This is what blowback looks like:
In Sydney, a protest against a provocative film ends in scenes of violent clashes between some protesters and the police.
In Canberra, a young woman in a headscarf is confronted by a random stranger who offers to “punch her for the police”.
My smart, quick-witted friend has been taking martial arts classes, so I’m pretty sure that this bigot would have bitten off more than he could chew, had he actually tried to land a punch on her. Luckily for him, my friend told him that she’d prefer to be beaten up by the police rather than by him, and offered to call them on his behalf. He was left confused, but he can console himself that at least he didn’t feel the force of my friend’s Anaconda Choke.
Stories like these generate a range of contradictory responses even within the same individual, never mind an entire community. My most immediate response was pure, undiluted outrage. What the hell makes anyone think that they can treat my friend and other women like her in such a manner? To assume a licence to stand in judgement on a total stranger, and deliver the verdict in such a repulsive manner? Who does he think he is? Are we really supposed to respond to such abuse by showing how friendly and likable and ordinary we can be?
(My friend, by the way, is both friendly and likable, but not ordinary. They broke the mould when they made her. She’s extraordinary.)
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment