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The Slap

Filed under: Domestic Violence — JohnPotter @ 8:12 pm Mon 17th July 2006

Hi, Rory MacKinnon here from In Unison, Unitec’s student magazine. Our next issue is themed “the Men’s Issue” where we will, not suprisingly, address men’s issues.

At present I’m working on an article about the cultural phenomenon of The Slap- specifically when a woman slaps a man: whether there is any justification for it, how a man responds psychologically etc.

If you or anyone you know have anything interesting to contribute, please do so below as soon as possible – our deadline is 9am Wednesday of next week.


  1. My only contribution is in definitions:
    – a ‘slap’ is when a woman hits a man, no matter how hard, how justified, how provoked.
    – Men conversely are incapable of a ‘slap’. They ‘beat’ women.

    This is not unakin to the smack debate, where proponents of repeal speak of anti smacking as hitting, which of course has an entirely different textbook definition.

    A ‘slap’ – at least commonly – once used to mean a movement with a palm of a hand across someone’s face, and in earlier days, with a glove, to denote a challenge toa duel.
    Now-adays, even a pre-emptive slap to avert imminent danger, for example a child about to stick their hand on a open element, is considered by some to be indicative of violence.

    Comment by Al D Rado — Mon 17th July 2006 @ 8:42 pm

  2. Having spent almost 50 years kicking around this planet I have witnessed,innnumerable times,women taking umbrage (usually in a light-hearted vein) and responding with a firm open-handed slap usually across the upper forearm, often with a fair degree of impetus.Quite why this is deemed to be acceptable behaviour,whereas if a male was to perform the same action,he would be castigated (if not castrated!),is,I am afraid,far too erudite a question for me to answer.

    Comment by Mike — Mon 17th July 2006 @ 8:48 pm

  3. Hi Rory,

    Why do women slap men? And I talk about the face.

    Women slap men to show him she is powerful and unpredictable.
    When she does it she is showing she disaproves of his behaviour but sometimes it is not justified on the spot but is built up inside of her through thoughts and feelings and is predetermined. Like when she is drinking he will receive it.

    For some, it is a reaction she has seen movies stars do so she thinks it is ‘classy’. She does not see it to be a problem.

    Women that slap once or twice don’t see it as abuse. These women think it is justified because he has hurt her feelings. He has let her down. He has misbehaved.

    Some women slap heaps and hard. This is to control. Straight up she wants him to treat her like the strict parent and she treats him as a insubordinate child.

    Slapping as on the shoulder is like acting as a mate but with a flirtaeous touch.

    She is trying to show her power and often just likes to show how much she can get away with.

    In my opinion, for some men it is anoying to be slapped hard on the shoulder by a woman and it does affect him as he can’t hit her back for that is abuse. (because he is male) That must have some psychological consequence. Especially for young men as they feel they are being bullied.

    I would think a slap across the face would be an insult and very harmful on the ego of a male.

    Men that I have known that have been slapped abusively do become scared and go inside themselves as ‘depression’ They fear consequences from her and often won’t speak up.

    PS. I am open to debate on all that i write here.

    Comment by julie — Mon 17th July 2006 @ 10:50 pm

  4. I agree with everything you said , Julie

    It’s about ego, mens and womens.

    There is no one reason for a woman to slap a man as everyone is an individual with individual ‘baggage.’

    Women slap rather than punch because they are generally the weaker sex. But after saying that I have seen women punch.

    I say that i don’t hit women but I have hit back after being attacked and a slap is an attack. Normally my defence is that i am quicker than most and i block.

    I’ve seen fights where women have splapped, punched and used weapons.

    No, it is not justified to inflight any sort of pain or attack another irrespective of gender, culture, age etc. It’s just not right.

    Most times a person resorts to violence through frustration or simply a lack of knowledge for the correct response. And the correct responce is never violence for this does not solve issues merely complicates them and makes them worse.

    We all know of incidences or environments where violence is the norm and children grow up with it and use it as adults because they accept it as the norm. This not to condone this type of action. There is always a better way to deal with the problem.

    Comment by AJ — Tue 18th July 2006 @ 11:30 am

  5. In the past, I have been slapped by women, who had for one reason or another had felt offended at me.

    In each case, my attacker felt justified, as that was what they felt women were entitled to do.

    What if I had slapped them?

    That would have been an entirely different scenario!

    It is time to stop trivialising women’s violence against men.

