Would you punish your daughter for punching a street harasser?
What would you do if your daughter came home and told you she punched a street harasser in the face? That's exactly what 20-year-old Minnesota woman, Kelsey, did last weekend when she heard two men catcalling a woman across the street who was "obviously intoxicated." After she uploaded a picture of her bandaged hand on Tumblr, her story sparked a viral debate with some defending her actions and others calling it out of line. What was MY initial response? You go girl!
Apparently, Kelsey was walking home when she saw two guys harassing an inebriated woman on the street. As the woman began to walk faster, Kelsey allegedly heard one of the guys say "I'd take her into the back alley and show her what I'm made of. She won't even see it coming." So what did Kelsey do? She turned around and punched him in the face!
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Later, the young woman took to her Tumblr (which has since been deactivated "due to continuing threats and comments") and uploaded a smiling picture of herself with her injured hand in front of her face. Along with the snapshot, she wrote this caption:
I hope your mother/girlfriend/sister/friends/everyone asks what happened to your nose. I hope you have to explain that you thought it'd be funny to joke with your friend about raping the drunk girl across the street. I bet you didn't think that the girl who was walking in front of you would turn around and punch you in the face. You're a filthy piece of sh** and I don't regret this at all.
By the next day, her message had gone global with thousands upon thousands of comments left on her post and hundreds of personal messages, some praising her actions and others threatening her. For her part, Kelsey responded by saying, "I don't regret [punching the man], though I do understand that there are other ways that the situation could have been handled. At the time, however, what he said as a 'joke' also seemed very much like a legitimate threat." She also explained that she had uploaded the picture on her blog for herself, not as a broad statement to make others "go out and hit everybody who offends you."
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Personally, if this was my daughter, I wouldn't punish her. In fact, I think I would be proud. But before you jump down my throat, let me explain why. First of all, I understand why people were upset and part of me does agree with them—after all, violence is never a good answer. However, being not that much older than Kelsey myself and having experienced firsthand (like most women) the frustration and vulnerability that you feel when getting harassed on the street (especially when walking by yourself), I'm kind of glad that she taught that guy a lesson. I mean, it sounds like he totally deserved it! I mean, what kind of jerk makes jokes about rape?
Plus, she posted about it on her own personal blog with no way of knowing that it would spread like wildfire. It's not like she took out an advertisement promoting punching your enemies!
But most significantly is that Kelsey showed that, even at such a young age, she is obviously comfortable defending and standing up for herself when she has to...and I think THAT'S the lesson that every woman should take from her ordeal.
Do you agree or disagree with what Kelsey did? Tell us in the comments below!
Image via Ignite My Thoughts Tumblr