Rules.

When I was about seven or eight a girl hit me. I was always told if someone hits you then you hit them back, so I hit her back. I told my mum about this, expecting a bit of praise for doing what she told me to do and found out that females are not someones. Females are in fact elevated above the common herd and are allowed to hit you all they want with no fear of retaliation. My mum just about went ballistic when I told her. There was the whole “You did WHAT!?”  with the terrifying scowl that only my mother can do. 

For a while I pondered this, because even at seven or eight the bat shit insanity of the proposition put before me seemed obvious, there’s always been an inbuilt assumption that rules must have reasons and that “I’ve said no” is not a reason, it’s a statement and “you just don’t hit girls” is not a reason either, it’s an assertion. I asked my mum why I shouldn’t hit girls if they hit me but should hit boys and she said that I shouldn’t hit girls. I asked my dad the same thing and got the same answer, or rather non-answer. It was one of these moments that I realised that there was another thing that the adults didn’t know either but for some reason felt compelled to believe. By about age nine I realised that the average adult didn’t really know much about anything.

Sometime later someone told me that I shouldn’t hit girls because girls are weaker…….this didn’t seem like my problem. People much stronger than me hit me all the time and so this rule that strong people shouldn’t hit weak people seemed like one no one was really enforcing, unless it was a girl, so this had nothing to do with weakness either. There was obviously something intrinsically special about girls which the adults weren’t telling me.

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