Follow-up on “Don’t Piss Off Krissy”

Ah, this crazy little series of tubes we call Teh Intarweebs. Follow:

Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds posts a link to the “Don’t Piss Off Krissy” entry, which serves as an inspiration for his wife, Dr. Helen, to make a post on the entry, in which she takes exception to the events as reported, which leads to (among other things) folks from her site coming over here to mock and/or lecture me and Krissy. Dr. Helen’s post inspires Dean Esmay to make a post which is positive to Dr. Helen’s interpretation, and also inspires alicublog and Steve Gilliard to post attacking Dr. Helen’s post (and Dr. Helen, and Instapundit), and sends people into her comment thread to mock and/or lecture the people there. Dr. Helen responds by linking back to alicublog with an update, and on and on.

Mmmm… internet craziness.

Points to make:

1. The story as I related it is not the whole story; it’s not wrong, but it’s incomplete. In the context of the whole event, Krissy’s reaction was eminently justifiable. No, I won’t relate all the details publicly; this ain’t a trial, and you’re not entitled to see all the evidence. Trust me on this or don’t. Suffice to say I’m proud of the way my wife responded; it was the correct response in the situation, and I’m glad it was her course of action.

2. I don’t agree with Dr. Helen’s posted read of the event, but inasmuch as she was working from what I originally posted, which as noted above was an incomplete reading of the situation, I’m not upset with it either, nor with her, because I know not all the context is there. As it happens people on the blogosphere often proceed with the information they have to make points they want to make. Funny how that is (she’s also less than pleased with the accompanying picture, which in the context of the post is not an unreasonable position, although I find it less problematic because I know it originally came from elsewhere where the comedic intent is more obvious, and where it’s clear it’s not directed toward men in particular). Some of the commenters here who I suspect came from her site I’ve found rather more annoying, but I’ve wielded the cluestick as necessary; it’ll be fine.

3. There’s some irony in that I’m friendly with Dr. Helen and Glenn in that Internetty sort of way, so when some others are jumping up and down on their heads for being Dr. Helen and Glenn rather than addressing the substance of her post (which is of course fair game), my reaction is, you know, quit it. I know these people and I like them. I noted in Dr. Helen’s blog that I wished people wouldn’t make ad hominem attacks on Helen and Glenn over in Dr. Helen’s comment thread; I was almost immediately called a “douche” for it over in the alicublog. Once again, I have everybody angry at me! Excellent.

4. I do find it amusing regarding comments that people really do seem to be under the impression that they know the whole story, particularly the folks who think that Krissy is a vicious harpy who should be the one going to jail for assaulting that poor lonely sot of a man. Among the various comment threads discussing this, there are commenters who have taken my clarification that the guy grabbed Krissy first as “changing the story” because we’re worried about pending legal action, and we’re trying to cover our asses for when this drunk groper presses charges. Yes, well. You kids go with that theory.

5. Since a number of people seem to have taken exception of the picture of Krissy wielding the bat in a mock-threatening way, here’s a counteracting photo to ameliorate their fear and dread of my wife:

See how wholesome and gracious she is, serving a holiday meal for the whole family? Yes, indeed! Truly a woman who can back up a grabby drunk and prepare a multicourse festival feast is the perfect woman. And truly, Krissy is.

Ultimately, the hoofraw around this particular event is a bit silly. But then, this is the blogosphere. “A bit silly” is what we do here.

108 Comments on “Follow-up on “Don’t Piss Off Krissy””

  1. And those loser has to leave the blogosphere forever, or until the scheduled rematch six months later? Intriguing.

  2. I never question a woman putting a masher in his place. (There’s a term you don’t see often anymore, but it’s SO descriptive.) In my experience, the level of physical force required in such situations is inversely proportional to the amount of inebriation experienced by the masher. Alcohol deadens–geometrically–one’s capacity to understand the words “I’m not interested.”

    My wife managed once through sheer bafflement. A guy was trying to get her to dance and she wasn’t interested. He finally got to the point of saying “Don’t you like music?” “Sure,” she replied. “Bach. Beethoven. Vivaldi.”

    The drunk blinked at her (according to her) and drawled “To DANCE to?” After which he drifted away, probably trying to recall the steps to a tarantella.

  3. Of course, I have no concrete proof that the Instapundit, Dr. Helen, the Scalzis, et all actually exist. For all we know, all the various blogs involved are really the same person engaged in a virtuoso display of sockpuppetry.

    Teh Interweebs: Faciliating Mental Illness Since 1991!

  4. Aw, she’s as capable with a spatula as she is with a bat on a drunk’s head.

    The internetty is just silly. And in people’s hands it’s even sillier.

    That pic is great, by the way. Do I smell cake?

  5. Well John I think it’s’ time to redefine the surfer term “totally tubular”. I am going to run off and enjoy the entire thread ahh nothing starts off a Monday like an internet cat fight. Krissy seems a damn fine woman to me, that red shirt becomes hers, and Krissy please remember to swing from the hip, the heads will travel farther that way.

  6. Although I’m sure that Scalzi’s pride in Krissy’s actions are genuine, imagine if he’d scolded her instead.

    Then only Krissy would think he’s a douche instead of (apparently), half of the internet.

    The man shows true wisdom.

  7. John,

    You said, “the hoofraw around this particular event…” but hoofraw is not a word. I believe the word you were looking for was “foofaraw – noun, a great deal of fuss or attention given to a minor matter.”


