Below is my response to a post by Lucy Walcott:
Enjoyed your post, your questioning of unquestioned assumptions with common sense.
That a man should never hit a woman is an interesting claim inasmuch as it looks not to individuals and individual situations, but rather to collectives and absolutes.
In my view, violence is justified as the minimal necessary in self-defense situations to contain and prevent further harm. So that means running away – if that’s an option – is better than striking out. However, many men – if facing another man – might disagree.
But there could be a situation where one cannot physically remove oneself, and striking back is the only way to prevent greater harm.
You also make a good point that men’s greater average physical strength isn’t always a good objection. Skill also matters. I know a petite woman who is career military and a karate black belt. Her skill with a butterfly knife is astounding. She said that once a man – a big man – tried to mug her. She pulled her butterfly knife and demonstrated her skill without doing one bit of harm to him. He ran. Fast.