Violence among women is something I’ve never actually witnessed. I’m blissfully innocent of situations where alcohol-fuelled tempers flare and it’s handbags at dawn.
Only these days, the trend seems to be less handbags and more knives or glasses or even, not so long ago, a stilletto heel in the eye. To be frank, it’s all got a bit nasty.
There was a case in our local paper recently about a young law student out on the lash in some bar who took exception to another woman and head-butted her in the face.
A head-butt. It made me think what sort of woman would resort to a head butt? How could that possibly be an instinctive thing for a woman to do? What kind of background does she have, this law student who uses her own head to injure another person? Does she really have more testosterone than oestrogen?
For a start, a headbutt must be painful to the perpetrator as well as the victim, so on that count alone I can’t see that it’s a good idea.
“Imagine that,” I said to DT man. “Using my head to hurt someone else. It’s an alien concept. It would be like me trying to use my head to open a tin of beans. “
“Ok, what would you do if you’d had a few and some woman say, deliberately burned your brand-new jacket with her cigarette?”
I had a think. I would complain to the manager that she should be barred.
“No, physically what would you do?”
I decided I might stamp on her toe. If one of those disgusting sticky blue cocktails was to hand, I might pour it into her handbag.
If I was really furious and a supermarket shopping trolley was to hand, I might ram it into the back of her heel. That’s quite vicious and painful. A couple of other shoppers have done it to me, over the years. Partly my fault, admittedly, as I am prone to suddenly stopping and changing direction without indicating.
But thumping with fists or my head just wouldn’t occur to me.
I’ve never understood the stereotypical womens’ fights involving grappling, nail scratching and hair pulling either.
I would be inclined to say “Good grief, she’s never worth it. You’ve just had your nails done and can’t possibly ruin those nice hair extensions.”
A stilletto heel as a weapon doen’t particularly surprise me. I would expect women to grab and wield the nearest weapon rather than go for hand-to-hand combat. I remember one woman who was on trial for causing gbh to a former boyfriend was eliciting considerable sympathy with her story about lashing out at him in terror when she saw him walking down her garden path.
The sympathy evaporated somewhat when it transpired that instead of just fleeing inside the house and slamming the door in the face, she went into the house to fetch a convenient hammer and promptly cracked his head with it. The jail term was short.
Anecdotally, incidents of violence from women against women are increasing, which surprises me. Surely women are far better at the premeditated revenge thing than just lashing out with bare fists?
We’ve all read examples of the dish that’s best served cold, where she shreds his clothes with pinking shears and flings them on to the lawn; or the burning pyre of his belongings on the mistress’s driveway; the neighbour dispute where ‘er’ next door is studying herbal poisons to see off her nuisance neighbour’s cats.
Not that I can really imagine doing any of those things either. When it comes to being wronged my responses are purely verbal.
On Gold Cup day recently (Cheltenham National Hunt Festival) it was raining so I had my umbrella up and was passing Wetherspoons pub, heading to the post office with an armful of letters when I got unexpectedly hit on the head and arm from behind.
I turned wondering what the hell was going on, to see a young guy – Wetherspoons employee – had just come out of the pub behind me carrying a stack of four chairs. He’d obviously caught me with the legs of the chairs which were sticking out in front of him,
“Hey! You should take more care with those!” I told him.
“Oh sorry about that,” he apologised and took them somewhere around the side of the building. I thought “Bloody idiot” and walked on.
My head and arm were sore but nothing to worry about. It was only later that I realised my head was bleeding a bit and my arm was scratched, bleeding and bruised.
Later, back at work, a colleague said I should have made a formal complaint to the management and maybe got a voucher for a Wetherspoons meal. I’d honestly rather starve than eat there and anyway, as I told her, it was a simple accident.
I was passing just as he was coming down the steps on to the pavement with the chairs. I didn’t see him because of the umbrella; he was rushed and careless. It was just lucky for him that I wasn’t that law student or she might have felled him with a Kirkby Kiss.