    Comment by DW — Tue 18th July 2006 @ 12:35 pm

  6. Women slap men for one good reason, they can. In movies, on television, advertising and most popular media, the female slapping the male has become common and acceptable behaviour. It is commonly the result of the male being “stupid” and therefore in need of this behaviour adjusting gesture.

    It may represent one of the greatest coups of world history that women have managed to “rightly” politicise male violence which is abhorent and digusting whilst managing to represent “female’ violence as inconsequential and benign.

    Comment by Ed — Tue 18th July 2006 @ 1:00 pm

  7. Take a look at many situation comedies in the US. You will see women slapping men, but not men slapping women. Just last night I watched an old Three Stooges episode called “Brideless Groom”, in which voice teacher Shemp has a few hours to find a bride to inherit a fortune. In this episode the women are slapping around the men and men slapping and hitting men, but never a slap or hit from man to woman. There is a long, long history of this kind of behavior in US comedy productions.

    Comment by Bruce — Tue 18th July 2006 @ 1:09 pm

  8. Why is a women hitting a man a slap, but a men hitting a women a beating?

    Its not a cultural phenomemen, its a domestic violence.



    Comment by Scrap_The_CSA — Tue 18th July 2006 @ 1:52 pm

  9. so the gist is.. when a woman slaps a amn.. she is justified in her behaviour because she was provoked in some manner.. and is acceptable
    but if a man does the same under the same circumstances.. it is not acceptable to a female..

    why is this so?

    Comment by starr — Tue 18th July 2006 @ 4:43 pm

  10. Thankyou for your responses, everyone. If anyone would be willing to share their personal experiences of slapping/being slapped by the opposite sex, it’d also be much appreciated.

    One common justification for slapping a man is that “men are used to it”; that it is a natural form of communication for men and therefore less trauma is inflicted than if a man were to strike a woman. Would you agree with this?

    Comment by Rory — Tue 18th July 2006 @ 6:05 pm

  11. Hi Rory,

    I raise my boys to never under any circumstances hit a girl. And I can tell you that it is the norm of many single mothers and even non single mothers to teach this as we don’t want our boys in prison or receiving a criminal record. A record of ‘male hitting female’ is very, very destructive for their future.

    Because of this they receive a slap and have to take it. It is unfair and they do not like to be in this position. How horrible it is to have someone slapping you and they know and you know you can do nothing about it.

    But they may not talk about it to their mates. They do accept that it is the norm but it definately should not be treated this way.

    Comment by julie — Tue 18th July 2006 @ 6:53 pm

  12. Boys are taught not to hit girls because it is not chivilrous. They are supposedly the ‘weaker sex’ so any violence on the part of women is always played down: “Get hard son! Shes only a girl!” This is usually followed up by “What did YOU do to her?”

    Comment by tonyf — Wed 19th July 2006 @ 10:20 am

  13. Julie, You are teaching your boys not to hit a girls. Who is teaching the Girls not to hit boys.?? As any unwanted physical attention is abuse and should be treated as such no matter how much anyone tries to minimise the action. If I am every slapped by a women I will insure they are charged to the full length of the law just as I would any Man.

    Comment by SNMP — Wed 19th July 2006 @ 10:58 am

  14. SNMP, have you ever had to charge any woman? I am sure you will come up against a stone wall of discouragement. I work in a social service facility and I remember a client (female) slapped another client (male) and it was covered up! I put the issue to my boss and all he could say was “did he deserve it?” This kind of attitude only perpetuates the problem, and it is an attitude that is prevelent in effectively all societies.

    Comment by tonyf — Wed 19th July 2006 @ 12:00 pm

  15. Well have never been hit/slapped or physically abused by a women.. So not can’t say I have but I would expect it to be an uphill battle to get anything done. Not that is should be, all things being equal

    Comment by SNMP — Wed 19th July 2006 @ 12:32 pm

  16. SNMP,

    Thr girls know they can hit and that the boys cannot hit them back. I would be lucky to find someone that didn’t know this. My boys are not the only ones. In fact you would have to be a girl who is respectful to even get near my boys. They are just not interested in girls. And many of their friends are doing the same. Even at school it is bad.

    There needs to be something in place for the girls because they are desparate for boundaries too.

    But it is more than the hitting that bothers them, it is also the chance of getting set up because they don’t keep the girls happy.

    Comment by julie — Wed 19th July 2006 @ 3:51 pm

  17. SNMP, I am VERY surprised that you have not, in some way, been physically assulted by a female. All the men I know have been.

