The world says no to violence against women (well, the civil world does anyway). I certainly do not condone unnecessary violence against anybody, especially not against women. In the past week, two videos have gone viral: both demonstrating violence against women.
The first shows Rayan McIntosh, a now former employee of McDonalds, taking to two women with what appears to be a golf club or metal rod. To watch it is quite frankly, shocking. Although justice was served swiftly condemning the staff member, the world seems divided on the issue of Rayan McIntosh. Are these women behaving like women? No. They’re behaving like attacking animals. Despite being “of the fairer sex” they come off as intimidating crack addict types, dangerous loose cannons. Reports say these women frequently abused and harassed staff in this area. Commenters say they had it coming, that Rayan was acting in self defence. Even though they are women, they were likely packing knives or other weapons, clearly with intent to cause bodily harm to the staff.
One commenter states: “The attackers dressed like men, acted like hard men, swore and fought like men, they should take their beating like men.”
The dispute arose reportedly over change for a fifty dollar note. Details are somewhat sketchy, a rational reason for the dispute is probably non-existent. But did McIntosh go to far with the self-defence argument? He continues to beat them savagely after they’re down, despite screams from patrons to stop.
When faced with multiple attackers, the pulse skyrockets and the body goes into flight or fight mode for a number of minutes. While in this state, it is extremely difficult to think or act rationally. Rayan McIntosh indeed took his violent defence too far, however, he was likely, effectively out of the land of rational thought at the time.
The restaurant’s owner, Carmen Paulino, told NBC New York ”The actions of this individual are unacceptable and not characteristic of my employees,” she said.
“This individual no longer works for my organisation.”
One of the women received a fractured skull thanks to the beating.
Second on the viral list is the police brutality surrounding the ever-growing Occupy Wall Street movement. This time, the assault is markedly different. Peaceful, gentle-looking female protesters who are guilty of nothing more than standing and voicing their disdain at record unemployment and cushy jobs for the banking elite in the United States, receive a beating by authorities.
One woman receives a knock-out king hit to the face.
Another group of innocent women are maliciously sprayed with pepper spray as if they are insects.
Unlike the first video, these videos receive no divided reaction. They simply enraged everyone who sees them. What was the provocation here? Surely those in positions of authority (lucky enough to have a job in the first place) have a duty to exercise more self-control than a violent McDonald’s employee?
Now that I have contributed to the media storm surrounding these videos, the last point I want to make is this: violent attacks on women around the world are recorded every single day. The reason these videos in particular have gone viral is because they happened in a free, democratic country where abuse and gender inequality are generally seen as downright vile. Had this happened in a country like… the Democratic Republic of the Congo, I doubt it would receive much media attention or viral outrage from viewers.
I am effectively dobbing myself in here for succumbing to the media frenzy these videos got, however we must also make it our duty to recognise and use our media power to condemn this sort of behaviour around the world, to those who don’t have the voice themselves.
Just to prove my point, here is a story that went hugely unnoticed, in which 30 women (the number is immensely higher now) were raped and beaten there earlier this year:
It seems, as usual, that we turn a blind eye to “the rest of the world” thanks to selective media coverage (of which we at Intentious are also guilty) while expressing shocked when this happens in America. Yes, these assaults are shocking because they happened on the free soil of a first-world democratic nation. Sharing an and inciting a passionate media circus is expected. Is this the right response to have? Of course it is. Perhaps though, this media-incited passion for justice should be more widespread for the sake of the unfortunate living elsewhere in this harsh, cruel world.
If more people took a step back and regarded the contrast in the quality of safety, rights and liveability in first-world countries, I am certain there would be no “Occupy Together” movement at all.
Certainly no arguing at McDonalds over change for a “fifty”.
We all have it infinitely better off than these people:
Video Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33h_h7mtoN0
- Occupy Wall Street: origins of the movement (occupyblogosphere.wordpress.com)
- The Demographics Of Occupy Wall Street [Occupy Wall Street] (gawker.com)
- Jon Stewart: Are We Expecting Too Much From Occupy Wall Street? [Video] (gawker.com)
- #OccupyWallStreet – ‘Occupy’ needs the media, and vice versa (nextlevelofnews.com)