The Right Wing’s Unhinged Reaction to the Idea that Janay Rice Is a Victim

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ray rice punch fiancee video
Now that Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice has been cut by his team and suspended indefinitely by the NFL for punching his then fiancee, Janay Palmer, in an elevator, the right wing media has done what we have come to expect from them, and blamed the victim.

This contrasts very strongly to the calls of a Democratic senator to inflict stiffer punishment on Rice, or to Keith Olbermann, who called NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell “an enabler” of men who beat women.”

Media Matters for America provides some prominent examples:

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Fox Contributor Ben Carson: Rice And Wife Both Need Help Because “She Subsequently Married Him.” On NewsMax TV, Ben Carson, a Fox News contributor, implied Rice’s wife was partly to blame for her abuse, saying she also “need[s] some help” for marrying Rice after the attack:

“I’m hopeful they will get some help for him,” Carson said, after being asked whether he agreed with the moves today by the team and the league. “I mean, obviously anyone who would do something like that needs some help.”

“And let’s not all jump on the bandwagon of demonizing this guy,” Carson continued. “He obviously has some real problems, and his wife obviously knows that, because she subsequently married him. So they both need some help. So rather than just jumping on a punitive bandwagon, let’s just see if we can get some help for these people.” [Mediaite, 9/8/14]

Fox & Friends: Rice’s Wife Marrying Him Is Like Rihanna Staying With Chris Brown, “Terrible Message.” On the September 8 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, hosts Steve Doocy, Anna Kooiman, and Brian Kilmeade condemned Rice but pointed out that Palmer married the athlete after the incident and compared it to Chris Brown’s beating of Rihanna, saying that was a “terrible message”:

DOOCY: We should also point out after that video — and now you know what happened in there — she still married him. They’re currently married.

KILMEADE: I mean, look at Rihanna went back to —

KOOIMAN: Chris Brown.

KILMEADE: — Yeah, Chris Brown right after and a lot of people thought that was a terrible message. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/8/14]

Rush Limbaugh: Janay Palmer “Did Follow Through, And She Did Marry The Guy Who Knocked Her Out.” On his September 8 radio show, Limbaugh continuously brought up the fact that Janay Palmer married Ray Rice after the incident.

LIMBAUGH: Now the obvious question behind the question. Why did she marry the guy, right? If she got decked like that.
[…]

So you ask why did she marry him? You know she went out, they had this joint appearance. She apologized too at his apology presser. What did she apologize for? For getting beat up? Nobody can figure that out. So chomp on that. She did follow through and she did marry the guy who knocked her out in the elevator at Atlantic City. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 9/8/14]

You might remember Rush Limbaugh is the guy who supports domestic violence because it upsets “Jurassic Park femininazis.”

This complaint that she married him despite being hit is all fascinating, because Phyllis Schlafly says the way for women to avoid domestic violence is to focus on marriage, not their career:

We all know that married men can still be violent to their families, but they are far less likely to be violent against women than are live-in boyfriends.

Why is this? It’s true that women who have found men who are already better partners are more likely to marry them, but it’s also true that marriage settles men down. Being married makes a man care more about his family’s expectations and future because he sees his family as enduring. It also makes him more faithful and committed to his partner. Marriage makes men directly protective of their wives, and living in a home with their daughters gives them the opportunity to be directly protective of them as well. Marriage also creates indirect protection for wives and daughters, because married women and their children tend to live in safer neighborhoods.

So what’s the answer for women who worry about male violence? It’s not to fear all men. It’s to reject the lifestyle of frequent “hookups,” which is so much promoted on college campuses today, while the women pursue a career and avoid marriage.

By this logic, Janay Palmer did the right thing by marrying Rice, and these people have no right to criticize her for doing that.

Social media has been as bad as the right wing media, with claims that “both are to blame,” that men are being “emasculated,” or even that she was the aggressor, for example, culled from Facebook:

Did nobody see her lunge at him? I’m sick of society saying women can do whatever they want but men can’t do a thing about it. I’m not condoning the behavior but they were both guilty!

or,

I don’t know, looks like she came at him, no reason he shouldn’t be allowed to defend himself

or,

I seen the video she asked for it she was in his face and struck him first man women it dont mater if im hit im giving it back to em.

or,

Lesson, if you gonna hit a man first make sure you can defend yourself.