  8. I’m entirely at peace with half the Internet thinking I’m a douche, because fundamentally I don’t care what the internet thinks about me. Anyway, that makes today no different from yesterday.

    The possiblity that I would scold my wife for quite properly defending herself against a drunken groper is so amazingly remote that I have a hard time even modeling the discussion in my head.

  9. On a serious note, it is astounding to me how seriously people take themselves. The one of the outraged posts is just ridiculous. That almost all of the trolls and digs come from anonymous or people who leave no URL’s is even more signs of cowardice hiding on the net. It’s a rather harmless event that so many people just went apeshit about. Jeeez. Lighten up, Francis.

  10. My point exactly, Scalzi. That Dr. Helen (and others) expect you to have reacted differently indicates that they’re just asking for a buttload ad hominem attacks……but you’ve said we can’t do that here…….

  11. Well, we do try to be genteel here, Nathan. Set an example, as it were.

    Although I don’t expect Dr. Helen herself expected me to react differently; we’ve always been friendly toward each other.

  12. Chang,

    You noticed that too, huh?

    In the great competition we call ‘life’ I am tempted to have some compassion for the men who are losers. You know who I mean. The unattractive men. Men who’ve got neither the looks nor the smarts nor the money nor the charm to be attractive to women.

    What a sad place they are in – unable to get that which they desire the most. It really is not fair and nobody ‘deserves’ that position and yet because of the competitive nature of our mating game some people will be losers.

    And yet it never fails – just as I am starting to feel some compassion and empathy the loser guys pull some crap like we are seeing here. They complain about women and they try to control women and they attack those of us who are successful with women.

    I’m serious. Take a good look at Republicans and fundamentalists. The men are either badly repressed gays or are ugly. They desire a religious or political scheme that will give them the power over women that they crave.

    So the unattractive guys become ugly guys and their complaints get even louder.

  13. 1) Hoofraw — I thought you were being exceedingly clever in creating a word to describe the clompery of a herd of asses.

    2) Krissy and the Feast — She has that LOOK that says, “I’m hungry. The dog and I are taking the meat. Try to stop me.”

  14. I honestly don’t understand all the fuss over the whole ordeal, nor do I think Krissy did anything wrong. In fact, if she just sat there allowed this idiot to continue his groping, or if she exploded in an uncontrolled violent and bloody outburst, I think I’d have lost some respect for her. As it stands, I think she handled the situation perfectly.

    Forgive me for being presumptuous, but you probably sleep a little better at night knowing that if, god forbid, something should happen to you, your family will always be in good, strong, capable hands.

    Aside from that, I think I’d cripple myself eating that dinner.

  15. So…women who repeatedly tell a would-be groper “Go away”, then finally resort to giving him a good hard shove are “regressed”?

    Um. No. Fuck that.

    My body is mine. If I say “Stop” or “No” or even “Please don’t do that” just ONCE, that is ALL the warning you will get. Proceed with your actions, and I will fuck your shit up. Male or female, lonely sot or no, I don’t care. I will HURT you. Keep your hands to yourself or I will break them off.

    I could be “regressed” – or I could be someone who has already been sexually assaulted and has decided that it will never happen again.

  16. I’ve been in Krissy’s situation – the drunk guy one, not the feast, I’m with the “green bean casserole is scary” crowd – and after several blunt go-aways, threading away from the guy in the crowd, slapping away hands and other avoidance techniques, I did what any sane and sober gal should do.

    The bartender complained that I should have let my boyfriend take care of the drunk. I replied, but the drunk wasn’t chasing the boyfrined. Boyfriend fully supported me, and has taken to bragging that I have a marvelous left hook. Incident was 14 years ago, and he’s still bragging.

    I suspect that if boyfriend had punched the drunk, we would have had some police involvement. However, since I’m so much shorter then the drunk and well, a girl, someone helped the guy up and he left embarassed. Every once and a while, sexism is useful. If I measure the floor with a guy, it’s assumed he deserved it.

  17. Missy,

    Or you could just be a self-possessed, confident woman who has gotten over her conditioning to be “a good girl” and “not make a scene.”

    Regardless, you can take care of yourself, which is something everyone should aspire to.

  18. Well, since Dr. Helen quoted my comment (“Krissy Rocks!…”) and labeled me as someone who condones violence and as someone who thought the situation as ‘sexy’ or ‘cute’, I’m going to comment real quick-like and then I’ve gotta run.

    Knowing you and Krissy in that interweeby way that I know you (and assuming you do exist, because it is hard to give a Campbell award to a figment)…I just assumed that whatever happened, i.e. was it grabbing or trying to touch? Was the guy given fair verbal warning to lay off or whatnot–I assummed that Krissy made the choice that was warranted for the situation. I don’t know that I would consider what she did “violence.” Simply communicating with someone physically, when all other verbal and nonverbal communication has failed, is sometimes warranted. As she said, she didn’t hurt the little man, I’m going to assume that wasn’t her intent. If her intent was to, in fact, strangle him or cause him harm…then it would be violence. If her intent was that she wanted him to lay the fuck off, and the only method of communication she had left was to shove him away from her and force him to listen to her by using physical means…well, I’m sorry but sometimes that is just warranted.

