How Ray Rice Shows That Domestic Violence Is A Man’s Problem

This week, Ray Rice was cut by the Baltimore Ravens, just hours after TMZ published a video of the running back assaulting his then-fiancé Janay Palmer in an elevator. And not only was she hurt physically (Rice punched her in the face), she was humiliated. She was humiliated by Rice—who covered her legs up as she lay on the elevator after he knocked her unconscious. She was humiliated by the NFL and Rice’s team, as each did nothing to assist her and called the incident a “distraction” for Rice (and let’s remember that this assault happened in February 2014). And she was shunned and humiliated by the legal system—which also wouldn’t assist, with Rice’s lawyer hitting her with everything he had… including blaming her for the assault (claiming the 208 lb running back was “defending himself”). 

Should she have married him after this event? HELL no. She should have left.. FAST. And that is part of what needs to be highlighted here. 

The scary part: Janay Palmer is not alone. Women get hurt, threatened, coerced, and abused every single day—the details of which I will not type out in this rant. Not because it's not important for awareness (because it is). Not because it makes me physically sick to think about and discuss these things (because it does). I don't want to focus on the woman's side of these problems... because these behaviors are not the problems of women. Yes, these issues impact women (in profoundly ugly ways), but they reflect the deep-rooted issues of (some) men.




Men who are broken, insecure, controlling, mentally screwed up, and violent. Men who need to compensate for their own shortcomings and lack of real strength and masculinity by physically and mentally intimidating and inflicting pain on those might not be physically strong enough to defend themselves against a onslaught of abuse—be it mental or physical.

By calling these "women's issues", we are adding insult to injury by subliminally blaming women and asking them to work through what these men put them through. Stop it. Women in these situations aren't at fault. Sure, they may stay too long in the wrong relationship... but through physical and mental intimidation, low self-esteem, belittling, and humiliation, these women are oftentimes coerced into staying and need a lifeline to escape. Stop calling these issues "women's issues".




Men who are vacant of empathy, men who are emotionally bankrupt and lack any measurable humanity. In short: horrors of human beings. Women caught up in these situations are first victimized, and then quietly villainized. Lay the accountability where it belongs: With these male cowards who are only men because of the gender they were assigned at birth.




I know, I know. I'll get a rush of email from men who will angrily spout: "It's not all men, Charles! You are blaming all men! I don't hit women! I don't mentally abuse them! This isn't a problem with me!" Quite to the contrary, Brother. This is your problem, just like it's my problem. As men, we are supposed to stand up with honor for what is right... for what is just... and protect those who are not able to protect themselves. That's what men do. So if you are comfortable resting on your passive laurels, comfortable with the assertion that because you aren't doing it then it doesn't matter... then you are a silent accomplice. Maybe if it were your daughter, or mother, or sister, you wouldn't be so quick to bury your head in the sand and claim that you have no involvement.




Perhaps I’ll get inevitable: “Charles, you are full of sh*t! Domestic violence is 50/50 these days! There are thousands of men who are abused at the hands of women every day!” That might be true… but it hardly nullifies my points here. Women are being hurt. The fact that some men are also doesn’t make it better or even… it makes it all wrong.

Men: STAND UP. Stop sitting down and lowering your head, pretending this is someone else's issue to solve. As we pour more and more and more time, money and effort into programs that help these women pick up the broken pieces of their lives after they have experienced abuse, we are continually failing to recognize that we are too damned late. Where is the accountability before these women are hurt, their life paths fundamentally altered without their consent? We are still focused on—and attempting to fix—the symptom. It's time to cure the sickness. Wake up, men. Assign your sense of masculinity to a sense of self-worth, esteem, honor, integrity, and courage... which also includes to stand up and stare back into the face of adversity to stop these broken cycles of blatant abuse and emotional abandonment. You, I, we are all responsible to change this. And as to anyone who refuses to stand up and alter the present for women in abusive environments? I demand that you SIT DOWN so you aren't in my way as I strive toward change.

MEN: Want to make a change? Donate; not just your cash, but also your time to bettering life for those who have been affected by abuse. Protect your daughters by being present… by being a father… by treating her mother right, regardless of you are still married to her or not. Instill in her a sense of self-esteem and self-worth. That way if she meets the wrong man, she will leave without taking damage. And discuss the issues of abuse and violence; don't hide from them. By acknowledging they exist, we can embrace it, dispel it, and finally, discard these disgusting behaviors once and for all.