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April 12, 2004



This post has managed to confirm certain prejudices of mine, while totally confounding others.


Guys who are into re-enactments of military events are wimps.


Despite the calls of civility I've long felt somewhat uncomfortable about male homosexuals based on the fact that I've had a couple come onto me with "how would you like a blowjob," which when it happened made me think, that's rather rude - no man would ever get away with saying anything similar to a woman. This is now confounded, that while the guy did not totally get away with it, he did to the extent that none of his friends seem to have helped your sister beat his ass like he deserved.

In fact, what about the guys your sister was with?

This has however confirmed one of my long-standing visions of how to improve society, legalize dueling - makes everyone more polite I figure.

Belle Waring

Yeah, I've been wondering why no one leapt to my sister's defence, too. Perhaps you should refer to your first point.

Belle Waring

But, actually, you are sadly naive about the kind of things men say to women if you think this was so startling as all of that. It's not just "hey baby" that men yell from construction sites are car windows, you know. Sometimes it's "I'd like to fuck you till you bleed." (Someone actually said that to me once.) If anything, I think gay guys are a *lot* more circumspect and polite. Most of my male friends have been hit on at least once by a guy, but usually in a good-humored way. Every women I have ever met has had some random guy say something utterly foul to her before, and probably about 1000 times. Have any gay guys ever jerked off next to you on the subway? Didn't think so. My record was 16 unwanted sexual comments from strangers in a single day of walking around New York City.


well I'd hope that most people's first opinion of a guy jerking off next to someone on the bus would be the same as mine, that the guy doing it has some mental problem.

The thing that bugs me about the incident with your sister is it that it significantly raises the level of crassness that seems to be acceptable as normative, at least by all the other guys there.

Actually thinking more about it I guess I have known guys that would say that, but I tend not to associate with them in situations where they would have the opportunity to say it to a woman. This no doubt has warped my view as to what is considered acceptable crassness in modern American society. So, in short I suppose I am sadly naive - but happy to be so.

I don't know, I guess I just had the foolish hope that a WWII re-enactment buff's sexually inappropriate comment would be something like:
"Whoa fraulein, looks like you're winning the battle of the bulge with those heavily armored panzer divisions!"

Chun the Unavoidable

Also, men who read military history are wimps.

If I remember the montage scenes from various action movies correctly, the key to hand-to-hand combat is actually not going crazy during the fight.


Nice pic. Which furry creature is Mia?


Ouch! (covers groin ... steps back)

[Confession: used to participate in American Civil War reenactments. It was actually a lot of fun ... think paint ball with muzzleloaders.]

Jacob T. Levy

Heh. Serves the bastard right, which is sort of what the "fighting words" doctrine came down to in the first place.

If you actually care: no one really knows what counts as "fighting words," because the Court has tucked the doctrine away in a hidden corner without ever overruling it. The original case, was, IIRC, a protester who called a cop a fascist. It was ruled that, since this could reasonably be expected to provoke a violent response in others (the cop or onlookers), it wasn't protected speech because it was likely to disturb the peace, or something. Given that the courts have generally been hostile to the "heckler's veto," it's something of an embarrassment that they authorized this "angry violent cop's veto." And so, while they periodically mention fighting words as part of the "The First Amendment does not protect speech absolutely; see, for example" list, they don't ever actually justify any particular conviction on fighting-words grounds.

I'd actually be really entertained to see this come to a court as a fighting-words case. 'Cause the original doctrine is pretty clearly gendered. I don't think that "reasonable man" standards always smuggle in sexist asumptions that make them non-replaceable by "reasonable person" standards. But this case pretty clearly envisioned that it was a "reasonable man" who would punch an offender in the nose. If there's jurisprudence about barfights, I don't know it, but I would suspect that it's pretty strongly gendered too. And of course this case doesn't count as actionable sexual harassment 'cause she's not in her workplace, so a court couldn't finesse the question by re-classifying the case into the expected gender roles (man harasses woman). They'd have to commit to *either* saying: a reasonable woman would find this violently objectionable, and that makes the speech punishable as fighting words; *or* a reasonable woman would *not* find this violently objectionable, it is less objectionable to such a woman than being called a fascist is to a reasonable man; *or* that thw FW doctrine needs to be thrown out.


'Also, men who read military history are wimps.'
well, if they whack off over it.


I don't even get that crass with my friends and we can pretty blue after a drink or two. Good for your sister!

Randy Paul

It kind of reminds me of the scene in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon when the Jen Yu character wrecks the restaurant - and all the men in it.

These clowns should lick their winds privately and keep their mouths shut.


'These clowns should lick their winds privately and keep their mouths shut'

this is the most perverted thing I have ever read on the interweb. thank you.

Randy Paul


I aim to please. That's like a visual Spoonerism!

