Like everyone else, I was shocked to see a video of Ray Rice punching his wife into unconsciousness, then dragging her limp body out of an elevator. That happened last February. They weren’t married when this assault happened. But they are now. This woman still went ahead and married him. Thankfully, there’s been enough of an outrage about Rice’s behavior that he was sacked by the Baltimore Ravens immediately. Then I see this as part of the CNN article:
“Later that month, a grand jury indicted Rice on a charge of third-degree aggravated assault, and the charge against Janay Rice was dropped. The couple were married the next day.”
Apparently, experts are warning that the outside world shouldn’t judge her too harshly. Really??? Because this headline here doesn’t lean me towards much sympathy here. To be fair, I have no idea (thank goodness) what is going on there. I don’t actually want to know. My guess is that she’s an abused lady and perhaps she doesn’t have a way out. Stand-by-your-man may be the only defense she has for survival behind closed doors. I don’t know. What I do care about though is what the message is to the world. Get beaten up and still marry the guy? That being knocked unconscious by someone who is supposed to love you is normal? How is it that this has become mainstream?
Just a few days ago, a woman told me how her young daughter, who is now an adult, was having a problem at school when she was 9. A boy was bullying her. When the teachers and parents got together to discuss it, somehow the conversation revealed that the boy actually liked her daughter. And that was the end of the story. As if liking her made his behavior OK. It left me speechless. I’d love to say that’s an isolated instance, but it’s not. I’ve watched adults on the playground say something similar when a boy is mean to a girl and for the life of me, I do not understand. When someone is unkind to you, mean to you emotionally or physically, that is a sign to get the hell out of dodge. That person is dealing with emotional baggage that no child should be carrying. At no point should male aggression toward a female be OK. Likewise female to male aggression.
Comments such as, “Oh, he must like her.” need to be shut down. That is how this crap starts. Our children don’t need the notion that horrible behavior is somehow forgivable because he fancies her. That it should be tolerated, because, you know, he likes her. What we all need to be doing is ensuring our kids understand that they should never be on the receiving end of this. Never. Start insisting that they be treated better. Start instilling that they need to demand better treatment for themselves. That under no circumstances should they settle for anything less. Start now. When they are young. So that when you aren’t standing next to them, they will be able to stand up for themselves, as teenagers and then as adults.