gang Green fanatic”, 38-year old Kurt Paschke, violently assaults “perky Pats fan” and “beautiful, Boston blonde”, 26-year old Jaclyn Nugent. The frame: assault the character and history of the punching male, Kurt, and exalt the innocent, angelic victim Jaclyn.
Woman good, man bad.
As the story spread, legitimate outlets parroted a pre-determined narrative. Photos featured lovely, educated and professional Jaclyn sweetly smiling. “Her Facebook page indicates she loves short skirts, the beach and partying.”
Who doesn’t love a girl like that? That sweetheart could never morph into a violent criminal with zero regard for the safety and body of another human being. She’s pretty!
Kurt’s carefully chosen photo-spread reveals tattoos, a piercing and his decked-out “fanatic” Jet’s van. He’s flipping the bird and wearing a baseball t-shirt saying, “I’d hit that”, in one. Reporters invaded his ex-wife’s porch, publishing an awkward snapshot of her tattoos and shocked face. “Has he ever hit you?” one reporter asked.
They’ve been divorced 10 years.
His parents and colleagues were stalked, but their testimony was boring. Paschke may be no gentleman, but the consensus supported he was a gregarious, popular guy. He’s a “genuinely nice guy” that would never lash out because “he stays out of trouble”, said one friend. His mother told the media swarm, “He was just hitting back to defend himself. It wasn’t done deliberately. If you see the video, they just went wild.” Only two outlets published that detail.
Two versions of the video circulated, one showed an online mob grabbing their pitchforks, dragging every gender issue into the fracas.
“He punched a girl…completely unacceptable…he didn’t even KNOCK HER DOWN…further proof he’s not much of a man since he couldn’t deliver a manly punch. This whole situation further proves that Tattoos are the perfect marks of stupidity,” wrote Wes Lee. This sentiment was most prevalent.
“It is never acceptable for a man to hit a woman. This mentality is why domestic violence continues to destroy women’s lives,” said one woman. “Want to know why we have rape culture? Because men think they can do whatever they want. Never hit a woman, men. Stop being animals. I hope he’s raped in prison.”
The critical detail missing was that Nugent and her female friend were the aggressors.
Did anyone show up their workplace or home and inquire about anger issues? Were their ex-boyfriends harassed with questions like, “Has Jaclyn ever been angry and punched you in the face?” Was rape wished upon them for attacking another person? Their names were hardly mentioned in several reports and in a few years, this will likely be forgotten. Will Paschke be so lucky?
The Jets Fan Twitter account tweeted, “Jackasses like this make all Jets fans look bad. If u know him please turn him in so he never comes back.” Paschke is a season ticket holder super-fan. He and his Jets van are popular stadium staples. Jets owner Woody Johnson and several players have been photographed with Paschke.
His name has now been smeared online, particularly once a criminal record was discovered. Headlines reinforced his “felony” status even though he paid his debt to society and has been out of trouble ever since. “He’s a great guy, always smiling and happy. Never seen him get in fights,” an online poster mentioned. “No one knew about his past.”
They do now. Because the majority agrees: it is never acceptable to strike a woman.
BUT, IS IT ACCEPTABLE TO STRIKE A WOMAN?
I asked this question on my Facebook page, receiving 246 various replies. Some, with good intentions, assert that men are “stronger” than women, so they should endure assault and never retaliate. Women are a special class of citizen above the law and civil standards. This deference and pandering is not equality, though. It’s injustice.
Findings that women are as violent as men have been termed “gender symmetry”; a sweet label for an ugly truth. We accept a high degree of violence against men by women. Women that assault men are more likely to avoid arrest, even when men contact the police. Men are more often seen as the aggressor and arrested though they’ve committed no crime.
As one researcher noted, “A case is made for a paradigm having developed amongst family violence activists and researchers that precludes the notion of female violence, trivializes injuries to males and maintains a monolithic view of a complex social problem.” Is it any wonder female-on-male violence is woefully underreported?
What resources actually exist aiding male abuse victims? Do men not feel? Do they not endure the same symptoms of abuse, perhaps even more so as they’re not “permitted” to express them without being perceived as weak? Or, worse yet, still the aggressor regardless of the circumstances as the mob proved?
Sensible individuals understand violence is a last resort, but if a woman assaults a man, its human nature to react. Not every man can physically overpower women and many women can handle their own. Females aren’t special flowers and men aren’t violent, drooling animals. Peddling this narrative is insulting to both parties.
Gender issues are serious concerns for a society that seeks to evolve and advance. But after decades of political pandering for “equality”, the pursuit of equal opportunity has morphed into a disregard for men and overt deference to women, even when the latter commits violence against the former. If we aspire to treat men and women equally, address why women feel it’s acceptable to strike others, especially men, with no chance of retaliation.
Self-defense cannot ever be prohibited, regardless of what’s between your legs.
Tiffany Madison is a writer, libertarian pundit and social media strategist from Dallas, Texas. Her column for Washington Times Communities covers current events, civil liberties, veteran’s issues and foreign policy. Her work has been featured or referenced by Policy Mic, The Rutherford Institute, Freedom Outpost, Military.com, and AmberLyon.com.
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