Rich Puchalsky

If your sister was winning from the start, I can see why the surrounding guys didn't jump in, even if they weren't wimps. Wouldn't it be kind of insulting to "rescue" someone who doesn't seem to need to be rescued? And if the sequence went your sister kicks him, he kicks back, then promptly gets put on the ground, all that the onlookers would really have time to do --assuming they started to interfere once he started kicking -- is pull your sister away from him. Who would want to do that?

Are the five guys charging your sister with battery, or are they just complaining to the reenactors to get her banned?

Belle Waring

The five guys are just complaining to the reenactment organizers, but it appears their attempt failed, because there were so many witnesses around to say, hey, I never saw you getting beat up. So she's in the clear. The jerky guys are all part of the german reenacting crew, the biggest outfit of them on the east coast. My sister is a Soviet. Many, even of the German reeanctors, are normal (if crazy, but the whole thing is crazy), but Mia says the people who volunteer to be SS guys are pretty creepy. I was amused to hear that recently, in the name of greater authenticity, NKVD officers started showing up just before battle started and randomly hauling people away from the front lines to the gulag. This was unpopular and led to arguments.

Rich Puchalsky

Well, now it's clear why no one intervened. Your sister was not just beating up a creep, she was beating up a creep who was *dressed in an SS outfit*. Now that's entertainment.

Luke Weiger

That's horrifying. A guy got beaten up for sharing his most intimate feelings.

Adam Kotsko

Not only was she dressed in an SS outfit, but she was apparently in a Soviet uniform. No wonder no one intervened -- they were too busy performing some complex moral calculus.


Wow. I think now we know what energizes the J&B base. With great power comes great responsibility.

Fontana Labs

I think in Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire the guy called the cop a "damned fascist and a racketeer" [?] and then said everyone in the local government was a fascist or agent of fascism. This is pretty lame by today's standards, but I guess we were at war with facists, so it might have had more of an effect.

I totally hope this case makes it to the supreme court, because I'll get to hear some of the justices say "I'd like to stick it in your ass." Preferably Scalia, to Thomas or Rehnquist, but that's just my preference.

Wasn't there some sexual harrassment case blogged about recently where a lawyer started his argument by quoting one of the offending remarks, and since you can't really pronounce quote marks, it ended up sounding like he wanted to stick it in the judge's ass? This struck me as really funny. Prurient interest, indeed.


This is too surreal for me to believe it actually happened. Not the obnoxious words to the girl, but WWII reenactments with SS and NKVD? Am I to suppose these weekend warriors have access to tanks, artillery, and Stuka dive bombers? That they reenact Stalingrad? What the hell would this look like? (OK, parts of certain American inner cities might serve well for that, but they are not places where white "reenactors" would go).

Belle Waring

Re-enactors are a bit lacking in the Stuka department, MQ, but they sure do have tanks and artillery. These people lay out the big bucks, and spend all their free time keeping the panzer running, and so forth. I bet you didn't know they make blanks for artillery! The rules of the game are basically that if someone is obviously aiming for you, and you see the muzzle flash, you have to fall down and play dead for a while. They generally don't have enough men for people to be taken permanently out of action, so you get to ressurect yourself eventually. There is sort of a script for the battle, namely the actual events, but you are allowed to mount your own daring sorties, night raids, etc. It's obviously insane, but pretty fun. And they have dances where the guys wear uniforms and the irregulars (many women play civilian irregulars, unless they are hotsy-totsy soviet lady snipers) wear 40's clothes.


Let me be the voice of dissent (okay, let me echo Luke, whatever).

The guy who said that he wanted to "put it in your [sister's] ass" is a jerk. He had no right to say that.

But, given that he did, what is permissable recourse? Suppose that your sister through the glass in in his face and shattered his ocular socket. Suppose that she had blinded him in one eye. Suppose that she pushed him, and knocked him to the ground on the edge of a step or something, cracking his skull open and killing him.

(Okay, I know it's not likely. But it could happen.)

My question is, how much frontier justice are you allowed to mete out before you've gone too far? How much physical retribution can you dish out for an out-of-line comment?

People with a few drinks in 'em say some fucked up things. Sober people say some fucked up things. At what point can you strike them? And what right do have--as a 21st century ass-kicking woman--to expect them to refrain from hitting you back?


Chuck, it's important that none of those things happened. The fact that striking someone can lead, through a series of improbable events, to their maiming or death doesn't entail that someone should only be struck if they deserve to be maimed or killed.

And no one said anything about a "right" not to be hit back. It's not as if Mia *complained* when he fought back.

Walt Pohl

The story is pretty funny, but I have to disagree with 95% of the commentators here. Just because someone says "I want to stick it in your ass" doesn't give you the right to throw a glass at them, or kick them in the knees.

Jeremy Osner

On the subject of historical reenactments, Robert Balder contributes this observation about Slavery Fantasy Camp.


Walt, he said "I'd *like* to *put* it in your ass," which, to my ears, is far more creepy and presumptuous than your re-translation. A minor point perhaps, but not trivial.

