So yeah I got into a stupid debate yesterday with a stupid person (I assume he’s a guy but who knows so I’ll just go with person) about this whole Ray and Janay Rice elevator knock out thing. It happened in the comments of an article on Thought Catalog, Ray Rice’s Wife, Janay, Says To Lay Off, Is She Right To Demand, that I just happened to come across. It has since been made private so I can only view it anymore from within my Disqus dashboard. I had commented first saying that I hadn’t known anything about this incident since I don’t normally follow sports or celebrity news. I just happened to click on this article and watched the video. I was immediately outraged. I was outraged because of the force Ray Rice used when he punched Janay. I was outraged because he could have hurt her very badly and he didn’t even seem to care.
I scrolled down to read some of the other comments after my original one and came across this:
The comment that started the thread says “She hit him first. Was he wrong? Yes. But women need to stop thinking that just because they are female they get a free pass to hit men. Especially when this whole feminist movement is going on. If you want equal rights, you will be treated equally. Common sense you hypocrites”.
I responded by saying that I don’t think it’s about women thinking they have a free pass. Both men and women should not be hitting anyone and neither has a “free pass”, ever! I think the issue most people have is about size and strength. Men are often bigger than women, and are often the perpetrator in domestic violence situations such as these. Those same men tend to cause more damage in their violence than women do is reverse situations. Ray is clearly much bigger than Janay and the force he used in retaliation was much more than could have used. The force he used is also more than what was necessary to defend himself and get away. My point was that he could have really hurt her. He could have killed her.
Her actions were wrong I suppose. It’s hard to judge but it seemed to me like they must have been arguing before. She swatted at him a few times too and it even seemed like she was coming at him to hit him some more in the elevator. She shouldn’t have been doing that because it’s not a healthy way to solve problems and hitting another person is wrong.
Then the stupidity started. This “visonary_23” person responded to me by saying that assuming “men are stronger than women” in domestic violence situations is the same as saying it other situations that require physical strength, like in the police force or firefighting. This is very stupid statement for two reasons. For one, in my previous comment I used the term “tend”. When I say tend I am talking about “on average” not “always”. So there are some men who are smaller than some women, because of that there are series of fitness tests that must be completed in career fields such as police officer or firefighter. Some women can pass these tests and some women cannot. Some men can pass these tests and some men cannot.
The second reason is because, like I said before, in most cases of domestic violence between men and women the man IS bigger and stronger and so he is the one being told to restrain himself. I doubt Janay is capable of knocking Ray out cold. Her slaps would not have done him any permanent damage nor could they have killed him. He on the other hand was clearly capable of doing those things, just like a lot of men who hit women. He should have restrained himself.
Visionary_23 continued to argue with me. I don’t really understand what was wrong with my statement, or what exactly this person didn’t agree with. He seemed to think men should not have to make snap judgments about whether or not they are bigger than a woman and restrain themselves. He thought it was weird to think that in cases of domestic violence the man (who uses greater force) is demonized but in cases where men would benefit in career choice men and women should be viewed as equal. He even got into what was the acceptable height, weight, BMI difference before a man could hit a woman. This guy was truly a douchebag.
In a roundabout way I think he was trying to accuse me of only thinking Ray was wrong because he had a penis which just isn’t true. I also think he somehow got the idea that I was excusing her actions. I don’t know how he came to that conclusion when I repeatedly stated that she was wrong too. I tried to explain that if the roles were reversed and I saw a large woman beating the crap out of a man much smaller than her I would feel the same way. It really does come down to size and force for me. When any person acts excessively toward someone who is smaller than them I think they are a coward who shows no respect for other people nor do they have any self restraint. In short they are assholes.
After that he kept going on about how if women are considered “weaker” in domestic violence situations then they should also be considered weaker in the career field too. Either that or consider them equal and let them work “man” jobs and let them get beat up in domestic violence situations. I got tired of it and replied by asking him if he really thought Ray didn’t know he was bigger and stronger than Janay? I explained again that I was not saying she wasn’t wrong, I was only saying Ray used excessive force and that isn’t ok because it could have resulted in brain damage or death for Janay. Watching the video there is clearly a point where Ray could have just walked away. Hell there are multiple points where he could have walked away, he chose instead to use his full strength to knock his girlfriend out cold.
And it continued. He was still trying to get a different answer out of me about women being police officers and firefighters. I had since realized I was talking to not only and idiot but an idiot who hated women. I thought of those “Men’s Rights Groups” and how horrible they are. I scrolled around to see if this person was saying the same things to anyone else and sure enough he was. He responded to many people saying that there was a feminist lynch mob going after Ray and that feminists excuse women’s actions because of vagina’s and “equality”. I tried one more time to let him know I was not excuse her actions and that the issue was about size and strength and excessive force. Issues that are present in a majority of domestic violence situations. Then I asked him to stop.
His repsonse was just as idiotic as all of the other responses. I wanted so much to reply again but I knew he needed the last word in order to feel like he won. This would have gone on and on if I said anything else and I knew I would never have changed his mind. He wanted an answer out of me that I was never going to give because the answer he wanted was wrong. He wanted me to say that woman are equals and Janay got what she deserved. He wanted that or he wanted me to admit that women were a weaker sex and unfit for “men’s work”. These two situations are not the same and neither are the dynamics.
I went to bed upset over this. I never get into these sorts of internet arguments. I was mad at him for being sexist and for bothering me. I was mad at myself for wasting my time and emotions on an asshole. I don’t think I said anything that was wrong. I think I made a fair assessment of the situation and I found that they were both wrong but Janay was the one in more danger. I wrote this because I needed to examine the conversation and ask for the opinions of my readers. I don’t know exactly what it is I want to know from all of you. Your opinion on any of it would be welcomed.