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Thursday, September 11, 2014

I'm gonna say my piece on the Ray Rice controversy, then I'm gonna sit down.

You don't have to agree with me; that's not why I'm saying this. As a young girl who witnessed the repetitive abuse of my own mother at the hands of a man--her husband--who claimed to love her, I will always say that domestic violence is NEVER okay. Whether the aggressor be male or female. Yes, female aggressors. By and large, domestic violence cases in which females are the aggressors go unreported. It is quite a shame. And because domestic violence cases that are reported (if reported at all) are largely male against female, there lies a double standard in our society. I completely agree there.

However, what I do find fault in is victim-blaming and victim-shaming. Janay Rice was a victim. I don't care what she did. He could have shaken the hell out of her, but laying her out like he's Mayweather or something is inexplicable. Nothing a woman can do to a man, outside of anything shy of threatening his life with a weapon, should garner such a response considering his stature and strength. I'm not a proponent of hitting men, because it's just not right...it's disrespectful and emasculating. What is also disrespectful and humiliating for a woman is to be knocked out cold and dragged (per the videos & reports). The truth of the matter is, the male is ultimately the stronger specimen. To physically react to a woman as though she maintains such strengths as his would be fool of a man.

Such generalizations that reinforce the notion "hit and be hit," specifically on the topic of domestic violence, support the perpetuation and damaging cycle of domestic violence. The whole "she started/deserved it" or "she provoked him" mentality is at best a futile argument considering the damage we see all too oft in the aftermath.

I think we, as a society, often take these domestic violence matters and prepare for aim and fire with our arguments about domestic violence in general. People's true colors come out, as well as ignorances, misunderstandings and other issues. The fact of the matter is, dude knocked her out cold then commenced to dragging her unconscious body out of the elevator. What happened before then, we don't know fully. The fact that he WALKED away (and she didn't) shows me her aggression did not comparably prove vicious. I will say, there are women who get smack happy with their male counterparts--something I think is not wise. But dumping the experiences of some couples or singular people in the laps of a victim (read: victim-shaming) does no one justice. Call a spade a spade. Dude was dead wrong.

Much of the commentary on this issue is a question of who is "wronger." This is subjective. Many arguments for one over the other insinuates that male and female clairvoyance are the same or similar and such a maintenance could not be further from the truth. But, that's for another blog post.

I keep hearing/reading many commentators and self-proclaimed lobbyists make the argument that "errbody need to keep they hands to theyself [sic]" but are not considering that the altercation does not appear out of the ordinary for the couple. Let's consider the Ray and Janay Rice situation outside of this incident alone. Perhaps this isn't the first time. Perhaps, many a time he's gone completely off while physically (or otherwise) unprovoked. Consider that this incident happened when they were engaged, and they are now married and she is defending and protecting him. That this very well may NOT be an isolated incident for them. That this happens more times than Mrs. Rice would like to count. Maybe she did provoke him in that elevator. Maybe it was a case of battered woman defense. These are all significances that point to battered person syndrome. Maybe their relationship encompasses much more than we're willing to recognize and/or acknowledge.

My prayer is that, since they are still together (as far as we know), while working out their marriage and family matters, that they are seeking counseling. Aggression like that doesn't just disappear in a few months.

till next time,