As Mel Robbins wrote on CNN Opinion,

The Baltimore Ravens blamed her when they suggested in a tweet that she had played a role in the incident. The tweet, which was taken down on Monday, read: “Janay Rice says she deeply regrets the role that she played the night of the incident.”

What role was that exactly? Her role as punching bag? Her role lying unconscious? Her role, as this FOX News anchor said after seeing her punched, “in not taking the stairs.”

This is a world in which women have no right to complain about gender inequality if they don’t want to get punched. After all, it’s okay for men to punch each other, right? Wrong. That’s still violence and men don’t routinely punch each other to settle disagreements. If Ray Rice had punched another man in the elevator, he would be just as guilty.

The tendency to defend the man in such cases seems to be reflexive on the right, a knee-jerk reaction not only to loss of male privilege but to uppity women thinking they are equal to men, that men should not be able to discipline their wives as they might a pet. It would hardly be more shocking to see Republicans hand out choke chains to male attendees at their next national convention.

40 Replies to “The Right Wing’s Unhinged Reaction to the Idea that Janay Rice Is a Victim”

  1. This woman is currently in danger. Now that he’s lost his livelihood, he’s going to blame her again. He’s a sick abuser and she is a victim who has been trained to believe she can’t do better than him.

  2. People have to realize that bullying and blaming the victim are the standard operating procedures for the Right Wing. An unarmed teenager is murdered for buying Skittles while black and the Right Wing tries to turn the victim into the aggressor and a violent, drug dealing gang member. An unarmed man with his hands in the air is gunned down and the Right Wing falsely claims he robbed a store and falsely claims that he caused serious injury to the cop who killed him, And of course, in Washington, the Right Wing shuts down the government and blocks every job creation bill that has been proposed in the last six years and all we get is “Obama is a failure” (despite creating 10 million jobs and dropping the unemployment rate four full points). The Right Wing does not live in the real world. They live in a cave where dragging women around by the hair is normal and “respect” is a foreign word.

  3. This man has now lost his job. Sonner or later he is going to kill this woman. I hope he does not take it out on their child.

  4. I know that my comment will be going against the grain, however IMHO there is blame on both sides.

    Both of these people have some serious mental problems. Him for thinking he can control a woman by smashing her in the face and her for even thinking she needs to apologise for him smashing her in her face.

    She has, apparently, come to believe that if a man beats her it is her fault, That she did something wrong. There is a perfect example of this type of behaviour in the movie “Sleeping With the Enemy”. And he will always blame the woman by saying, “See what you made me do? I wouldn’t have hit you if you hadn’t done that.”

    I am not surprised that she married him, but this is a toxic relationship. If she continues to stay with him, the violence will continue.
    Especially, like one poster said, now that he is out of a job, he will blame her for that also. But she is going to have to come to the conclusion that she doesn’t deserve this kind of treatment.

  5. Well, I am reminded of the unfortunate Mr. Whittington, who had to go on TV and apologize to the nation for putting his face in front of Dick Cheney’s shotgun.

  6. That poor woman was bullied into marrying that SOB! I know the type very well. They believe that if they marry these A–holes that they worthy of their love and loyalty when in reality these dicks just want control and use fear and intimidation to get is. I hope Anna Kooimans ends up with a man like that because after that display….she deserves it!

  7. This is a tragic misunderstanding, fostered through an ignorance of culture.

    Mr. Rice is not to blame that you would hold him to the standards of your people.
    God made many different creatures and gave them diverse behaviors. We hate the predator, but did not God create the predator.

    Do not hate a thing for it’s nature, it is what it is. If Ms. Rice Chooses for to allow Mr. Rice to beat her brains out, such is her choice.

  8. Faux and the rest of the misogynist hate filled bullies need to feel like “REAL MEN” by beating up and knocking out women.

  9. She is playing it smart (in a way)….he might be pre-disposed to attacks on her. Now that she married him, he is locked in with his Assets and money to her. She will divorce him IF he does it again…then take him to the cleaners for all he’s got.
    She knows on which side her bread is buttered.

  10. “God made many different creatures and gave them diverse behaviors. We hate the predator, but did not God create the predator.”

