Relationships and power / by Simmon Li

Today, I was on the TTC, at a transfer station and I saw something that made me wonder about how power in relationships work. It provoked in me a reflection on how power is structured, gendered, and seen in society. It was pretty mundane (from some points of view?) but it struck me as... well... violent. Now granted, I am talking about two complete strangers, so I don't know their context or their personal relationship with each other. This is just me thinking outloud. Anyway, I should probably describe what I saw. It was a couple, a guy and a girl, just laughing and what not waiting for the train. Once the train was coming into the station, the guy randomly pretended to throw his companion at the moving train. Not once, but 3 times. I mean, clearly there was no intent to hurt her. He was holding her tightly each time. But the very act struck me as odd.

I thought to myself, what the hell does it mean for someone to do that? I mean, what is the intent? I don't really see ANY possible way love or caring could be the motivation for that action. It just seemed like it had such a violent intent. It was a raw manifestation of the power dynamic in that relationship to me, and an unhealthy one at that (in my humble opinion). I mean, who in their right mind would do that?