“This undue process happened because it was comforting to think there were two sides to this story. Many people didn’t really want to see that video. They wanted to believe Rice was attacked by Palmer and did something to warrant being punched in the face. From the moment part of the video became public over the summer until Monday morning, it was easy to put some blame on Janay Palmer.
The woman always gets the burden of proof and the burden of pain. The woman is always cast as the gold digger, the mentally imbalanced stalker, the inappropriate dresser. The woman is always the provocateur.
If Palmer didn’t have her privacy invaded – if Rice’s punch happened in their non-videotaped home – he would still be a hero and she would still be the hero’s suffering wife.
Place the blame on any institution here: the Panthers or Ravens, the NFL, the legal system, or the media. But this isn’t an institutional failure. It’s a societal failure. We don’t believe women. We think they’re wrong and we have to be convinced they are right. It took weeks of humiliation and a videotape before Janay Palmer got some justice, and it isn’t much justice.”
We need to take a good, long look at ourselves, at our culture, at our values, and decide what kind of world we want to live in. Is a star football player really more valuable than a woman’s life and well-being? How much longer are we going to accept this narrative of blaming the victim? When are we going to start holding men accountable?