    Ok, lets play this game, Godwin style. God made Hitler, to kill Christians and Jews, because they weren’t following His plan. All the horrors and depredations of that evil man, were God’s punishment for deviating from His vision for man. Don’t hate Hitler, as he was only the instrument of God’s wrath. Christians and Jews were to blame for their plight

  11. Oh, I see. Just because “god” created [Rice] the predator everybody is suppose to just let him slide?

    Dogs are predators. We put down dogs that attack people. THEY act on instinct and cannot reason as a sentient person. Yet you condone this dog [Rice] attacking a person. Is he not sentient? Can he not think beyond the attack mode?

    Isn’t it wonderful that your religious belief condones the beating of women because your “god” created them that way. Please, tell me which church you belong to so I can avoid it like the plague.

  12. “…the message is, when you’re in an elevator, there’s a camera.” Seriously? So all the douche got from the video was, if you’re in an elevator, you’re on Candid Camera so be careful where you do your dirty work.

  13. Ray now has no job & now he’s going to be home a lot more, with time on his hands and a grievance to nurse. So according to you if his assaults her again maybe even killing her, it’s no big deal because it’s in his nature? You are just as sick as he is. (imho)

  14. ‘Scuse? Predators, at least of warm-blooded species, don’t prey on their own kind, and any mammalian species that preys on its females is headed for extnction. And let us hear you sing that song when you are robbed, mugged, had your house burned down,or get raped, maimed, or murdered.

  15. Emmm…no. Men of that kind are plenty good at making sure their wives have neither the assets nor the liberty to initiate the divorce, and they are certain to lock their own assets down where they’re untouchable. And,as it appears there is a child… they’re quite good at getting custody of those and using them as hostages, too.

  16. I know I will get slammed for this an as a woman you will wonder why I feel this way. No woman ask for a beating. I been there, done that. But this lady also needs some help. Why she go at him that way? She also smacked him while he was leaning up on the wall before they headed to the Elevator. I happen to think, if your a woman an you don’t want beat up, don’t egg it on an certainly do not bum rush him, thinking nothing will happen to you. Him, he needs counseling in how to control/an not be spontaneous in striking out at people that way! I doubt if he cared rather it was a woman or man, he would have still struck out. But at the end of this Domestic Violence——–My punch line would be to say, THEY BOTH NEED A LOT OF HELP! THEY BOTH ARE AT FAULT! AN NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO STAND FOR BEING BEATEN< NO MORE THEN YOU SHOULDN"T BUM RUSH SOME ONE AN NOT THINK THAT PERSON WAS NOT GOING TO PUT YOU DOWN". Now you can all scream at me, he still didn't have the right to put …

  17. First thing to remember:
    One of the 14 defining characteristics of Fascism (to all of which the GOP adhere) is rampant sexism. Even worse is the fact that GOP women have joined in this sexism :( ssmdh
    Second:
    Fascist regimes like the GOP employ propaganda through their control of the mass media to fool people into thinking they’re not supporting Fascism.
    Third:
    Sadly, like most GOP Progressives and Moderates, too many battered women suffer from something the mental health field refer to as “cognitive dissonance”, where they simply won’t acknowledge the truth about their abusers. It’s painfully obvious that Mrs. Rice suffers from cognitive dissonance, as she went ahead and married Ray Rice after the assault so that she could employ “spousal immunity” and not have to testify against him in court. Of course, now that the recording of his assault is out, the Atlantic City authorities can proceed with prosecution w/o Janay Rice’s help.

  18. Evidently, Judith Iscariot, you think it is quite fine to repay a simple slap in the face with a knockout punch, followed by a thorough kicking, until the woman is dragged out like a corpse. And now I must wonder if you are what you represent yourself to be, or merely the puppet of a troll who has more socks than a millipede in December.

  19. It’s never right for a man to hit a woman in any circumstance because a man will always be stronger than the strongest woman. With that said, the first punishment/verdict against Ray Rice was far too light/easy. However, the new punishment/verdict is way too heavy/hard. His punishment should have fallen somewhere in the middle. 12/24 months suspension, anger management and community service working with abused women. He deserves a second chance.

  20. Abuse in not just hitting a person. I spent 7 years with a man that was mentally and emotionally abusive. He also used money to keep me in my “place”. It was 2 weeks after I finally broke free and left him that I realized that I could now do whatever I wanted to. I could go, read, do anything without needing his permission. I can only imagine what this, and other women, who are hit, kicked, and pummeled are going through. You believe your abusers lies, that you are worthless, you shouldn’t complain, you’ve got it good, where would you be without me, etc.

