Do Women Bear Responsibility In Some Domestic Violence Situations?

By OckyDub | Posted Jul 28 2014 | 32 Comments  

Domestic Violence

The last time I attempted to have this conversation in an open forum, I was attacked by feminist and ultra-liberal PC police. Instead of having a logical discussion and exchange of thoughts, the response was knee jerk emotional mantras that centered around “violence is never the answer”, “you should never hit a woman” and “men should just walk away”. It seems like when it pertains to domestic violence situations, the usual “I am woman, hear me roar-I’m a goddess-I’m a strong woman” speak turns into “women are weak, helpless damsels when it comes to dealing with big-ole-bad- misogynistic men”, when in reality nothing could be further from the truth.

Statistically speaking, the overwhelming majority of the time men are the abusers in domestic violence situations. Having witnessed my father BEAT his girlfriend; I know this first hand (more on that bastard later). I think it’s safe to say universally; men are physically stronger than woman. Therefore, most would say, the burden is upon men not to become violent or retaliate violently in any given domestic situation. You know the “with power comes responsibility” spill. I think this is the normal mindset and thought process of the populace, ok I got it. Enter ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith’s domestic violence rant. In a nutshell his message was “domestic violence is wrong and you should never hit a woman but it’s also the woman’s responsibility not to provoke a man that could cause or initiate domestic violence situations to occur”. OH MY GOD THE HORROR!

Granted Smith’s (who has since apologized repeatedly) attempt at communicating this message was at the very least cringe worthy but I understood the message very clear. His monologue came as a result of the NFL suspending Baltimore Ravens’ RB Ray Rice for two games without pay for his arrest in February of this year. Rice was arrested for domestic violence charges against his then fiancé. Video footage shows Rice dragging his fiancé (Janay Palmer) off an elevator after striking her unconscious. Palmer was also arrested but charges were dropped. According to Rice’s layer “Ray wasn’t the first person that hit and Ray was getting repeatedly hit, but just Ray hit harder, fired one back and hit harder”. If Janay Palmer was the aggressor and stuck first, all things being equal, should the charges against her been dropped? If this was two gay men in this situation would the charges have been dropped against the weaker man? Or what about two lesbian women; would it had just been dismissed as a cat fight?

In the words of Whoopie Goldberg, “if you don’t want to get hit, don’t hit nobody”. This is not making an excuse for domestic violence; this is saying you need to take responsibility for your own actions. Why isn’t anyone questioning, critiquing and psychoanalyzing the provoking actions of women in these situations? Why is it when you attempt to question, critique and psychoanalyze women’s actions in these types of incidences you are met with outrage, declarations of misogyny and “oh so you’re saying she was asking for it”?

Can We Be Honest?
During a domestic violence call to 911 that result in the police showing up, one of two things will occur? If there is no evidence of domestic battery or assault, the man will be asked to leave, if there is evidence the man will be arrested. Who doesn’t know this? People can be conniving, deceitful and dishonest and the last time I checked, women are people. Some women can be conniving, deceitful and dishonest. Some women are the aggressors and do provoke men by putting their hands on the men first; but does that make it okay because women are the weaker sex and for the most part have the police and court system on their side? Yet we can’t admit or talk about this because “it’s blaming the victim”. Now if your first thought is to zero in and focus on real legitimate cases of innocent women being brutalized by the men in their lives and not lend a thought to what was just stated, then this conversation isn’t for you.

In the case of Ray Rice and Janay Palmer, if she in fact did strike him first, what gave her that right? If your next thought is to say “well it’s not an issue because a woman is not as physically strong as a man”, my reply would be what if the woman is the physically strong and powerful Serena Williams? What if she is dating a man and decides (out of anger) to punch her male partner in the face; does he get to defend himself? Or does he get his ass whipped because a man should never hit a woman?

For those that say, “A female can never provoke a male into violence. He should just walk away” I call horse shit. Need an example? Watch the video below please.

This type of behavior from some females just doesn’t go away because they graduate high school. This is learned dysfunctional behavior that can and will possibly lead to domestic violence situations in the future.

