By now, you all have heard of Ray Rice knocking his then fiancee unconscious in an elevator…and the slap on the wrist by the NFL. We’ll get to the NFL later… (meanwhile, Mike Ditka is worried about Ray Rice’s income….seriously. Not concerned about Rice’s violence…just his paycheck.)
But for now, there are plenty of opinions out there–men who come to his defense and women whom have never been in an abusive relationship that don’t understand why Janay stayed.
And the Guardian’s Hannah Giorgis asks us not to feed an appetite for other people’s lurid trauma by watching the video of Ray assaulting Janay Rice, but to focus on her humanity and the humanity of other survivors of partner violence, to defend them from further victimization both from their abuser and from victim-blamers and tragedy spectators.
Yep. There was a woman in Indiana whom was kidnapped and the Associated Press ran a story with all the lurid details of the method of bondage, etc. I got that “ick” feeling of them wanting to titillate the readers who get off on that sort of thing.
And as far as the black thing–I think about what happened in Fort Wayne with the black man making comments about my body parts and my voice being sexy…and blocking my way into the building…he got the message somewhere that it was okay to do those things. The other black men thought it was okay. The black women that he had also intimidated and harassed just wanted to keep things quiet–don’t make any waves. They, too, have gotten the message that they are less valuable and subject to whomever’s sexual advances or intimidation. They most likely blame themselves for “asking for it”.
And just recently, a judge in Fort Wayne was called on his behavior when he suggested that a woman could be a great “phone sex operator”. Why did they think this was acceptable? Because our culture says it’s okay to describe women in sexual terms and see them only as sexual objects.
In this culture of violence and rape, women are still seen as possessions. Women are still seen as second class–less than. If she does assert herself, there are ten others trying to quiet her or take her down. Uppity women are still seen as bitches who need to get laid. You might recall the posts on Steubenville and others of women who tried to assert themselves or were assaulted while unable to give consent.
So it’s no surprise to me that Janay stayed and even married her abuser.
We have a culture that men feel they have a right to do as they please–whether it be to smack around their partner…or even kill her if she doesn’t do what he wants. Eliot Rodger’s misogyny is the best example of that sense of entitlement.
And then we have the bullying culture that actually bullies those who stand up for women whom have been raped.
Don’t make any waves.
Don’t upset the status quo.
Don’t question why.
Don’t assert your right to be recognized as a human being.
Don’t ask to be respected when you have boobs and hips and vagina…