    Comment by tonyf — Wed 19th July 2006 @ 4:41 pm

  18. I never said a women has not tried… Maybe I just got out of the way quick enough.. :o) Verbally , Emotionally abused yes.. Big time… In many ways that is allot more sole destroying that physical abuse.. Not that either are appropriate.

    Comment by SNMP — Wed 19th July 2006 @ 5:09 pm

  19. Bruce,

    Thanks for joining us. Your website is a good read about family and domestic violence.

    Comment by julie — Wed 19th July 2006 @ 9:21 pm

  20. This reminds me of the famous book “Animal Farm”.

    All are equal, except some are more equal than others…

    Comment by Moose — Thu 20th July 2006 @ 11:07 pm

  21. “Kill Bill” was a very successful movie in nz.
    Says heaps about how valued nz males are doesn’t it?

    Comment by Stephen — Fri 21st July 2006 @ 1:15 pm

  22. Kill bill was really cool! she sliced and diced women just like she did the men!

    Comment by tonyf — Fri 21st July 2006 @ 1:37 pm

  23. Yes she did slice and diced women just like men. However the handful of women got the same treatment that the hundreds of men got in the film’s 5 minute climax.
    The message I took from the movie thus was decidely one of it being more ‘entertaining to see men being slaughtered by a woman than seeing women being slaughtered by a woman.

    Comment by Stephen — Sat 22nd July 2006 @ 12:57 am

  24. I don’t understand where women think they have the right to slap a persons face and get away with it? If a man were to slap a woman’s face he’d be arrested. And yet, when a woman slaps a mans face, even in the presence of a police officer, they walk away without being charged. Why? Is there two sets of law regarding the slapping of one’s face? An assault is an assault whether it’s a man slapping a female or a female slapping a man. How is the law interpreted?

    Comment by Rick Peters — Sun 20th August 2006 @ 12:36 pm

  25. Is there two sets of law regarding the slapping of one’s face? An assault is an assault…

    Actually Rick, in New Zealand it isn’t the same at all – there is a different crime: ‘Male Assaults Female’ which carries heavier penalties.

    Comment by JohnP — Sun 20th August 2006 @ 6:00 pm

  26. I hope this article will be good…I slapped a man once (don’t panic he slapped me back) this relationship would have definately become “brawling” had I not extracated myself from it. It already had signs of other abuse yelling, nitpicking criticising and put downs, objects thrown at me and kids, i was even followed to the bathroom and could not talk to other people or go out with friends, when I suggested he go out with friends I was accused of trying to get rid of him(I was just hoping he’d get a life and give me room to breathe.) My punishment in the end was “I’m going to a strip club” and I slapped him, lots of pent up anger in hindsight with the other stuff I just clammed up and was shocked until the little straw. This was definately a sign to me after everything it had to stop so I left. Best thing I ever did as don’t like hitting people. I have experienced macho male hitting of women and the same macho shit by women too often against other women (should I say girls) and far less so than men (should I say boys). I think this country is riddled with it cause of the macho rugby\farming culture…I know many men who are not like this tho and I know its better than it used to be lots more gentle, strong men, or maybe it’s just me getting older, its all a bit juvenile that fighting stuff. I certainly feel awful responding with violence. I think it’s a fairly safe assumption that either sex should move away in abusive situations. For ones own safety and others, particularly the kids.

    Comment by sue b — Thu 14th December 2006 @ 9:26 pm


    Comment by ANDREW — Thu 8th February 2007 @ 12:58 am

  28. I am currently doing research, trying to find specific names of movies where women slap men directly in the face ( where pride / self-esteem and one’s honor are held ).
    Let’s “face it” ….. Women have been assaulting men for innumerable years, and Hollywood has only worsened the problem by having a man respond with a passionate kiss, after having seen her as being a strong, vibrant, gutsy, and sexy woman. The “Oh, baby – you’re so beautiful when you’re angry” message MUST be confronted if we truly want equality between men and women.

    I am a woman – here to make a difference by providing community education which tells the truth.

    Thank you for your responses,
    Sandra Callahan
    Domestic Values / Violence Education and Support founder and exucutive director

    Comment by Sandra Callahan — Thu 1st May 2008 @ 6:36 pm

  29. Thats some title Sandra. I would be keen to talk sometime. You can call me and leave your contact details and a good time to call on 0508 CallDad (05082255323) or send me an e-mail at [email protected]

    Comment by allan Harvey — Thu 1st May 2008 @ 6:55 pm

  30. I’ve been slapped by Stephanie several times. Each time I always apologise because I know it was my fault. Once she slapped me at a busy shopping mall. Everybody looked and I was very embarrassed.

