Several weeks ago I was watching a program on the BBC called Would You Risk Your Own Life to Save a Complete Stranger? In Britain, few people apparently would. Far more common is the story of a young girl who was beaten severely in a London subway by several “youths.” The attack took place on a crowded commuter line filled with grown-ups who stood by, watched, and did absolutely nothing.
Similarly, last year in Spain a female university student was badly beaten by her male schoolmates in the presence of a fairly large group of her friends, which included many boys. Once again, nobody intervened.
Not long ago boys (let alone men) were expected to be gallant to those of the opposite sex. Boys who did not behave according to this code were considered unmanly and would have to live with that stain forever.
Reports of violence against women all over the world make it clear how things have changed. It would appear that women are being killed by men in record numbers, and even by other women, and now women are being beaten up in public or even killed in public, in front of disinterested and no longer chivalric men.
This brings us to Saturday, August 2, 2008, when Dr. Jesús Neira, a Spanish university professor, stopped at a gas station in Majadahonda, a Madrid suburb, then headed toward a nearby hotel with his son to take refreshments. Neira saw, on the street...