The death of a Good Samaritan has us wondering: if we viewed men differently, would we see fewer men killed for defending those in distress?
In Texas this week, Jesus Solis was killed while trying to help a woman fend off three forceful men who were making her dance with them. Though he simply asked that they leave, informing the men that she had a boyfriend, his nonviolent request quickly escalated to a brawl and, ultimately, his death.
The three men, all of whom are currently unidentified and in the wind, had entered the bar around closing time and started hassling the other patrons. Solis, who was a regular at Vara’s Sports Bar in Houston, attempted to walk away after a fight broke out, but one of the instigators had brought a gun and shot him in the leg. It was as he turned away to leave that the man shot him again, killing him.
This is sadly not the first time that a good deed has been punished so severely. Men who step in to protect others often put themselves in harm’s way. The brawl and subsequent shooting at Vara’s Sports Bar may have been avoided had Solis been one of the many who saw the men harassing the female patron but chose to not get involved.
But he did. In an attempt to do good, blood was shed. American culture (and many others) have long viewed men as the heroes, the breadwinners, the stoic leaders—but also as the bad guys (an inherently masculine term), the abusive spouses, the power-hungry tyrants. Is there something in this cultural standard that makes some men feel responsible for the troubles of others, that makes them step in and try to be the good guy? Is there some invisible social pressure that makes some men act in violent ways? Is the need to defend those seen as weaker a result of our culture? And do we damn the bystanders in this particular situation for not stepping in to try and diffuse the situation, or do we identify with them—observers—and understand that their in-action is a method of self-preservation?
We want to know what you think. Does our cultural subconscious somehow lead to these types of situations, or is this something that happens not because of the way society views men but because of an individual’s character?