Over at the Reason Hit and Run blog, Julian Sanchez has been doggedly working to unmask the identity of a young man who kicked a female protestor at the RNC as she was being restrained on the ground. I won't get into the factual issue of whether Scott Robinson of the Koch Fellows 2004 blog is the person in the video. What I noticed about the discussion ("discussion" is used loosely here - civility is nearly as absent in this instance as at the RNC) was the repeated taunting of the alleged assailant for "kicking a girl." Speculations about his manliness ensued. Now there are a few things to note:
1. The kickee was clearly a woman, not a girl. She is not an infant; this is a woman who made a choice to stand up for her beliefs (albeit not in the way that many would agree with).
2. It should be no more or less heinous for a larger and stronger man to kick a restrained woman lying on the ground than if the genders were reversed. By claiming that the act was particularly terrible because the kicker was male and the kickee female, the infantilized position of women is further entrenched. The relevant facts are that a battery was committed against a relatively helpless person. Since the left/liberals are the ones who are making the righteously indignant comments about this act, I would have expected less blatant sexism. Evidently true support for sex equality is not to be found on either side of the aisle.
UPDATE: Will and the Slithery D weigh in. I do not wish to go so far as to say that using force against those weaker than yourself is wrong. Self defense cannot really be considered rude. However, the amount of force used should be proportionate to the situation. A great deal less is required to prevent attacks by persons of my size and fitness level than would be necessary to fend off the assaults by large and muscular persons of either gender. However, this is not really important to the analysis of this case - the protester, considering her actions, posed no physical threat to the young man, and in any case the authorities had the situation in hand and required no assistance from such vile persons as the kicker in preventing further disruption .