    Why I think what she did was cool was that too many women shy away from standing up for themselves in those types of situations to the extent that they don’t even bother to go out and have fun without a male bodyguard type person in tow. Then when something like that does happen, some women tend to shy away from confrontation and just put up with it, or have their night ruined by having to leave or whatever. This needs to change. If more women learned how to feel okay with standing up for themselves in these situations, then more men might get a clue that they can’t get away with that behavior.

    I was kind of shocked by the commenters calling her butch or bitch or whatever. God, are we still back there in our thinking about women? Do women always have to play demure and graceful even when someone is groping them without permission? I realized that the baseball bat picture was a joke, but do we really need to see that Krissy can put out a good Christmas Holiday spread to reassure ourselves that she is still doing her feminine duty? Women can cook and can also shove a guy who is coming on too strong against the wall of cluefullness. It’s okay. Really. The whole institution of patriarchy will not crumble because Krissy “man”handled a guy who apparently couldn’t get the message any other way, nor because her husband is proud of her for it.

  19. Would people quit playing armchair shrinks and just appreciate the fact that Krissy Scalzi stood up for herself in a fucking bar when some asshole tried to touch her? What’s so hard to understand about that?

  20. My favorite part was when the good doc, turning her remote Fristian diagnostic abilities away from your wife and onto the entire left blogosphere, and observes:

    “Why is it that lefty bloggers can never understand the difference between self-defense and a bar room brawl? Could it be that in the former instance, a person is puting into practice their second amendment rights and in the latter one (at least in the above instance) a woman is humilating a man?”

    Why is it that self-defense == guns, and grope resistance == “humiliating a man”? The assumptions here are… interesting, to say the least. If it has been a story about a gay man hitting on a man, I wonder how she’d have reacted?

  21. “Would people quit playing armchair shrinks and just appreciate the fact that Krissy Scalzi stood up for herself in a fucking bar when some asshole tried to touch her? What’s so hard to understand about that?”

    Evidently (and sadly), for some people that’s harder to understand than Krissy Scalzi putting on a purty frock and setting the table for dinner.

  22. Wait, THIS is what the whole troll posting was about? Oy.

    P.S. John, now I’m hungry and lunch isn’t for several hours. [kirk][raises fist to the sky]JOOOHHHHHHNNNNN![/kirk]

  23. When a woman is groped, it’s up to her how she plays it. She might decide to keep decorum and not to spoil everybody else’s day (a certain recent incident comes to mind) or she might decide to announce to the world that the guy who can’t keep his fingers to himself is an arsehole.

    He doesn’t get to determine what happens next. I’m firmly in the Go! Krissy! Go! camp on this.

  24. After reading Ms. Smith’s comments, I have this to say:

    You have got to be kidding me.

    Obviously we don’t know the full story, and John, I applaud your decision not to share the whole story. But just from what you posted initially — even if he had merely tried to touch her — it seems to me that she was absolutely within her rights to express herself in an unequivocal way. Creepy questions and lewd suggestions are one thing, easily dismissed and defused. But when a drunk guy in a bar gets touchy-feelie, the line has already been crossed, and the activity must be stopped, immediately.

    I am very, very curious what Ms. Smith would have done in a similar situation. Her 12-step program to dealing with sexually aggressive drunks sounds great on paper, but I can’t see any woman in that moment thinking, “Oh dearie me, I believe I shall notify the manager forthwith; that will surely deter this cad from future advances.”

    And it absolutely boggles the mind that a woman — any woman — would criticize Krissy’s handling of the situation. This is not about glorifying violence. This is about self-defense.

  25. Oh, internets! I’m so glad you are here for me on this boring, boring Monday morning.

    Does Krissy have any martial arts training, or was she just stronger than the guy? (I’m not going to use the information to grandstand in any way — I’m just curious, because I likely wouldn’t have been able to duplicate her wall-slamming in similar circumstances.)

    (And apologies if the information has already been given elsewhere — I couldn’t find it with a text search, and it’s still a bit too early in the week for wading through another 100+ post slapfight.)

  26. My favorite thing, in cases of Internet hoofraw* like this, is the wanton ascription of motives by people who have absolutely no idea what’s going on in the heads of the principals. For some years I helped to moderate an online discussion list known for the breadth of views among its participants and the civil tone the list usually maintained. One time I came down hard on someone who wasn’t playing nice, or, in other words, I wielded the cluestick like a moderator should. An ally of the offender accused me of “censoring” the discussion not on the basis of civility but because I was such a hard-bitten liberal. Or, wait, maybe it was because I was so stuck in my conservative ways. I forget. Anyway, it was amusing more than anything else to read this person’s looooong explanation of my political views, an explanation that bore strikingly little resemblance to any of the actual views I (a) held or (b) had ever expressed on the discussion list.

    C’est la vie . . .

    [* John, may I sign on as a charter member of the Hoofraw Club?]

  27. Jackie M:

    “Does Krissy have any martial arts training, or was she just stronger than the guy?”

    Without discussing Krissy’s mad defense skillz, yo, Krissy is indeed very strong (rather stronger than I am, in fact), and also tall (5′ 10″) so she has leverage.

    However, I should note that Krissy actually getting physical with someone in this way is immensely rare; indeed, I can’t remember another time she’s done this. This should suggest that Krissy didn’t undertake the decision lightly.

  28. Much ado about little…

    Though I’m sure it was not ‘little’ to Krissy. About time that someone defending themselves is given appropriate kudos and publicity for the action. There is way too much ‘blaming the victim’ that goes on in far too many media outlets (and, even worse, courtrooms).

    Your wife sounds like someone I’d really like to know.

  29. I haven’t read any of the other blogs or opinions, and don’t intend to. I’m too busy cheering Krissy. Having been groped, I wish I were 5’10” and strong enough to pin the b**tard to the wall. I’m way beyond feeling sorry for someone who doesn’t understand that groping is an assault–physically, legally, and in every other way.

    Yay Krissy!

  30. If you were unwilling to post enough of the story to justify her actions then you should have posted none of the story. Then we wouldn’t be here.

  31. Are you F’ing kidding me? Why is this even an issue to be discussed?

    I thought the original bit about Krissy’s barroom adventure was pretty amusing. Beyond that, why do so many people seem to have opinions on this? I don’t get it.

  32. Locomotive Breath:

    The next time I want your opinion on writing, I’ll for ask it. Be aware I won’t be asking for it any time in the forseeable future. Thanks.

  33. All of this is terribly fascinating to me – that people would get so upset over this incident and feel the need to scold Krissy for her actions. Would people be so bold in person? – or does the internet provide enough degrees of separation that we feel free to express ourselves, no matter the validity of our statements?

    I know Krissy (and not just in an “internetty” way). She would not have taken such action without appropriate forethought and provocation. This woman is smart and filled to the rim with common sense and she doesn’t put up with bullsh*t. I respect the hell out of her and am once again reminded John that you married a hell of a woman! Go Krissy GO! That’s my two cents.

  34. green_knight: “She might decide to keep decorum and not to spoil everybody else’s day (a certain recent incident comes to mind) or she might decide to announce to the world that the guy who can’t keep his fingers to himself is an arsehole.”

    I was wondering if someone else had made this connection. Makes me wonder what we would’ve been talking about last week if the woman in said incident had smacked the offender or even just firmly removed his hand. If the woman does nothing, then the man’s an asshole, but if the woman does something, then the she’s a bitch and he’s just a sad loser? *head spins*

    (By the way, John, in response to an earlier post about the above-mentioned incident, I’ve put Robert Charles Wilson’s Blind Lake on top of my To Be Read pile and Spin on top of my To Be Bought list; both the pile and the list are frightening, however, so by the time I read either you may be exhorting us to discuss the 2007 Hugo winners instead of whatever Authors Behaving Badly event might have taken the show.)

  35. So what you’re saying is that you’ve convicted the guy in the bar using secret evidence and now you’re celebrating his punishment? Sounds like a violation of his basic human rights.

  36. If a belligerent drunk gets punched, I’m pretty much down with calling it “natural causes”. I say that as someone whose been on both ends of that particular gaff. Mere pushing, shouting, and slapping shouldn’t even rate a mention.

    As near as I can tell, the only thing Krissy did wrong in all of this is put commercial food containers on a holiday table. What does she think salad dressing cruets were created for, anyway? Such are the degraded times in which we live.

  37. Sounds like a violation of his basic human rights.

    No, the violation of basic human rights is refusing to accept NO for an answer. What sort of mental gymnastics are you doing such that the guy comes off as the victim here?

  38. So what you’re saying is that you’ve convicted the guy in the bar using secret evidence and now you’re celebrating his punishment? Sounds like a violation of his basic human rights.

    This is a joke, right? Please tell me this is a joke.

  39. Locomotive Breath:

    “So what you’re saying is that you’ve convicted the guy in the bar using secret evidence and now you’re celebrating his punishment?”

    Yeah, I was wondering how long it would take for some wit to make this rather idiotic comparison. It was inevitable.

    Strangely enough, however, my choosing not to relate particular elements of an event in an anecdote is in fact nothing at all like our administration pushing a trial scheme where someone could face life imprisonment or even a death sentence without seeing the evidence that has convicted him.

    I suspect you know this, Locomotive Breath, and if you don’t then you need to.

  40. What kills me is that anyone would find that there is *any* justification for groping a woman. I don’t care what the woman was wearing or saying, where she was or what company she kept, no one has the right to assault her. Period. And when assault does occur, well, self-defense is an option.

  41. Wow. That dustup was as crazy as some of the stuff I’ve seen at dKos.

    John, Krissy rocks for taking care of herself, and you rock because you aren’t threatened by it. Dr. Helen, on the other hand, definitely doesn’t rock.

  42. You’ve alluded to the fact that more happened than just “not taking no for an answer” as in more than “just touching her” but you refuse to tell what. It’s interesting to learn that you consider it a basic human right to not be bothered when you don’t want to be bothered.

    Based on what you’ve written, which is all we have, her assault on him is a “disproportionate response” (to borrow a phrase that’s been popular lately). Tell us the secret evidence. Or would that reveal national assests and capabilities and harm national security? Equal protection and and justice for the Talibani but not for the drunk American guy in the bar?

    Are you proposing a standard by which I can beat up a stranger who verbally bothers me up to and including some nonthreatening gesture such as laying a hand on my arm but not physically threatening me? Call it the “Mommy, mommy – he’s touching me!” standard which has heretofore been applicable only to small children.

    If so, then I’d like to kick the crap out of every drunken airline seatmate I’ve ever had who keeps talking while I’m trying to read and then falls asleep with a head on my shoulder.

  43. Really, John, how dare you and your wife manipulatively try to set standards for human behavior through your blog by withholding evidence?

  44. Not that anyone here really needs my opinion, but to the commenters accusing Krissy of being ‘un-feminine’ for defending herself:

    You are part of the reason that so many rapes go unprevented and unreported.

    I sincerely hope that neither you nor anyone close to you ever gets assaulted or raped, but think long and hard for a moment about this. If someone grabbed your mother, or your sister, spouse, or daughter, would you really want their first thought to be “oh crap, I don’t want to hurt this guy’s feelings?” Or would you rather they be thinking “what is the quickest, safest way to get out of/put an end to this situation?”

    I may be a pacifist, but as a college student who has to live in the dangerous world that is instead of the safe one that should be, I will never blame a woman for defending herself when attacked. She certainly wouldn’t have done the sot any favors by letting him get away with it. That would have just re-enforced his mistaken belief that assaulting women is acceptable.

    And as far as the ‘he was just some poor drunk’ justification goes, unless someone strapped him to a chair, pinched his nose shut, and poured alcohol down his throat, that’s on him. You cannot intentionally impair your own judgement and then claim impaired judgement as a defense for your actions.

  45. Holy Moley, Batman

    This whole thing started as a story about Krissy refusing to take any shit from a drunken lout accompanied by an amusing photo. (I did take slight exception to the “aluminum” bat, but I’m something of a purist.)

    I’m firmly in Krissy’s corner and had no idea there was another corner to stand in until I saw this thread and the links.

    Here’s what I’m curious about:

    Is this debate (that shouldn’t be one) a uniquely American amentia? Any comments from outside the U.S.? (Neither John Salmon nor Taliban Enforcers need reply.)

  46. Locomotive Breath, I’ve shared everything I’m going to publicly share about the event, and I couldn’t possibly care less whether you feel I should share more about it. You don’t get a vote as regards to what things I write about and what things I don’t.

    If you really want to know more about the event, I suggest you track down some of the other people in the bar and ask them. The event was not “secret,” as you wish to suggest it was, since the bar was open to the public and a number of people were there. You just have to do the detective work. Off you go, Locomotive Breath! Have fun with your new project.

    Your continued attempt to make a parallel between my decision not to add more detail to an anecdote and the trial rights of our prisoners of war is pretty damn asinine and not really worth responding to.

  47. Oh for fucking Christ sakes (on a stick). Guys, you don’t touch women without permission, if you do expect repercussions be it Kristification, the bartender laying you out with a pool cue or the local cop tapping you on the shoulder. Sheesh didn’t your mothers teach you anything? Being drunk is no excuse for being an obnoxious bore, if you can’t behave while loaded, listen carefully now, don’t get fucking loaded and keep your hands to yourselves. It figuring out when it’s ok to employ your hands isn’t rocket science, she will let you know.

  48. After reading through here and the Dr Helen site: Who let all these people onto my nice clean internet? I mean, especially people like Mr “deeply disturbing and offenseive” (sic). Or Mr Anonymous who thinks it’s all a plot because John changed some words on his blog to better clarify the situation (don’tcha know that corrections mean a coverup!!!)
    Let alone the sockpuppets who keep popping up.

    You must be as smart as this stick -> |
    to use the internet |

  49. However, I should note that Krissy actually getting physical with someone in this way is immensely rare; indeed, I can’t remember another time she’s done this. This should suggest that Krissy didn’t undertake the decision lightly.

    I suspect her course of action was the absolute best for that particular situation. However, at 5’6″ and lacking any mad defense skillz of my own, it’s sometimes difficult to imagine the wider selection of choices life presents to those at 5’10”.

    Also, I just saw your Aug. 29 post, with her response to your completely hypothetical question about public groping…

  50. On the Dr. Helen commentary:

    John, as a member of your “loyal opposition”—I am fully on your side on this one. I have witnessed what goes on in bars in rural Ohio.

    Go Krissy!

  51. Nathan wrote:

    “Any comments from outside the U.S.?”

    I’m a) in Canada, and b) in agreement with Hilary.

  52. I loved the original telling, and admire Krissy. FYI, I am also the very fortunate husband of a 5′ 10″ beauty who often has to resist unwanted advances (though not usually advances of such clueless ineptidtude, thankfully).

    Like you said in an earlier post about Kerry and how I feel as well: “I’m way out of my league”.

    So I read your story of what happened to my wife, and then the ensuing fallout as laid out in this post. She’s still snickering and lamenting the general insanity of the Intertron.

    So, Kerry, you rock! And John, likewise. We both think so. Thanks for an excellent blog and for your writing in general.

  53. It’s worse than that, Dane. It’s squeezable honey mustard spread.

    Don’t worry. We have a little tub of the good stuff, uh, somewhere.

  54. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a sitation that more ernestly desires the phrase, “You lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas.” Where the hell does Dr. Helen get off, pretending that pinning a guy headed for a manhandle is the same as beating a guy who called you a name?

  55. I have several friends who have worked professionally as security (a.k.a.: bouncers) in a number of bars in Ohio.

    The one thing they all agree on is that Every Drunk Is Different. Handling drunks is much more of an art than a science, which is why good security people earn so much. It’s tough to hustle a drunk out in such a way that he wants to keep coming back to that same bar.

    And I meant “he”.

    Another rule is that The Woman Is Always Right. Most male/female incidents in bars are caused by males. Not that women don’t escalate a situation, but it’s almost always men who cross the line. The exceptions are rare enough to ignore, or are obvious to the security guys.

    I’ve known women to get kicked out of bars, but it’s because of something like dancing on a platform, and a guy reaches up and grabs her crotch, and she jumps down and decks him. The bar has a strict no violence rule and kicks them both out, but she pays no cover or drinks for several months.

    There is no One Way to handle a drunk person who crosses the line. Alchohol affects everyone differently, as a few drinks for one person will calm them down, while for another it will make them more irritable and violent.

    Another artful judgement call is determining whether the drunk can be reasoned with or needs to be put in an armlock and shoved outside.

    And finally, the ultimate aim of bar security is that any method of dealing with a drunk which enables both the drunk and the victim to coexist peacably and go on with their evenings is of course the best strategy.

    Krissy seems to have solved this successfully, so kudos to her.

    It bothers me that a wife of a Law Professor doesn’t seem to understand the legal nature of ASSAULT and SELF DEFENCE.

    It also seems that many of the MEN who seem to object to Krissy’s actions or John’s reactions don’t understand what it means to be married to an equal.

    It’s simply amazing to be partnered with someone whom I love and respect and think is much, much smarter than I am. I know that she’s better than I am, and I also know that I have nothing to worry about.

    I would laugh and celebrate my wife’s dealing so well with a drunk.

    But then again, I don’t feel the need to “handle” my wife or accompany her in a bar. I also met her in one.

    I’ve spent a lot of time hanging out in bars with women, as friends. And it astounds me what they have to put up with from pushy men.

    To me, no man has any right to express an opinion about what a woman does to react to a drunk man in a bar.

  56. Nathan: Bats for hitting balls should be wood (hickory and pecan are nice, the present ash and maple are acceptable, but more prone to breakage).

    For busting melons aluminum is to be prefered, as the liquids inside won’t do them as much damage, and they are less likely to break at inopportune moments.



  57. I thought the original bit about Krissy’s barroom adventure was pretty amusing. Beyond that, why do so many people seem to have opinions on this? I don’t get it.

    Because… because it’s not right. Fundamentally.

    a) The man shouldn’t have been behaving that way; drunk or sober, I was taught how to behave in public, as most people once were. Today the very concept is quaint and bizarre, and people act like hooligans.

    b) Mrs Scalzi should not have been forced to defend her person by her own strength; in the crudest roughneck bar in the 1950s, the nearest guy would have acted in her defense, even if he was a friend of the drunkard.

    [She is also utterly fortunate that the man was not some PTSD-ridden Navy SEAL who would respond to her “I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar” act by reflexively breaking her arm.]

    c) The hooting, jeering gang of misandric harpies who reacted to this tragic affair by cheering her on for “keeping men in their place” are only slightly more twisted than the dominatrix-fetish men who think that Mrs Scalzi’s desperation-driven mockman behavior was “sexy.”

    Everyone who encounters this senses on some level that it is deeply, socially wrong – that it is a war story from a society out of joint. That’s why it has stirred up such a fuss.

  58. Baron Waste:

    “Everyone who encounters this senses on some level that it is deeply, socially wrong – that it is a war story from a society out of joint. That’s why it has stirred up such a fuss.”

    Alternately, they’re simply glad Krissy put a drunk in his place. You may be reading too much into the event, Baron Waste, which is something I suspect has been the case with this from the beginning (generally, not just you, Baron Waste).

  59. Barron Waste, speaking as one of the harpies, it’s “misanthropic” to you pal. Yeah, sure, some “guy” ought to have come to her rescue. As well as open doors, and keep her in the kitchen while he kills himself at work. I’d like you to meet the 60s, they’re a little long in the tooth, but that’s when we shrugged off such notions of “Victorian Chivalry”. I also know a couple of SEALs who would like to have a word.

    I personally happen to love humanity (look up definition of misanthrop if you’re confused). I also happen to like women who aren’t milk sops. Having dated on both sides of the milk sop line, strong women (mentally, personality, and even physically) are much more fun.

    Note to self, make sure nieces know how to defend themselves against idiots.

  60. Wow, what an escalation from the posting of an interesting anectdote and an amusing psuedo-inspirational poster. I’m puzzled by Dr. Helen’s take on this (isn’t she an advocate of firearms-based self-defense? — which certainly trumps baseball bat self-defense) unless this just provided an opportunity to shovel out some psychological musings, sort of the way a preacher can find some of the strangest ways to segue into a sermon.

    Anyway, my reaction to both your original post and to teh hole interweeb kerfuffle is Krissy still rocks!

  61. Jim:

    While not completely agreeing with her, I was not at all puzzled by Dr. Helen’s take on this. A common thread in many of her posts is as close to complete equality as possible in the man-v-woman debate. Yes, she has posted repeatedly about a woman’s right to equality, and armed self-defense, and been taken to task over it by many of her readers.

    I believe that, based on the limited information she (and others) had available concerning the bar event, she was concerned about the, shall we say, spirited enthusiasm shown by some posters for Krissy’s actions. Ask yourself one question: if the gender roles were reverse, would the action have been appropriate ?

    I feel that I can endorse Krissy’s action, but precisely because I do support the position that if a woman can do it to a man, a man can do it to a woman under the same circumststances.

    Now for the money shot — how many of the folks supporting Krissy’s position (as I do) can say the same thing ? Would a “little man” (to use Krissy’s words) have the right to toss a woman who “won’t take no for an answer” up against the wall with an arm across her throat ?

    Picture that scene carefully in your mind, and see how you come down on the side of gender equality ?