  21. People are the worst. The insistence that, “I am special and must be treated as such”, is ridiculous. All of you can clearly see the woman attacks him as well. Your reluctance to admit it, and one woman lying and saying he knocked her out then kicked her is sad. Women, and men on this site and throughout America seem to think a woman losing her temper and becoming physical is acceptable. However, for a man it is not. I was in a relationship for 16 years to one with this very same view. After I lost my temper once during one of her attacks because she became angry and I could not make it out of the house before she struck me continually with a metal object, I retaliated and was arrested. It is very simple, NO ONE, is allowed to strike another person. If you do and are also struck society has no right to demonize you. To attempt to lump every physical altercation between a man and woman as a man abusing a woman is WRONG. And all of you advocating this, know you are wrong. Stop it!

  22. It wouldn’t matter worth squat if he had responded that way to a man. You can’t respond to a slap in the face with a potentially lethal beating. You try and picture if he had done as much to an old man. I correctly characterized it. You watch out for all those evil cnts out there. They all have teeth in them, all over the world, and they’re all plotting, 24/7/365 to bite your dck off, just so they can be alpha.

    Meanwhile, can I recommend a red pill to you! It’s called bisocodyl.

  23. The red pill comment is cute, you seem to be one that feels you have the right to hit but not be hit back. Fact is it wouldn’t matter squat if she had not slapped him in the first place. Be you old man, or woman if you are an adult you know better than to hit others. When one hits others one takes the chance of making the other very angry and receiving a response.
    That response may not be what is expected. Since one knows better, one must accept the consequences that come with not adhering to common standards.

    Your comment speaks to the heart of your inability to see others as equal to you. You have no more rights others.

    I have no concern with plots against me. I left the abusive woman, applied the lessons learned when selecting a new mate; and its no longer an issue in my life. You on the other hand, seem to be destined for a knock on the head. You obviously feel its o.k. for you to hit others because, you’re a woman.

    I might suggest acidophilus for you.

  24. Either you actually know better than that about the law, or you lack the physical wherewithal to put your beliefs into practice, or you are writing this from inside the Big House. That is all.

  25. Reynardine, my house is big. So, very perceptive of you on that front. In terms of the what the law says, or what my physical ability is your message is muddled.

    I’m just guessing here, but are you saying the law says old people and women aren’t allowed to hit others. But, then your responses here don’t really support your belief in the law if that is what you mean. Your responses point out that no matter what, a man has no right to hit a woman. Though law says women can’t hit men, it generally is not the concept that is practiced in the majority of situations. I suppose we are all products of our experiences, so for me I can only speak about what I have experienced.

    In terms of me and what I’m physically capable of. I’m guessing that is again your feeble attempt at insult. Interestingly, you choose false bravado in an attempt to insult me. That speaks volumes about who you are. No need for me to try insult you.

  26. Emmm…call up Amtrak, because you can’t follow a train of thought.

    A normally misdemeanor battery is upgraded to a felony battery,and a felony to an aggravated felony,if committed against a disabled person or one over sixty-five. That’s under the Older Americans Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Most state laws track those provisions. No specific clause applies to women,but at common law,non-lethal force cannot be resisted with potentially lethal force, and both statutory and bench law incorporate this principle. I am not saying this for the benefit of you, who appear to be Hell-bent on violence,but for the sake of those who may be misled by your frothings.

    As for special protections, the only ones I enjoy are those granted to persons in my age group,whether men or women. If you live long enough, you may come to appreciate them, especially if your brutalized children become responsible for your care.

  27. wow..

    What actually happened: a woman lunges at a man; he throws a left jab. Because he is much stronger than her when that jab connects, it knocks her unconscious. Man, drags woman from elevator pretends he doesn’t know what happened.

    Reynardine’s interpretation:
    with no provocation, man brutally beats woman in elevator and kicks her almost killing her.

    You my friend have some pent up things happening in your head, that you should talk with someone up about.

    All that about a disabled person, or someone over 65 is you trying to win an argument you’re wrong on. I’m under 65 but old; and also disabled. I still have the ability to inflict damage on others. If I do, as I should, I’ll be held accountable for it.
    Being hell bent on violence? It seems to me you only see violence when men commit it, so I won’t accept you as an authority on the topic.

