The headline at Feministing reads “Punk band Screeching Weasel breaks up after frontman punches two women at SXSW”. A fight broke out after an audience member (who happened to be female) reportedly spit ice at the band’s frontman Ben Weasel while he was on stage because of his misogynist stage rantings. Mike Conklin at The L Magazine noted that video of the incident is “incredibly hard to watch”. He also uses other “weasel words” – fittingly – by saying that the frontmanwas ”viciously pounding” on two women. Conklin also asserts that the “details of the story are meaningless” implying that nothing can excuse Weasel’s violence.
Of course, the video isn’t that hard to watch. It’s at least less hard to watch than millions of other videos plastered throughout the web that feminist websites don’t comment on (because they involve men getting the shit beat out of them). Of course, this story is only getting attention from Feministing and other sites because it shows a man hitting a woman.
But Weasel didn’t just jump into the crowd and punch a chick for fun. Here is a report from a blogger named Glenn Alderson who witnessed the entire event:
His band finally came back, they played a few songs and then a girl from the audience threw an ice cube at him and it hit him in the face.
He asked who did it and the girl came forward. He asked if any girls in the audience wanted to kick her ass for him. When asked to come on stage, she came closer to the front and spit beer on him. That’s when he lost it and he lunged at her.
I have a rule that has served me well through life: I don’t throw or spit shit at people. Throwing or spitting is not only a cowardly way to deal with a situation, but it is a sure-fire way to get your ass beat without gaining much sympathy from the people around you. If I were to do these things I would expect a confrontation, but women, of course, aren’t held to the same standard. They run their mouths, throw things, push and hit, and behave like autistic children because they know that they are mostly protected by the swords of white knights who would love to step in and “save” a bratty, vitriolic barfly.
So while “violence is not the answer” it becomes more of a legitimate answer when someone is acting like a douchebag and spitting things at you while you’re performing on stage. Just because this douchebag is a woman doesn’t mean that we should all of a sudden have sympathy for people who behave obnoxiously. We should hold her in the same regard as the thousands of other people who have befallen the same fate: “shouldn’t have spit at him” is the usual treatment.
When feminists compose their Gender Neutrality Wish List they only expect things like jobs, better pay, respect, voice, etc. But they don’t realize that bumps and bruises come with that. ‘Cafeteria feminism’ is what that’s called, I believe.
As for the owner of the venue – the second woman hit: her treatment wasn’t quite what I expected after reading the sensationalist headlines and writing of Feministing and The L. She’s the one who bum-rushed the lead singer; even then he only landed two weak glancing blows on her (she wasn’t punched in the face as Feministing asserts). The point remains, if you do things to provoke people or if you are involved in a scuffle like this, you can’t turn around and cry and complain just because you got roughed up. You can say that Weasel shouldn’t have punched someone over spitting ice, but you’d have to apply that argument to men and women.