“The problem with strong, intelligent women is that they can argue, well. And if there is a time where you can’t get a word in… and I… I lashed out. I couldn’t end the argument.”

Marriage Waterman style, means no matter what she says, how right she is, he ends that argument with his fist to establish how things are.  She can’t end the argument with the validity of her views, because he doesn’t want to.  And he doesn’t recognise her as equal, not when his right to impose his will is challenged. So the pattern is set that her intelligence and strength is attractive, until it challenges him. At which point it becomes justification for abuse.

My ex was married to a gobshite, and it would never have occurred to him to hit the woman he was building a life with. Not for being precisely what he fell in love with. Even if he did joke that me being right, and him being wrong was the reason we would never have lasted, he also said he knew how right I was by who I had pissed off. Because he is a man living in 2012, where it wouldn’t occur to him that he had the right to impose his will on other people that way. And it wouldn’t occur to him to justify abuse by blaming someone for qualities which he sought out.

The discussion in the press,  is about whether Waterman had a point. Unsurprising.  The boys in our political system and press, in the absence of the ability to punch will use whatever tools they have, when they know the argument cannot be won. Attack, smear, swarm together. That is patriarchy. The protection of privilege using privilege. And it can’t be tackled by being right, because if you are right you will be punished for it.  And the system which upholds it, will protect that. Not you.