To make this a bit more serious, why have the people objecting to Mia's actions brought up rights? Is that the only way to understand the situation? Could she have had "no right" to throw a glass at him and yet have acted properly, or, at least, acceptably? Don't "rights" invoke just the sort of discursive and universal rule-making that fails to adequately capture the nuance of these small, sexual, and interpersonal interactions?


I think she should call his mother -- he probably still lives at home -- and tell her what he said and how it ended.


Here's a story about a group of people in period military dress and no one makes note of the central heroine's(?) name - "Mia". I'm thinking military acronym, as in "Missing In Action". Does she drive a KIA by any chance?

*ducks flying canteen*

ben wolfson

No KIA, telephone.


I kind of agree that she overreacted. Throwing the drink in his face -- that I would have done. Throwing the first punch and kicking? No, that probably went too far. Of course, the provocative comments were inexcusable, and I understand why she reacted as she did, particularly given the surroundings (basically proving her bona fides as an honorary member of a guys only club). But IF she were a guy, would you think she overreacted? Yeah, I think so.


My question is, how much frontier justice are you allowed to mete out before you've gone too far?

women beating men is comic, men beating women is tragic, naturally. but can something be considered "fighting words" when they are so ubiquituous -- is there not some presumption of the words' rareness in the concept of fighting words?

the girl in the picture is rather beautiful.


Well, you guys got the story sort of wrong. I think I might have told it to Belle wrong though, since it happened really fast and I was very drunk. Last weekend I got one of my comrades to give me a play by play since he was standing right there when this all happened.

When the German said he'd like to put it in my ass he grabbed my shoulder and leaned forward to better express himself. I said a simple "fuck you" and brushed his hand away. He reached for me again and grabbed my shoulder, then I kicked at him in the balls. He "dressed right" and avoided a ball shot so I only ended up kicking him in the leg. Once his friend saw that he grabbed me from behind and picked me up in the air. I tried to get out of his grasp and headbutted him and kicked his shins. So he threw me down and I got up and got him and his friend on the ground and there we were all screaming at each other and kicking and whatnot. The reason my comrades say they didn't intervene was because it happened so fast and they couldn't believe what was happening in the first place.

If I had it to do over again I'd do it exactly the same way.

Belle Waring

I love you Mia. U roxorz!!!


I love you too!!


I'm just a drive-by, and I wasn't there,
and of course I defend a woman's right to decide what's appropriate and all --
but, reading this account
being vulgar to a woman dressed as a Soviet soldier --
isn't it just possible that he was still being 'in character' ?

Just a thought.


I'm just a drive-by, and I wasn't there,
and of course I defend a woman's right to decide what's appropriate and all --
but, reading this account
being vulgar to a woman dressed as a Soviet soldier --
isn't it just possible that he was still being 'in character' ?

Just a thought.

ben wolfson

Well, what does that get you? Maybe Mia was still being in character by beating him down.


u r hott mia ! woohoo


I'm glad someone decided to comment on this ten months late, putting a link to it back on the main page. Otherwise I would've missed out on a great story. I'm trying to decide if b is someone who actually knows Mia and is just being funny, or is just a passerby being weird.

Also, this appears to be the first time in history that soviet snipers have been described as hotsy-totsy.


"Also, this appears to be the first time in history that soviet snipers have been described as hotsy-totsy."

Except for Rachel Weisz in 'Enemy at the Gates.' (Was she a sniper? I forget. Maybe not.)

The re-enactment guys often use real army training areas for their events: there is very little weirder than leading a (real army) patrol through the woods at dusk on a training exercise, and having to go to ground because right ahead of you the 101st Airborne have broken off fighting for a quick mug of coffee with the Waffen-SS.

Very amused by this: "in the name of greater authenticity, NKVD officers started showing up just before battle started and randomly hauling people away from the front lines to the gulag. This was unpopular". No kidding. I can understand someone doing this and wanting to be eg Hero Sniper Mia Golbova or whatever, but who turns up at a WW2 re-enactment and wants to be NKVD? Very odd. Do you also have guys who turn up with meticulously restored 1940s Cyrillic typewriters and just sit in a tent doing ration returns all the time?


Aargh. "Hero Sniper Mia Varinova", of course. Sorry.

(Walks away muttering John Holbo, Belle Waring; John Holbo, Belle Waring...)


You know, I think I may have thought this at the time, but:

Why is it that, in a post about a guy dressed up as a Nazi acting like a reprehensible tool, there are some folk (volk?) in comments who want to defend the dressed-up Nazi? For any reason? I just don't get that urge.

Have the Blues Brothers taught us nothing?

I hate Illinois Nazis, and am happy to add re-creation Nazis to the list of Nazis to hate. (German soldiers are just fine with me, though. As long as they aren't reprehensible assholes.)


Where I come from your sis wouldn' even had to raise a boot off the floor, cause I'd have laid that dude out cold.P.S. sis is lovely by the way.


A great story. And count me with those who say the Nazi wannabe got what he deserved.

Tho, as a wimp who reads military history, I should perhaps be discounted on the subject.

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