You Can’t Have It Both Ways
If a man cannot be provoked and never hit a woman, then a woman cannot be provoked and strike a man. The world laughed as Solange Knowles attempted to repeatedly attack and hit her brother-in-law Jay Z in an elevator. The only thing that kept her and Jay Z safe was a body guard holding the aggressor Solange back. Why the societal double standard to the point where Seth McFarlane gets criticism for his musing concerning domestic violence on his show Family Guy but Saturday Night Live gets praise and accolades for musing domestic violence concerning Solange and Jay Z? This is an example of how lightly our society takes domestic violence when it concerns females being the aggressors. When anyone attempts to shed light on these double standards they get marginalized.

Red Flags and Taking Responsibility
I never met my father until I was 8 years old. During my early childhood I heard the stories of how violent and abusive my father was. No I’m not talking about a slap here or a push there, nope; these were beatings. In addition to the beatings, there were random acts of violence. He once pushed my mother down a large hill after slapping her during a family picnic. He once burned her with an iron and he once pushed her out of his moving car in the street while she was pregnant.

There is another reason why the Ray Rice situation raises flags for me. During a conversation years ago with my mother about her earlier dealings with my father, she revealed something. Before she moved in with my father, before she became pregnant and before she got married to him, my father showed her his true colors while they were dating. One night my father become angry with my mother for not being ready on time for a date; the result? He punched her in the face. She continued to date and months later, she married him. Ray Rice rendered his fiancé unconscious with a punch to the face. Janay Palmer married Ray Rice one day after Rice was indicted by a grand jury on third-degree aggravated assault for striking her unconscious.

The public is now upset at the “slap on the wrist” two game suspension the NFL has given Rice. What the public is not talking about is the punishment came after a request for leniency to the NFL commissioner by way of Rice’s wife Janay Palmer. The now Mrs. Janay Palmer Rice stated “this was a onetime incident that hadn’t happened before or since”. She urged the commissioner “to not ruin Rice’s image and career with his sanctions”. The pitch forks and torches media and public are upset at the NFL for not taking domestic violence more seriously but could it be argued that Mrs. Janay Palmer Rice is the one who isn’t taking domestic violence seriously? The harsher punishment the NFL could have possibly given Rice was negated by Janay Palmer Rice’s pleas  of mercy to the NFL commissioner. Maybe her thinking was that any long term suspension would negatively impact her and her family financially? Is anyone asking the question as to why she would marry a man that knocked her unconscious and dragged her across a floor? Maybe someone did, and maybe she sees dollar signs instead of dignity. Maybe she thinks like my mother did decades ago. When I asked my mother why she continued dating my father after he punched her in the face, she stated “I felt it was my fault and thought he wouldn’t do it again”.

The years of violence and abuse took its toll on my mother. Unbeknownst to my father, months previously my mother had planned our escape. She decided one night after being abused it was time to implement her plan. While my father was in the bed asleep, my mother advised me to stand in the corner in the other room and not move. She proceeded to go into the dark bedroom with a loaded shotgun, aimed it at my father and pulled the trigger. I was allowed to stay with relatives until my grandmother and uncle bailed my mother out of jail. My father survived and shortly thereafter he and my mother divorced. We moved back home to live with grandma and my father moved on to commit more acts of abuse upon women.

The point of this was not to undermine women who suffer at the hands of abusive men. My two arguments are to point out that first; our words and actions have consequences. When we make light of situations like with what happened between Solange and Jay Z, we tell girls and women that it’s okay to attack and hit men because you will not be held accountable for your violent actions. We also say regardless if you are the aggressor you are still the victim. In my opinion this is a very dangerous and careless message to send.

Secondly, we all have a responsibility to understand that people treat us the way we allow them to treat us. When someone shows you who they really are, you have to pay attention. Thinking you can change someone by investing and fostering a relationship with them after they have shown you their violent tendencies is your decision. In no way am I advocating that in returned a person deserves to get abused; however I am saying the person does have to take some responsibility for purposely committing to a potentially violent and deadly situation.



About the Author

Octavius is a founder and editor of Cypher Avenue. He's here to help speak for us and show the world that masculine gay / bisexual men of color are not a part of the stereotypical gay normal that is seen and fed to the masses. No...we are a distinct breed, filled with character and pride. Cypher Avenue is here to show the world how we are different.

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32 Comments Feel Free To Join The Cypher.

  1. PrincetonG | July 28th, 2014

    Women only bear responsibility in a violent situation with a man when she hits him. Plain and Simple.

