A Reddit user who argued against teaching children that boys can’t hit girls by claiming girls will grow up to “bully” their husband has sparked a lively debate online.
In the forum “unpopular opinion,” the author says that any woman who hits a man “could be in for a nasty surprise,” as he could “hit her back.”
“Parents shouldn’t teach their kids that boys can’t hit girls because it’s wrong but should teach them that hitting everyone is wrong,” the author wrote. “They should expect to be hit back if they ever do hit someone, regardless if they’re a boy or girl.”
The poster claimed the notion that boys can’t hit girls is problematic because it suggests that girls and women can do what they want without repercussions.
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“This has actually turned my younger sister into a bully towards my brother because when my sister hits my brother she doesn’t get in much trouble,” the author wrote, “but when my brother hits my sister back he’s called a bully or a girl beater.”
“These girls will then grow up to think that men can’t hit women and think that they can just bully their boyfriends or husbands,” they added. “But now both men and women are agreeing that if a woman hits a man, he can hit her back, so these women could be in for a nasty surprise.
“I’m not saying every girl will grow up to be like this, just a small majority but I feel they still need to be [taught] that,” the author went on.
Reddit commenters appeared to mostly agree with the author, suggesting that it’s better to teach children the golden rule: “Treat others the way you would want to be treated.”
“Equal rights, equal fights. Teach your kids to never start a fight, but teach them to be able to defend themselves when attacked,” one commenter wrote.
“Amen. I teach all my kids to not hit anyone. But if you do, expect to be hit back,” wrote another.
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Another user took it a step further writing, “Not only taught that hitting is wrong but that it causes pain. A kid can understand pain more than whatever ‘wrong’ means.”
Though many commenters seemed to agree with the author’s logic, one user pointed out that “a lot of people still have the mindset that it’s not ok [sic] to hit a woman even in self defense.”
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“It’s a bit tricky though. Of course anyone who perpetrates violence against another person shouldn’t be surprised to get an equally violent response, but in general the size/strength differential CAN make things a bit one sided [sic],” the user wrote. “So the whole ‘equal rights, equal lefts’ philosophy can end up being somewhat…unequal.”
The user added, “It should be a measured response based on the situation, rather than just matching force with force.”