Violence & a Gentleman’s Temper

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Thanks to social media, there’s a new wave of awareness on the domestic violence that targets children and especially, women as victims.

Children will be children- sometimes naughty, restless and even disobedient.

Women too, will be women- giving silent treatments and nagging with a caustic tongue.

But what is a gentleman’s reaction to these scenarios?

A major challenge in training and correcting children in this part of the world is the erroneous notion that violence is a one-size-fits-all corrective and punitive measure.

A gentleman will not raise a cane to what a talk can correct.

Also, corporal punishment is not applicable to all ages, temperaments and I dare say, gender.

I will eternally fail to understand the justification in hitting a woman.

Personally, I believe the act of striking a woman is barbaric and an unambiguous clue of many other incivilities.

But some people, in a seeming attempt to justify untamed tempers, ask a question that sadly reveals a long-buried, ingrained and brutish sense of entitlement: what if she provoked you?

The shortcoming in this weak attempt at justification is that a person is entirely responsible not only for their actions, but also for their reactions.

Arguing this question is similar to supporting the I-raped-her-because-she-wore-a-short-skirt balderdash.

It is not only immature but also irresponsible to blame one’s indiscretion on another because life itself is provocative.

I am not quite a Jay-Z (the rap artiste) fan but his exceptional show of gentlemanliness in the face of extreme provocation (during what is likely his most famously distressing 10-minute elevator ride) is instructive indeed and his fans need to take note that if that measure of chivalry is possible at that height of success, then it is possible at any height.

From his noble reaction, we see that it is possible to unlearn harmful foundational doctrines, particularly in this part of the world where violence against women is treated with such leniency and is even downrightly encouraged on occasion.

It is particularly impressive when you realise that this is someone who has once had a history with violence himself; he has obviously unlearned his less-urbane ways.

A suggested reaction to a woman’s provocation? Ignore her like Jay-Z.

Self-possession is a feat and ignorance is an art.

And they are found in the league of exclusive gentlemen.

It is not every action that requires a reaction.

Imagine reacting to a dozen people hurling profanities at you at the same time.

It’s unwise.

In the etiquette scriptures, be angry and be collected.

Walk away. Drive away. Run away.

Do anything to get away from the source of provocation.

Even if violence leaves no evidence- no bloodied lip, no scar, no swelling, it is vulgar still.

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