Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Being the Village

Tonks blogs here about a problem many of us have encountered, one I've never found a solution for, not a solution I'm happy with:

My turn to go around the car came just in time to see him jump in, scream in her ear, and backhand her across the face.

Guys hitting women, adults hitting kids, cops very possibly violating civil rights -- you witness it.  What do you do?  I keep looking for the perfect answer.  

Zelda told me and mr. delagar a story the other day about some students in the dining area of our student center: a couple three boys, some girls, and one of the guys was, well, not abusing his woman, but shoving her a little, mocking her every time she spoke, and, when he dropped something and she bent to pick it up for him, putting his hand on her head, holding it down, not letting her straighten up again, laughing jeeringly when she tried.  Zelda said it was obvious the other guys and the women at the table were made uncomfortable by this, as was the woman who was being shoved around; but no one called him on it.  Zelda said she thought about it -- and Zelda usually does by the way, she is fierce and fearless in these matters -- but reckoned the woman would not listen in this case.  (Correct me, Zelda, if I'm getting details wrong!)

And more than once I have seen kids getting yelled at or smacked in Wal-Mart or in public parks -- sometimes I speak up, trying to make it a friendly intervention ("Do you need some help?  Can I hold him for you while you unload the groceries?") -- and sometimes I don't.

As Tonks rightly points out in her post, although calling it in seems like the right thing to do, what happens then?  Often not good things.  

Wish for a better world, maybe.  Spit in one hand and wish with the other, as the saying goes.

1 comment:

zelda1 said...

You got it right. The guy was a jerk. I wanted to interfere; however, I, too, thought it would make the situation worse. Plus, that guy was being a jerk, and as a jerk, he wanted to cause a scene. I susupect, she will tire of him and drop him. She was getting very frustrated.