Would Ray Rice be in such deep shit if he had knocked out a man in that elevator?
Of course what he did was wrong, even criminal, but the indignation splattered everywhere is about how a man hit a woman, not how a man hit another person. Obama jumped on the bandwagon, saying, "“Hitting a woman is not something a real man does…” I understand the incident may be an indication of deeper issues around domestic violence, but the implication is maybe it’s OK to hit another man.
That’s a great question. My wife and I just chatted about this. We both believe that Rice is a POS for what he did, that his fiancé posed no real threat to him with those ineffectual attempts to hit him or punch him or whatever she was trying to do.
But I asked my wife the same hypothetical. Suppose it had been a man in the elevator, same level of threat, same ineffectual attempts to attack Rice. I believe my reaction to Rice dropping him with a left hook could have well been, “That dude @#$%ed with the wrong guy. Maybe next time he’ll know better.” I might have considered the fact that maybe the guy was a pipsqueak, maybe Rice could have handled it differently. But I don’t think I would have. I’m pretty sure my reaction would have been, “You don’t want a pro athlete to knock you out with one punch? Don’t try to hit him, bub.”
My wife basically agreed, and neither of us is sure we’re not hypocrites or sexist (or something).
The analogy is a little weak, since Rice wouldn’t be married to a random guy in the elevator. Personal space rules are different for people you’re in a romantic relationship with then random schmoes. Some weirdo starts slapping me in the cheek on the elevator, I think its reasonable to feel threatened he might escalate further. If I’m arguing with my wife or husband and he/she slaps me on the cheek, that’s not OK, but I don’t think it justifies coming back with a roundhouse to the head.
The random male would not be dependent upon Rice either. Chances are good that she had no place to stay, no one to call, no way to get home -or indeed home to go to- absent Rice in her life. As such, she went much further in the argument than a stranger could ever be reasonably motivated to do.
I also think it’s reasonable to state that Rice is capable of more than one strength of punch. He could slap her back just as gently as she hit him. He could push, or restrain, he has a myriad of choices here outside a simple “punch in the face as hard as you can.” Even with a random male, it’s not necessary to pull out a bazooka in response to a Swiss army knife.
He had a right to respond when attacked. He had a responsibility to respond appropriately.
For those who haven’t viewed the footage, his subsequent actions are also deplorable. He half drags her limp body out of the elevator, leaving her feet in the path of the door to retrieve her shoe. he continues to try and drag her until stopped by what appears to be a security guard.
Upon being confronted by the guard he lifts and shakes her, and forces her into a sitting position where she appears to be groggy but coming around. He is still placing her throughout in a dangerous spot with no regard at all for the fact that the doors could close and harm her. He shows no sign of concern for her well being, despite her having hit her head and her neck having been snapped back by the railing on the the way down. By moving her at all he could have exacerbated serious injury to her spine. It’s hard to imagine a professional athlete not knowing that first rule of traumatic injury.
Well, you’re fighting the hypothetical then. Form your own if you’d like. I think most of us have the imagination to conjure up a scenario where some much-smaller guy “attacks” another man where it’s clear to the other bigger guy that there’s no real threat posed. So, if you can envision such a scene, you may well have a different reaction than mine. Which is fine, of course. But my reaction would in all likelihood be, “Don’t @#$% with a bigger guy if you don’t want to risk getting dropped with a left hook.”
Or to clarify it from the other side: If a stranger who was a woman tried the same ineffectual slapping at Ray Rice and he lowered the boom, I would still think he was a world-class dickhead.
A stranger comes at me like that in an enclosed space, there is no telling what I might do, even if that stranger is a tiny. It would get my fight or flight response up, and flight is impossible, leaving only submission or fight. I know enough tiny female black belts that I might do the correct thing and curl up in a ball.