    Comment by Joe — Thu 16th July 2009 @ 3:14 pm

  31. Hi Joe. Sorry.. I don’t get what you wrote. Why should you apologize for being assaulted ? There’s this campaign on TV.. you might have seen it.. It’s called ‘It’s not ok’.
    Accepting violence is not the solution. Perhaps you are being abusive in some way to her. If so, then you can seek help. BUT, a physical act occurred, and that is assault.

    Comment by John (Doe ;) — Thu 16th July 2009 @ 10:54 pm

  32. Yes women do sometimes slap or hit men…but one thing that seems to be overlooked here is that women are of a very different physical build to men… a slap or hit from them (I stress in most cases) does not carry the same weight or consequent physical damage that a physical attack from a man carries. Also (most) women do not grow up in or are conditioned by, the same culture of violence that men are (ie: boys play at soldiers, fight each other, play violent video games, watch violent movies. People become violent because (usually) they have lost control of their emotions, so moralising about it is not really that useful…at the end of the day a man (in most cases) can, if necessary, restrain a woman because he has greater physical strength and bulk: 9 times out of 10 he’s bigger than her. I am in no way condoning women being violent to men but to compare it to men’s physical violence against women is odious: in the UK alone, 3 women a week are killed due to violence inflicted by their partners, a great many more suffer hideous injuries from it – the equivalent figures for women injuring or accidentally killing men as a result of domestic violence are negligible. Open any newspaper any day of the week and you can find several stories of men beating up’ killing or raping women, girls and boys. Shame on you who protest that it is comparable.

    Comment by ASA — Tue 1st September 2009 @ 2:51 am

  33. My wife attacked me with knives. Also she hit me with a baton, 2cm from my eye, it makes me very sad to read your post, you just do not KNOW what goes on. Once i went to the police when she attacked me with her nails in my neck. She punched me in the side of the head, while i was driving with my sons in the back of the car, because i refused to buy a skateboard from the most expensive shop in Kapiti. She smashed the bedroom door down when i hid from her, that isjust the start ………

    Women value their shoes and clothes more than their families, that is my conclusion, they ALL have mental problems and well, the strange thing i never realised about them is the GROSS GROSS sense of entitlement they have and most of them behave like prostitutes, yes that sums of females.

    And by the way , i never responded, EVER. And she eventually got a protection order on me because “she was scared of me”, all worded by the local Wimmins Refuse . I am 6′ 3 and she is 5′ , 20% of men are arreste themselves when they go to the police and complain about female violence. When i went to Kapiti police they ignored me, she made up lies and , of course, guess who was in trouble ?
    YOU ARE VERY VERY VERY NAIVE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by swashy — Tue 1st September 2009 @ 3:38 am

  34. Domestic Violence would be cut by 90% if the woman does not HIT FIRST

    DOMESTIC VIOLENCE – Women are Half The Problem ( I would say more)

    Comment by swashy — Tue 1st September 2009 @ 3:41 am

  35. Little woman slaps big man. Big man restrains Little Woman. Little Woman slaps Big Man again with a Protection Order, loss of home, loss of children etc. Big man MUST rely on the LAW to prevent Little Woman from assaulting him. Law does not recognize Big Man defending himself from Little Woman. Big Man is stuck being assaulted by Little Woman with no help from anywhere.
    Almost 24% of all relationships had some violence, and half (49.7%) of those were reciprocally violent. In nonreciprocally violent relationships, women were the perpetrators in more than 70% of the cases. Reciprocity was associated with more frequent violence among women but not men. Regarding injury, men were more likely to inflict injury than were women, and reciprocal intimate partner violence was associated with greater injury than was nonreciprocal intimate partner violence regardless of the gender of the perpetrator.

    Comment by SicKofNZ — Tue 1st September 2009 @ 9:38 am

  36. ASA, it seems that you think domestic violence is OK as long as the perpetrator is female and the victim is male. Seems a tad sexist doesn’t it? It’s a bit like saying street violence is OK as long as the perp is white and the victim is brown. After all, those brown boys are quite big and physical aren’t they. Your argument is equally ridiculous. Next time you’re at a shopping mall take a good look at some of the couples you see. 90 Kg butch women accompanied by dimunitive little 60 Kg men are not an uncommon sight. But, even when there is not a huge disparity in size Violence is NEVER OK, NEVER EVER, as those pious men on the anti male domestic violence adverts keep telling us. Is seems that you disagree with them ASA.

