Stand By Our Women
Even When She Stands By Her Man
I haven’t watched the video. It’s enough that I can imagine it.
My first instinct was to sympathize with Janay and worry for her safety.
But what was floating in the internet ether was judgment and condemnation:
- She hit him!
- She married him the day after he punched her!
- She wants his money!
- She’s defending him!
My second instinct was to sympathize with Janay and worry for her safety.
I read #WhyIStayed.
I read #WhyILeft.
I looked at the photos. You know, the ones where he looks like a cocky bastard and she looks like a passive and withdrawn victim.
I read more articles. Each one turning up yet another incident of an NFL player abusing his wife. I mean killing his wife. The list was growing longer.
My third instinct was to sympathize with Janay and worry for her safety.
I wondered what she was doing this weekend. I googled it. How about that! They’re in the next town over at the local high school where he was a football star. They’re watching the local high school game. He’s being cheered as a hero and there is a photo of her laughing, carefree as can be. Hmm, it must be a good day.
My fourth instinct is to sympathize with Janay and worry for her safety.
To me, it’s not hard to imagine what might have happened. They met as teenagers. She was young and not financially secure. He was a charismatic football star. They were attracted to each other and began a passionate relationship. He showered her with gifts and status and excitement. She became more and more wrapped up in him and his career, devoting herself to Ravensnation and naming their daughter Rayven. Then the infatuation ended. The realities of life, being a parent, negotiating the different wants of two distinct humans intruded. Maybe he didn’t like what she was wearing. Maybe she wanted to see a friend. Maybe he didn’t want to “babysit.” Maybe she didn’t want to have sex. Who knows?
I bet the elevator incident was not the first time he hit her. I bet it will not be the last time he hits her.
What happens now? What is she doing today? Is today a good day?
I sympathize with Janay and worry for her safety.
Domestic violence is not the victim’s fault. The choice to be abusive lies solely with the abusive partner: The National Domestic Violence Hotline. 1-800-799-7233.
Image Credit: NoMore.org