    • RolandG
      rolandgarros28 | July 28th, 2014

      I wish is was that cut and dry home skillet but I’ve seen women literally hold men hostage inside their apartments/homes and refuse to let them leave just because they’re pissed about something. And when he goes to move her out of the way and she starts striking him, what the hell is he supposed to do? What about when she’s in the process of destroying his property(keying car, Clorox on clothes, holes in walls etc. He has no right to physically restrain her? I mean the police has a right to restrain a citizen if that citizen is causing harm to themselves or someone else. It doesn’t always have to be a woman striking a man first.

      • ControlledXaos | July 29th, 2014


        Women lay in wait like an animal of prey: boiling water, grits, hot grease and tossing it on a sleeping victim or super gluing or cutting off penises. They ‘break the window out yo’caw’, cut up and bleach clothes. Sell your ride for a $1.00, show up at your job and act a damn fool trying to embarrass you or get you fired.

        Using cunning to make up for lack of (in most cases) physical strength is effective. They even do it to each other. That’s why you have Mean Girls type stuff.

  2. RolandG
    rolandgarros28 | July 28th, 2014

    Common sense is really a hard thing to teach. It seems you have it or you don’t. I’ve witnessed both sides of this argument first hand and the feeling of disgust was the same. I have an older brother who, in the past, didn’t hesitate to cold cock a girlfriend for nothing. I remember telling him how disappointed I was that he would take it to that level with a female. But then I have a homeboy who actually has scars from assaults by one of his ex girlfriends. She reminded me of the chick in the video. And the frustrating thing about seeing her encounters with my friend was she would state, emphatically, if you put your hands on me, me I’ll just call the police to lock your ass up. She did this one time while pouring bleach on all of his clothes and he was afraid to due anything to stop her. I agree @Ocky, that society has conveyed to women that it’s ok to pop off on a man and slap him and scratch him and all that shit and he’s a punk if he lays your ass out. I don’t advocate knocking women out, but I think men should be able to use reasonable force to subdue a woman if she’s attacking him. But I don’t think we, as a society, will ever get to that point because remember men are supposed to be the protectors of women and all that bullshit. How the hell you protect a woman who trying to throw hot grits on you?

  3. Madb86 | July 28th, 2014

    This video is a prime example of women taking advantage. They let these reality shows and their environments condition them to act like crazy bitches that can’t keep their hands to themselves. I do not feel sorry for her or any woman that acts like that and then strikes a dude knowing, or assuming he can’t hit her back.

    • Ocky Williams | July 28th, 2014

      Just listen to the excuses the women are giving here.

      • ControlledXaos | July 29th, 2014

        Whoopi was on a roll that day with that and the marijuana section.

        I agree with her. Women walk around with this idea that they can say what they want, provoke, invade personal space, yell directly in a man’s ear, constantly say “Hit me! Hit me!” among other things and then cry foul when they hit someone first and then get hit back. WTF? Then they get mad and tell the guy “You a punk!”

        Don’t hit anyone thinking they won’t hit you back. You are not a victim when you lose a fight if you are the provoker and threw the first strike. Even if a man doesn’t hit you back after the first blow, but you are constantly pummeling him with your ‘light taps’, if he’s pushing you away and you keep coming and he’s telling you constantly ‘back off of me’ or you decide to start scratching his face or aim for his balls, you better be ready to be on the business end of some blow back. How much is a person supposed to take before they respond with a similar action?

        If a man is beating you down for no reason, that’s a different set of circumstances. Women take martial arts, they box, the can be trained in the army to deal self defense. It doesn’t mean that they will only use those skills for their own protection or others.

        Women can be malicious just like us neanderthals.

  4. Isaac Colver | July 29th, 2014

    Another thing is, why should women be allowed to sexually harass men and get away with it? A couple years ago when I was in 9th grade, I was smacked on the behind more than once by female students and it wasn’t considered harassment or “objectification”. Had genders been reversed, it would have been a national case, and the feminists would have had a hit out on me.

  5. Cajiva | July 29th, 2014

    I would be shocked by the comments on this board but I’m not anymore. I forgot this is the place that defended that gutta trash Tiger Mandingo.

    • PsychNoir | July 29th, 2014

      What?!? Are you serious? They defended that subhuman? How did I miss that? That’s pretty sick.

      Also, I first thought the headline for this article was a sick joke. I thought, hm, why would this be a headline on a black gay site? Did I click the wrong button and end up on one of the more douchebaggy, str8-guy sites? There is very limited coverage of sports and such on here, but I am reading about women taking responsibility for DV on this site? Then I remembered.

