Why Do We Continue to Excuse the Abuse of Women?
Even with evidence, women are still being blamed for crimes committed against them.
I watched as this man repeatedly hits the back of Wendi William’s chair on a flight. He whispers something in her ears mid-recording that is clearly taunting, though we can’t hear it. He was later rewarded for his childish, aggressive, uncouth behavior with a free cocktail by the airline’s flight attendant.
And it all happened because Wendi used the recline feature of her airplane seat. He wasn’t so lucky because having a seat way in the back row meant no access to such a feature.
We’ve all been there, either sitting in a broken seat or at the back. It is not a fun ride, and I have secretly detested everyone around me who lucked out with better options.
But you know what I have never done? Assaulted another person for having a better seat than me.
His actions were vile and disgusting. And the flight attendant and airline’s responses were enabling.
You ever wonder about the specific types of behaviors that promote violence against women (rape, domestic abuse, murder)…
This is a prime example of just that.
That there is an actual debate over who was right boggles my mind.
Wendi Williams, the woman being repeatedly punched-with-chair, was assaulted…clear and simple.
And she was assaulted for merely reclining the seat that she paid for on her airline of choice.
I’m 100% sure the violent passenger in the back seat was uncomfortable. But you know what he wasn’t?
He wasn’t about to literally die.
He wasn’t a 5-year-old child ruled by his tantrums.
He wasn’t confined to that seat until the end of all time.
No…instead, he was a grown man in a shitty seat on a short flight.
And rather than behaving like an adult, he physically assaulted and taunted someone else.
The confidence with which he did just that is actually unsurprising. Because, of course, how dare a person crowd his space.
How dare a woman?
And think about it. How likely would it have been for him to assault another man reclining in his space?
But a woman, someone who society expects to submit to the needs of everyone around them…
Who should be extra careful to be seen and not heard, to not take up space, to acquiesce to the requests of others…particularly men…
That woman is targeted for not doing what is expected of her.
What’s worst is that it is not just men that support this mistreatment of women and the message it reinforces to all…
The flight attendant that rewarded his behavior was a woman, and an entire company practically dismissed her claims of assault.
I want you to take note that even when clear evidence is presented of women’s assaults, people still try to defend the perpetrator.
Also, apparently there’s some unwritten rule that people shouldn’t recline their airplane seats. So, again unsurprisingly, many people believe it was her fault. That her actions okay’ed her own assault.
What many didn't know was that this lady has fused spinal discs, which causes pain and limits mobility over time. She has also had prior neck surgeries. After being repeatedly, forcefully pushed at the back of her head, Wendi is suffering from migraines and additional pain — I’m sure as a result of the aggravation of her existing condition.
After learning of this, would the pro-punchers still think that what he did was okay? And if they would no longer think so, maybe they should ask themselves why it really even matters that she had a prior condition.
Look. We are adults. Throwing a tantrum and assaulting someone for being in a shitty seat is not the victim's fault.
Take it up with the airline. Request assistance from the flight attendant to change seats. Kick yourself in your own butt for not securing a better seat.
Do not assault another passenger.
The assault on Wendi Williams was not okay. The response by the flight attendant was not okay. The response by the airline (or lack thereof) was not okay.
This whole entire debacle was not okay. Point blank. Period.
Besides, I’m almost sure that had it been another man sitting in that chair, Mr. Fists-of-Fury would have sat back and sucked it up.
Better yet, had it been a black man doing the punching, he would have been immediately and forcefully removed from that plane…but that’s another article for another time.