    I say “Hell, yes!” I have no problem with Krissy’s actions. BUT, I have no problem with my cousin (5’5″, 135 lbs) shoving a 5’10” drunken female who’s groping men (and I have seen that, albeit only once) up against the wall and threatening to bust her head.

    What say you, loyal readers ?

  62. 1charlie2,
    That’s because you think most of us here are knee-jerking. If a drunk women is groppy and hasn’t taken several hints to stop and go elsewhere (which was at least implied in John’s first post) and then a guy has to up the rules of engagement and either twist her arm or put her against the wall to get the point through that sexual predation isn’t acceptable behavior, hell yes. Not only have I seen it, I’ve had to twist an arm. Since I was much stronger and more imposing than the woman, that’s as far as I had to go. Next up would have been to escort her to the door and toss her out. Unwanted touching is a physical attack, responding in a physical manner is acceptable.

    What I think is hilarious is all the people who talk about how Krissy bashed his head in (or some such). She pushed him against the wall to get leverage with her arm. She didn’t beat the crap out of him, she didn’t leave a mark (as we used to say). When the guy didn’t get the clue, she escalated (rules of engagement). She didn’t palm strike the guy. She didn’t do the nuclear option of gabbing a bottle and cutting the guy.

  63. John, I’m going to take exception with one part of your post. You said “In the context of the whole event, Krissy’s reaction was eminently justifiable”, but the thing is, her actions as reported were eminently justifiable already! Please don’t let internet meatheads feel you got to prove more justification.

    I’ve got no great love for Instapundit (as I once got quoted for in the NYT) but I can understand that he may be perfectly nice in person while being such an asshole online. However, I don’t think that I could stay friends with people who used my significant other as an example of what’s wrong with America, just another step in the culture war to make America into Nazi Germany-lite.

  64. Martin Wisse:

    “You said ‘In the context of the whole event, Krissy’s reaction was eminently justifiable’, but the thing is, her actions as reported were eminently justifiable already! Please don’t let internet meatheads feel you got to prove more justification.”

    No worries there — I think in every version of the story, Krissy’s actions were correct. That said, it’s not a problem for me to acknowledge that some of the controversy was based in me being not sufficiently clear about the event for some folks. That’s all it is.

  65. I don’t know… It seemed pretty clear to me. I’ve read the anecdote several times, and I just don’t see the violence. What I do see is a woman standing up for herself and doing what she needed so as to get the point across that she would like to be left alone to have a drink with her friends.

  66. That said, it’s not a problem for me to acknowledge that some of the controversy was based in me being not sufficiently clear about the event for some folks.

    If you’d said that in these times Krissy couldn’t afford to appear weak in the face of Drunkofascism, I’m sure about three quarters of your newest visitors would have understood.

  67. I don’t know if the new picture is particularly softer, John. That platter of meat looks like she’s shown it a thing or two. ;)

    Sorry to hear you had to go through all of this.


  68. Phillip J. Birmingham:

    “If you’d said that in these times Krissy couldn’t afford to appear weak in the face of Drunkofascism, I’m sure about three quarters of your newest visitors would have understood.”

    I shouldn’t have read this while drinking Coke.

  69. I wouldn’t “scold” her… but I’d try to point out to her that she’s most likely not as strong/crazy as a drunken sot in a bar, and that escalating to physicality may not always be in her best interest.

    Of course, I kicked a guy in the balls once myself, so keep that in mind when I offer advice.

    Generally, when I go out tippling, I have my own plans for dealing w/mashers. One, you go to the bartender and inform him/her of what’s happening. While doing so, I like to drop hints as to who I’d be including in the lawsuit should things degrade.

    Two, call the hubby and let him get beaten up instead of me. If one of us is going to be in the hospital, it may as well be the one of us that can’t cook. We have 2 kids, and they’re mo’ important.

    Three… try to remember that I’ve been drinking, too, and alcohol plays no favorites. While I’m inclined to buy your side of this story, I’m also inclined to think that you may not have heard the whole story yourself.

    Four… after 1-3, I have to remember that Krissy was suddenly in a situation that most of us don’t have a set response for… it’s not like instinctively holding the door open for someone following you into a room. Whatever course of action she took, she ended up home safe… and it’s not like she stabbed the guy or anything.

    You may not be shocked to discover that I got beaten up in a bar. I was standing there, minding my own business, when… WHAM! Never saw it coming.

    Amazingly, I wasn’t at fault. Someone had been dancing with someone’s boyfriend, someone pointed towards someone standing near me, the girl misunderstood, and I got slapped so hard that I fell onto/over/off/under the table I was next to.

    To my credit, I got up quickly, and was on top of her when my husband walked over, grabbed me around the waist, and carried me off like a child.

    People tell me that my feet were running in the air as he scooped me up, just like before the Road Runner starts going. Had my feet touched the ground as he let go of me, I’d have gone back at the girl at maybe 85mph.

    Beep Beep!

  70. You should link to this piece on your AOL blog…. you could increase the amount of people offering needless advice by the millions.

  71. You should link to this piece on your AOL blog…. you could increase the amount of people offering needless advice by the millions.

  72. Smurf:

    “You should link to this piece on your AOL blog…”

    As a general rule I keep the two separate. Seems best for everyone involved.

