An eminent lecturer and psychoanalyst here in Canada, whose lecture clips I frequently watch on YouTube, brought up an interesting experience he had in his own family. One day, his little son got in a fist fight with a good friend over one of them saying something bad and the other one resorting to violence in order to define that what was said is outside the bounds of what's acceptable. They really went at it! However, three days later they were best buddies like nothing had happened. They made peace.
What's really interesting, however, was the reaction of the lecturer's daughter to the entire incident. When he talked to her about it, she said she was very annoyed by it. She was not annoyed by the fist fight, but by the fact they were best buds again three days later. When the lecturer asked her why this annoyed her, she said that if it was two girls fighting physically that hard, they would be done for life! She just couldn't understand that two guys can come back from that and be friends again.
The point that the lecturer made about it was that, on a fundamental level, men resolve conflicts and set boundaries between them in way that can sometimes become physically violent. If they don't resort to violence when one or both feel that it's necessary, the issue doesn't resolve itself- period! An unresolved issue festers like an infected wound and can have serious psychological consequences for everyone involved. Therefore, the idea is that when boys have to duke it out amongst themselves, you let them (at least to a degree).
The problem is that in the increasingly sensitive culture in North America, this kind of behavior is becoming discouraged and even severely punishable because the culture is moving more towards the female spectrum where escalation to physical violence is seen as the end of all things from which you can't come back. This, while great on paper, has a negative impact for guys being brought up in this culture. It seems to severely hinder their ability to find their place in society, at school, in the workforce and beyond. Something so pervasively negative should not be encouraged by society, yet it is and increasingly so.
We may love a society without fist fights, but if the price is giving up on having quality males in it, the price is too high and we have to look at something else. I'm not condoning any kind of violence, but I prefer to have a society that allows both men and women to develop into all they can be, so when I deal with other people I get quality friends, business partners and so on.
What do you think?