    My brutalized kids? You really are bad at insults. My kids are just fine; note how I still didn’t take the bait to insult…

  28. Men do not attack women. Men do not knock women out. You are defending someone who is less then a man, much like yourself

  29. Jason, you sound like a real gem. Watch the video inside the elevator. She was clearly knocked out cold, not a lie. My sympathies to any female you are in contact with.

  30. never said he didn’t knock her out cold; never said he was right for it, or someone lied about him knocking her out.

    What I am saying is, all of you fail to see what is clearly there in front of you. The woman hit him as well. You want to dismiss this because he is bigger.

    That is wrong; she played as much a role in this as he. To say that since he is a man and she is a woman, he is responsible to be the adult in this situation flies in the face of your whole argument. If its not possible to hold a woman accountable for her actions a situation like this, then they are what, children?
    The attitude is wrong. In my situation the ex knew this. Many men I know face this same situation. My ex attacked me, threw metal objects at me, hit me with metal objects to inflict as much damage as she could. She knew I could not retaliate for fear of arrest. Thats what I speak on. Just because you don’t want to hear it does not change the truth of it. Your validation of my manhood…not necessa…

  31. bebe, I’m no gem. I’m sure you aren’t as well. But, to the subject at hand read what I posted above. Just because I don’t share your point of view, you choose to assume I hit women.

    Fine; all that does is confirm my thesis. You, like many others in this situation, are incapable of rational thought.

    I don’t hit women, I don’t hit men, I don’t hit kids nor do I hit dogs or cats either..lol. In my past, a woman did provoke me after many years of her physical abuse to retaliate. It wasn’t with a knock out punch like this one. One day, I couldn’t escape and got caught pretty good with a metal object and lost it.

    I was exonerated after every neighbor who knew had seen her behave in this manner, testified on my behalf. She did it publicly, because she knew it was accepted in society; and they always saw me running to escape the punches. I finally left 14yrs ago when one day she slapped me while I held my very young child. The thought that slaps don’t hurt….they do in many…

  32. Either you (a) have no reading comprehension skills, or (b) you are dense to the point of being pitiful. That force cannot be resisted with disproportionate force has long been a principle even at common law. “Disproportionate” is defined by both the nature of the attack versus that of the response, and by the relative strength of the parties.

    My bias is that, before I retired, I practiced law. I am neither the first nor the last in my family to do so. I therefore reasonably believe that my position is correct and yours isn’t. However, if you insist upon proving your point, by all means beat the crap out of somebody and argue your position to a court and a jury.

  33. reyardine, given that I’m commenting on societal views, I’m pretty sure it’s you with a problem with comprehension. I mean you are a lawyer…right? So, perhaps you can figure out laws are a product of society.

    And of course, since its a law it has to be right. That’s sarcasm in case you’re not following along.

    You being a lawyer gives you no authority when discussing this matter. Our history is rife with laws being unfair. The courts are part of the problem.

    You speak of disproportionate, of course it is. She is smaller; that doesn’t change the fact that she can harm. In every one of these cases women are smaller. Using that standard is why your view is so canted. She tried to hit him, she didn’t make it because he was faster in this case. Yes he should not have knocked her out. Yes she should never have been slapping him either.

    That is not the message you want to give though. You want everyone to believe, “she’s just a woman and therefore harmless”. That simply…

  34. “After all, it’s okay for men to punch each other, right? Wrong. That’s still violence and men don’t routinely punch each other to settle disagreements.”

    Except that the pathetic American media rarely goes after the hollow headed muscle boy who attacks other men.

  35. The replies to your points, Jason, remind us all of the awful lengths to which people will go to defend their own world view, no matter how indefensible it might be. We should remember that Janay Rice herself has taken accountability for her actions in this horrible episode, though the media and others would like to deny her this right and insist that, like a child, she is incapable of having her own view. To Janay, the real enemy is the media and the loud mouthed opinions of the public ostensibly “defending” her and pushing their own agendas in what she considers a private matter. Why are we not respecting her opinion? The insidious nature of sexism reveals itself in the comments on this page. Apparently, a man must remain calm when attacked (high standard for behavior), we must NEVER question a woman’s actions in any way (very low standard for behavior), and we must tell a woman how she should feel about her victimization without regard to her own opinion (treating her like a chil…

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