  73. Heheh. Relax John. The information in the event is following the normal rules of Postman. You observed an event, after a period of time translated it into words and posted it. Glenn and co read the words, translated them into thoughts, translated the thoughts into words and posted them. You then read the words, translate them into thoughts and observe significant differences between perceptions. Personally my wife too is a sweet creature who I never want to see mad, and makes a mean green bean casserole, and if she ever was groped by a drunk in public I would be the first one to call the ambulance.

  74. Who knows what evil lurks in the livers of drunken men…?

    But seriously: Krissy defended herself, period — and trying to spin her action in a political “Only Left-Wingers Would Applaud This” way makes a very narrow-minded impression indeed.

  75. Krissy rules!

    So now it’s not ok for woman to do what men do to each other when someone hits on their date? When did this trend begin? Should she have called her husband to go down there and teach the drunk a lesson? Would that have made all the de-masculinated men and prissy women feel better? feh.

    And since when is defending oneself (pre-emptively or not) considered violent behavior in this country, of all places?

  76. It’s squeezable honey mustard spread.

    Dear Mr. Scalzi:

    Please unsubscribe me from your blog forthwith. I had great respect for your wordsmithing skills and your argumentation style, but that’s all been ruined now. Now, all I can think of is that this is probably a household with “processed cheese food” in it somewhere, which spoils the illusion.

    (I will observe that if the genders were reversed, then yes, I would fully support any man who demonstated restraint while physically discouraging a drunken woman from inappropriately touching him. Then again, at the college I attended, this reaction would unfortunately have been purely hypothetical.)

  77. While I’d feel bad for him if it happened, I bet John would get a series of good posts out of “Krissy said some drunk was hassling her at a bar, so I went down and got beaten up by a roofer.”

  78. I prefer Krissy with a baseball bat. And John, I trust you hold you own in the kitchen, yes? :-)

  79. I say Bravo to Krissy!

    As a long time women’s self defense instructor, she did exactly the right thing.

    I always tell my students: “The best fight you can win, is the fight you never get in”, but I’ll add the caveat of: “Sometimes you just have to invoke preventative measures in a punitive way”.

    How’s that for a tongue twister?

    Oh, and nice of Krissy to use her forearm – that was generous. I usually recommend the inside edge of the elbow, it’s the hardest bone in the body.

    As seen here:

    Ouch :-)

  80. Good lord. It’s quite extraordinary what will bring out the hoards of drivelling misogyny. Oh, poor men who can’t feel safe to grope women in bars! How oppressed they are!

    Krissy quite clearly rocks.

  81. Nathan asked about non-US reactions, so, um, I’m with the “what’s all the fuss about” crowd. I mean, I saw the first post, went “personal stuff, read & scroll past” and didn’t look at the comments.

    Now, having read them through, WTF? I suspect you’d have similar reactions from some quarters over here, but very very small ones (more like 16ths, really). She didn’t hurt him, she tried to ignore him, when he pushed it too far, she took control of the situation and dealt with it without actually hurting him at all.

    John recounts anecdote as vaguely amusing blog post, moves on to different topic, people make a fuss? I give up on life. Actually, no I don’t, I give up on certain elements of the commentariat.

    I was particularly impressed with the “you should keep an eye on her and make sure she’s safe” comments. Because, women, naturally, need the protection of men and can’t leave the house without them. Well, if that is the case in some parts of the US, well, I’m glad it’s not really over here.

    Meh. Whatever ;-)

  82. I must say, it is just as well that the people who branded this whole tale an invention do not read back entries, else they would be convinced beyond all reasoning.

  83. Baron Waste:

    Some context for you on the entry you linked to: That entry was in response to an event at a science fiction convention, where a prominent male science fiction writer groped a prominent female science fiction writer’s breast onstage. Was a big topic of discussion in SF circles.

  84. Man…

    A few years ago, coming home late and laden with bags of shopping which effectively immobilised my arms, I was targetted by a group of screaming male teenagers. One of them approached me at a run, arms outspread, clearly aiming for a tackle and at an angle which would have taken me off the path and into some bushes.

    I did not so much “kick him” as I merely put my foot up in the right place, and he ran his crotch into it. The impact knocked us both down, but I can tell you I got up one heck of a lot quicker than he did. Fortunately his mates decided to back off, and I made it to a better-lit street quickly.

    I made it home ok, but I was a bit shaken, and I told my husband what had happened — only to walk into a firestorm of criticism from him on the basis that “they hadn’t actually touched me when I made the decision to kick him, and I didn’t know that they meant me any harm, and I shouldn’t have provoked them. There were better ways I could have dealt with it!” That’s one of the things I have a real hard time forgiving my husband for.

    For the record:

    I live in the UK. I think Krissy did what she had to, and good for her. The situation ended with no-one actually getting hurt, including her, therefore she did the right thing pretty much by definition.

    If a woman grabbed a guy in a sexually unwelcome fashion, it would be perfectly fair for him to use whatever physical force was necessary to get her to back the hell off, too.

    And, I wish my husband had your attitude.

  85. Phillip J. Birmingham,

    In my case, it was orange soda, but I’m quite sure the effect was the same. Hehe.

    Thanks for the chuckle!

  86. All right, I’m closing this thread to comments. Reasons:

    1. It’s pretty damn long, with a representative sample of viewpoints;

    2. As long as it’s open it’ll be distracting to me because, after all, it involves my wife, which is no good because

    3. I have a book I’m supposed to be finishing.

    I may open it up again in the somewhat near future, i.e., after I feel I’ve made sufficient progress on my book.

    Thanks to everyone who participated.

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