Current Events: Ray Rice

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

On one hand, I’m following Sony Alpha Rumors and smartphone websites and updates. I’m thinking of ways to stabilize cameras for better video footage. Am I going to go grocery shopping at Giant, Safeway, or Whole Foods today? Oh. I have a Trader Joe’s gift card. Sweet.

On the other hand: shootings, unrest around the world, beheadings, war, civilian casualties, Ebola, the Middle East, Gaza, poverty, injustice, declining civility, increasing selfishness and egotism.

I try not to post anything political until I’ve had time to give it some thought.

In the meanwhile, smarter and famous-er people have written and spoken at length and from every point of view.

Of course, some of the reaction of the general public about anything newsworthy is … disheartening. Sometimes scary.

RAY RICE

That mess is crazy. He knocked her out. Then they got married. It’s obviously a dysfunctional relationship, at best. I don’t know either one of them, obviously, but I think it’s safe to say that they’re immature and hopefully they’ll get help and counseling.

That is NOT to say that Ray Rice was in any way justified. Everybody has a right to defend themselves with appropriate or reciprocal means, right. Appropriate level of response. But with his physique and abilitiles, being a pro football player, it’s like a fighter jet compared to a Ducati motorcycle.

I’m just going to assume that de-escalation was off the table.

#WhyIStayed

Like a lot of people I also wonder why she stayed. Why did she marry him after that?? There’s no way that was the first time something like this happened. That’s not victim blaming. That’s wanting to understand. It’s a reasonable question.

There are too many people out there who do blame women when that woman is abused or raped. I’m not denying that, but I think it’s critically important to not be politically correct to the point of laziness/convenience/avoidance. It’s important to distinguish between judgmental blame and open conversation about difficult subjects.

I read the #WhyIStayed twitter feed. I’ve had friends and loved ones who stayed with abusive significant others. You, as a friend, are powerless to do anything unless and until they reach a point of … I don’t know. Wanting to escape and to reclaim their lives and freedom. Nothing you say will convince them. No amount of reason or reassurance. That’s not the way it works. And sometimes they’re drawn to abusive men and vice versa. They may go from one to the next.

It’s clear that anyone in that situation needs help and support but it’s also clear that there’s some very unhealthy state of mind involved. There’s the messed up abuser psychology and there’s the messed up state of mind that causes one to succumb to the “role” of victim.

It’s a trap. Trapped with the abuser due to financial and logistical realities, kids, family, sense of obligation, etc. But also a mental trap. They get beaten — physically or emotionally — down smaller and smaller, further into themselves and away from the world. Away from healthy interactions.

That’s how abusers work. They manipulate and isolate. It’s like they’re emotional toddlers with the cunning of a predator. Wildly emotional for better and then for worse. Insecure, jealous, angry. Often addicted to drugs or alcohol which fuels the cycles. I guess they need help, too. Not without consequences for their actions, though.

#WhyIHitHer

Someone said we should be asking the men — and they are mostly men — why they abuse. #WhyIHitHer

That’s definitely the question at hand. They need to be asking themselves that and/or explaining it to a judge.

But while they’re trying to figure that out (or not, probably) they aren’t the ones who will be killed. Or whose children and family will be annihilated.

So women who are being abused need the help and wherewithal and fortitude to get their lives back, which can be a life threatening undertaking on its own.

I heard that in DV cases, the NFL makes players go to counseling. Then the sanctions get heavier. I didn’t know that. Assuming that there are legal implications as well it seems reasonable. I mean, in the Rice case his wife is is defending him. I believe in second chances. I’m just skeptical when the institution involved, which is a business, is more concerned about profit and outward appearances.

A lot of light is shining into the dark, noxious, sludge of violence against women, as it should be. Unfortunately, the woman in this case isn’t consenting to being the one to shine that light.

That video is not entertainment and shouldn’t be shown on blast like that. Then again, age of the internet. Once something is out there, it’s out there.

I heard a radio show say that she was uncomfortable with Ray Rice being the poster boy for domestic abuse. Because he’s black, is what she was saying, and she resents black people being used to represent dysfunction and criminality. That’s how I interpreted her statement, anyway.

But hey. He did it. In public. It’s on video and it’s awful to see. Whether it’s “fair” or not is irrelevant.

I wonder what comes next. Like, will this situation help anyone? Will there be an uptick in reports of domestic violence? Will people be more likely to intervene?

Or take video?

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