    Comment by Had_Enough — Tue 1st September 2009 @ 10:07 am

  37. I say one thing to anyone – even men; it they hit you (or worse) GET OUT.
    No relationship is worth the damage caused by such violence.
    If it is violence by man to woman; then so too is it by woman to man.

    Comment by Fearless Frank — Tue 1st September 2009 @ 5:20 pm

  38. And lay a complaint with the police.
    Even if they laugh at you, lay a complaint.
    Every time.
    You might not get justice through the real courts,
    but it’ll be great reading to a judge in Family Court when they see all these unanswered complaints ….

    Comment by Fearless Frank — Tue 1st September 2009 @ 5:21 pm

  39. I would agree with that 100% Fearless (hehe). It will only get MUCH worse

    Comment by swashy — Tue 1st September 2009 @ 6:08 pm

  40. Social behaviour of men has been guided by the notion of chivalry for quite a few centuries. On the other hand, social behaviour of women is not confined by any such moral guideline. I have never been slapped by a woman, but I have seen in front of my own eyes, men being humiliated and attacked by women even when the poor man had done nothing wrong. In most cases, my guess is that the women involved needed a vent and they used a man unknown to them.
    Mutual respect between the two sexes is imperative. Without that, there is no solution to such violence. Contemporary laws side with the women, so men are, indeed, the weaker sex here.

    But … let’s admit it …. most of these laws were created by men. So men HAVE been stupid. Now the reins are in the woman’s hands. A united protest against laws that are based on “typical male” traits is the only way to overcome this inequality. Every person is unique, be it man or woman. Believe me, “all men are dogs” is exactly as demeaning and humiliating as “all women are sluts”.

    Comment by Arachnid — Sat 19th September 2009 @ 11:29 am

  41. Very few women would be able to inflict any great damage on a man using their hands alone, even when in a fit of violent rage, unfortunately it is the opposite when a man enters a fit of violent rage, as he more often than not has a great deal more physical strength behind. Which is a kind of explaination why it is more acceptable for women to slap, it is rarelt physically dangerous. Aplologies if i seem to be making excuses for either side.

    Comment by tam — Tue 22nd December 2009 @ 10:26 pm

  42. Tam, your ‘explanation’ does not fit well with me.

    I would say that my ex is slim build, 65kg. However, she pushed me over in her fit of rage. I was carrying my daughter at the time. Both of us were injured. I’m undergoing MRI scans because the pain in my shoulder won’t go away, even though more than a year has passed.
    Yes; men are usually stronger (though I’m sure HRC would say that we are all the same!) and can potentially inflict more serious damage. However, a woman is able to inflict damage as well. But we’re ‘blokes’ and expected to have our chin up and forget about it. My injury reminds me everyday.

    A slap is physical violence. Is it perhaps a correctional slap ? Or some other reason ?

    I agree with the slogan ‘It’s not ok’, just not the way it’s done.

    And the new ad is quite offensive as it continues to follow the same pattern; i.e. a man being the one shown as the possible abuser. When will we see a woman on tv portrayed as an abuser I wonder ?

    Comment by noconfidence — Wed 23rd December 2009 @ 9:46 am

  43. I reckon Tam is just trolling for a wind up
    And at Christmas too, shame on you Tam for trotting out this tired old chestnut that the poor widdle wifey woman could never hurt the big strong hubby bubby!
    And your apology, Im sorry is not accepted. Stop trying to condone violence

    Comment by mits — Wed 23rd December 2009 @ 10:00 am

  44. Which is a kind of explaination why it is more acceptable for women to slap

    What a load of absolute sh!t! A crime is a crime regardless of genitalia. Any woman who slaps a Man clearly does not believe in equality but instead takes advantage of those who do. This type of woman should be compulsorily sterilized.

    Comment by SicKofNZ — Wed 23rd December 2009 @ 11:55 am

  45. Here’s a timely link.

    Comment by NZ Sucks for men — Thu 24th December 2009 @ 2:38 pm

  46. Quite good!

    Comment by Hans Laven — Fri 25th December 2009 @ 7:59 am

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