The thing here is that he knows her well. Her attacks are an embarrassment to the art of ineffectual attacks. He drops her with one punch he doesn’t even put his weight behind (lucky for her) and then leaves her on the floor trying to decide what to do. Eventually he decides to marry her.
Having seen the fight, he didn’t start it, he wasn’t excessive, but he was kind of callous with the way he left her on the floor.
I’m against hitting women, but this is not the poster child case for it. I’m also against hitting men. Children too.
In this culture it is inappropriate for men to be violent towards women. But it is taken far less serious for men to be violent towards other men and women to be violent towards both women and men. So if Ray Rice had punched a man, or if Ray Rice’s fiance had gotten beaten up by a woman nobody would care.
Also a man can pay a woman to beat up another woman for him and that doesn’t result in very much social outrage.
I am not condoning what Ray Rice did in any way shape or form, but don’t elevators have safety features that keep the doors from closing on a person or object? The doors have “bumpers” in them that sense resistance and immediately open the doors. Many is the time I’ve stuck my arm between the closing doors in an effort to catch an elevator at the last second, or a passenger in the elevator will hold the doors open for me.
Can’t say I agree. I don’t think the rules as to what is considered a violent attack should be suspended because you are in a relationship with someone. Why wouldn’t it go both ways? Let’s say a man starts slapping his wife in the face, but not quite hard enough to really cause permanent injury. Would she not have a right to defend herself? Personally, I think she would be entitled to kick him in the nuts hard enough to ensure he never has children.
Look at the video and tell me what you think. He punched her after she ineffectively tried and may have succeeded in punching him a couple of times, the second after he retreated. He punched her in self-defense, not nearly as hard as he could have. Take a look. If I’m on a jury, he gets acquitted if that is the evidence.
As much as I’d like to jump on the bandwagon, the truth is that this isn’t a criminal act on his part, it is on her part, and everybody is wrong. He should not have been suspended at all.
I’d like to think that I’d maybe push her away and wouldn’t do this, but I wasn’t there. He hit her after being attacked a couple of times. Not hard. She was knocked unconscious.
It is not cool for her to have attacked him. He was just defending himself.
Self defense should come from a reasonable fear of bring harmed. Had she been significantly muscular or stronger, armed, or multiple attackers he’d be right to use more force. Her threat was small and he could have simply turned his back, held her in a body hold, pressed the button for the next floor and stepped off.
The measure is not if he beat her as hard as he could have. His response was so violently over the top to be negligent. Given that this was also someone he purported to love, it is revolting in its callous disregard for her well being.
He was not acting in self-defense because his response was far out of proportion to the threat. The fact that he wasn’t concerned about his own safety is further supported by his actions immediately after knocking her out: he nonchalantly hauled her limp body out of the elevator, like he was just trying to dump her somewhere.
That shows to me that he was simply tired of dealing with her and got angry, not concerned for his safety.
I’m not agreeing with his actions in knocking her out, of course, but at that point she was unconscious, so the only 2 choices I can think of are 1) leave her on the elevator or 2) pull her off of the elevator. I don’t think his level of nonchalance is something that can be determined just from the video.
I honestly don’t think he would have even been in as much shit if he had a fight with a women assuming she was legitimately attacking him AND she wasn’t his significant other. If it was just some strange stalker fan who got into the elevator arguing with him, hitting her would not have warranted the same reaction. Many people would still have hated him, but I don’t think he would have become he pariah he is now. It wasn’t just that his victim was a woman, it was that it was someone he supposedly loved/loves.
I think what largely did him in was the fact that it was domestic violence, that people generally assume he has done it before, that he seems to have initiated and instigated the altercation, that he spit on her multiple times, that he didn’t seem to react to his knocking her unconscious and possibly killing her, and that he dragged her body around like a sack of shit he didn’t want to be burdened to touch. It was the lack of empathy, dismay, and appropriate response that really turned people (including me) against him.
Yes, there is an often justifiable double standard regarding men hitting women, but Rice’s situation was informed more by other things.