Thursday, September 29, 2016

Woman Gets Punched Outside Venice Grocery Store

Although most of the You-Tube videos on this incident show only the outside security camera footage, the TV news report above also includes some footage inside the grocery store that showed the man and the woman arguing prior to leaving the store. In any event, after their spat inside the store, as they leave, the woman decides to have the last word and gets punched in return. This video illustrates once again that the number one sign you are about to get involved in a fight is that you are being an a**hole.

Generally, a person that incites violence or escalates a conflict, such as through taunting or insulting another person, bears some responsibility for the attack. Even if the incitement does not go so far as to constitute "fighting words," the jury (whether at a criminal trial or subsequent civil litigation) will likely assign some of the blame on the person that incited or escalated the conflict. Perhaps more significantly, in many jurisdictions, using provocative language may be sufficient for the speaker to lose the right to claim self-defense. (See, for instance, People v. Barnard, 208 Ill.App.3d 342, 350 (1991) ("[M]ere words may be enough to qualify one as an initial aggressor.")). This is why a person that carries a concealed weapon must be careful not to provoke or escalate a dispute to violence. 

Unfortunately, current society has a double standard when it comes to women, and women are generally absolved of responsibility for inciting violence. If you don't believe me, imagine that the situation had been reversed: that is, the man had been haranguing the woman; the man then walks out of the store and waits for the woman in order to hurl once last jibe or insult, and the woman, in turn, slaps or punches the man. She would be considered brave; comments would be various forms of "go girl," or "he deserved it." This double standard is what remains of prior social rules governing the conduct of gentlemen and ladies that placed responsibilities on both parties to control and restrain their conduct. In today's society, though, women are not held accountable to act as ladies, although men are still expected to act as gentlemen when it comes to their treatment of women. 

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