Where are all the men?
On May 28, Sky News Australia posted a video titled "New York bearing signs of 'societal decay.'" The video shows a man (who seems as if he is on drugs) entering a train car and sitting next to a young woman. He then touches her without consent, grabs her, drags her around a bit, and generally is an extremely unpleasant nuisance. He eventually leaves her alone and proceeds to try to kick out one of the windows.
During the video, the young woman is seen looking at other passengers, with obvious worry in her eyes, begging somebody to please "help me." Nobody tries to help her. The news anchor, Rita Panahi, asks the question, "Where are the men?"
If I had to guess, they were standing in their place, checking their male privilege, toning down their toxic masculinity, and coping with how their Time's Up. Perhaps the men wanted a demonstration of how women are actually the stronger sex. Perhaps the threat level just did not seem that high to them; New York has a duty to retreat, after all. Besides, New York has been in the habit of arresting those who defend themselves.
Most likely, the men who were on the train did not care about this woman. They did not know her and were not likely to ever get to know her. How could it be worth it for these men to possibly be killed or maimed (it is unknown if the aggressor had a knife) for the sake of someone who may as well not exist to them?
Then again, let us give these men the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps they probably did want to help this woman. Watching the video, you might notice something about the aggressor. My guess is that none of the men watching wanted to become the next George Zimmerman. We all saw the emotional toll Kyle Rittenhouse suffered for defending himself. (Yes, the media vilified him for having an emotional testimony.)
The anchor refers to the men on the train as cowards, but I think that might be a bit unfair. Quite simply, Western society does not trust people who defend themselves or others. In 2016, a 17-year-old Danish girl was arrested for defending herself with pepper spray from a would-be-rapist. In 2020, a Virginia store clerk was arrested for defending his store from robbers. Even an elderly U.K. pensioner was arrested for "stabbing a burglar to death." It is entirely possible that those men had such cases in mind.
In the armed defense community, there is a common phrase: "better to be judged by twelve than carried by six." In most cases, this is true; it is better to be alive to face trial than to be dead. But is it better to be condemned by society than to let a crime happen to another person? How difficult is it to imagine anyone who may have intervened being decried as racist?
I can see the headlines maligning any actions taken as being racially motivated or entirely aggressive. Let us not forget the videos posted without context of the Covington kids, or how Darren Wilson maliciously killed an unarmed teenager. Perhaps the media would issue corrections for the "mistakes" made in the reports, but no doubt the names, faces, and workplaces of those involved would have already been exposed.
Miss Panahi was definitely right about one thing: society is declining. The signs are legion and everywhere, but it is not necessary to get into that here. I just want to make the case that cowardice may not have been the only reason that no men acted that day, especially considering the society that fostered these men.
Breason Jacak is a pen name.
Image: Sky News Australia via YouTube.