GirlBoss vs Reality
Twitter opinion unanimous. And wrong.
The other day, a little story caught my attention on Twitter. An insignificant story when taken in isolation, but I thought it nicely illustrated some wider phenomena.
The woman was walking by Oxford Retail Park on Ambassador Avenue on Friday 18 March and asked the men to turn down the music in their car at around 9pm.
The four men then attacked her, causing an injury to her eye and a chipped tooth.
The men are pictured in the article and appear to be of asian - probably Muslim - origin. The Twitter outrage focused almost exclusively on this aspect of the story. All the usual epithets were tossed around and despair at uncontrolled immigration was expressed. I didn’t pick the following example thread for any special reason - it was at random from the dozens of almost identical ones at my end of the Twattersphere.
But I think the point has been totally missed. It might seem unusual for me to say this, but the ethnicity of these men is the least interesting thing about this story.
This woman has apparently marched up to a car full of obnoxious young men and, apropos of nothing, asked/told/demanded them to turn down their music in the middle of the evening. No indication that this car was maybe parked opposite the woman’s house, where she might have been struggling to get her young children to sleep. Indeed it was by a retail park and the woman is said to have been ‘walking by’. Look up the location on Google Maps - it’s a commercial, retail and industrial district of central Oxford. There doesn’t look to be a house within half a mile of where this happened.
No sane man with any self-preservation instinct would single-handedly approach a car full of obnoxious young men - of any ethnicity - and tell them to turn down their music, unless he was Jack Reacher. That shit is how you end up in hospital having your jaw set and spending a month eating baby food.
Only a certain type of men would get into a car, four-up, and go park up and blare out annoying music. Anyone streetwise knows this.
But this woman - let’s call her Karen - thought it would be a good idea. I don’t know who she is or what was going on in her head, but I think we can take a pretty good guess, can’t we?
A woman in her thirties. who has inevitably spent 20 years getting programmed with the idea that she is strong, independent, assertive, can do it all, has never been told ‘no’ and - perhaps - has absorbed the message that the noble savages are misunderstood and unfairly maligned. She decided to assert her power for reasons unknown, has been confronted with reality and lost.
Did she deserve to get a backhander across her face? Almost certainly not, but she almost certainly deserved to be told to fuck off and mind her own business.
But society has conspired to lie to her for her whole life. To protect her from criticism and empower her to march around making demands with impunity. Well, I’d say that impunity just ran out for her. Wouldn’t you?
You might hope that she learned a valuable lesson from this, but I somehow doubt it.