      And, after all this talk about being the #1 blk gay site, do you really need this type of headline for clicks?

      And you have so little empathy for your own mother that you conflate her situation with the other examples you gave? Admittedly, this article just might not have been ready for prime time. But it’s published, it’s out there, and, unfortunately, this is not your best work– by a wide margin.

    • Ishmal
      Ishmal | July 29th, 2014

      Gentlemen I think you need to read a little further into what the article is saying. They are not defending men who attack woman unprovoked, they are talking in reference to woman who attack a man and then cry foul when a man defends himself. It is a double standard.

      If Jay-Z would have slap the cow boy shit out of Solange he would have been demonized as a woman beater, even though he would have just been defending himself.

      As for Mandingo, they were not defending him, they did raise a valid point that these men need to take personal responsibility for actions. He didn’t rape them or force them to have unprotected sex, they were willing participants.

      I don’t agree with most of the stuff they say, but I give credit where its due.

      • achris
        achris | July 29th, 2014

        I agree…ppl get in such tizzies they can’t even see the big picture. No man should ever hit a woman. I literally was sick to my stomach watching the video of Ray Rice, but to say the Solange video (after the initial laugh) was not disturbing and just as wrong would be a double standard. Clearly Mandingo was in the wrong, BUT the other grown ppl in the situation need to take responsibility for their part in not insisting he wear a condom or dipping out when he refused (they weren’t married or hell even dating so the blind trust thing I don’t get)…#thatsit

        • PsychNoir | July 30th, 2014

          @achris: you lost me at “tizzies.”

          • achris
            achris | July 30th, 2014


      • PsychNoir | July 30th, 2014

        Actually, no, I don’t need to read further into the article I got his point. I just don’t think the point was well made. the article further.

  6. Rod Turpin
    Rod! | July 29th, 2014

    Despite the commonly held idea that domestic violence situations are cut and dry, they’re often incredibly convoluted with a lot of misinformation from the parties involved (often especially from the victims, who may lie to try and protect their assailant, or in some cases to malign him/her even more).

    This pervasive idea that it is somehow more acceptable for women to hit men than vice versa is problematic in a lot of ways, and it does need to change. In terms of domestic violence legally, there is no gender distinction; Janae Palmer and Ray Rice both committed an act of domestic violence. Now Ray obviously did more damage, but short of permanent injury, weapons or murder that’s neither here nor there in terms of criminal law. All in all, domestic violence applies to both genders, and you should never strike someone you’re with, male or female. But if you do, be fully aware they may retaliate.

  7. Pascal | July 29th, 2014

    I feel the title was conceived by Ocky Williams as some kind of epic trolling…
    My take on domestic violence is: until at least 50% of all violence/abuse cases are committed by women, then men are going to have to bear the brunt of the blame.
    So quite a ways to go there. But that’s a burden that comes with being “masculine“…
    And WSHH videos are really ratchet. I didn’t expect to see them here.

    • Ishmal
      Ishmal | July 29th, 2014

      That’s not fair to say because we are men we are to accept the abuse of woman to make penance for past men actions.

      • Pascal | July 29th, 2014

        I’m not comfortable with that dangerous line of reasoning because current crackers make the same about slavery.

        • Ishmal
          Ishmal | July 29th, 2014

          I don’t get what your saying. Please explain.

          • Pascal | July 31st, 2014

            Your initial reply sounded to me to be in the same league as when hipster racists say things like “We live in a post-racial America. Why should I be checking my white privilege for something our grand-fathers did in the 50’s?“.

  8. SB3000 | July 29th, 2014

    Am I the only person who doesn’t get why ppl who hate this site keep coming back to comment? It’s like hating black ppl n staying glued to BET.

    • Nick Delmacy | July 30th, 2014

      There are people who hate this site?!?!

  9. tcejbus | July 29th, 2014

    I’m not touching this one…


  10. Dre G | July 29th, 2014

    We had this discussion when I was a kid in school and my female teacher said “Some of these girls that like to hit should be ready to take what they dish out.”

    I think it’s wrong to hit a woman of course,but if I break in a house and the owner shoots me,his act of violence was wrong,but I did make myself unnecessarily vulnerable

  11. straight_up | July 30th, 2014

    Aaah…one of the benefits of being a gay man is that you don’t have to deal with shyt like this. I really do feel sorry for my heterosexual brethren…they have to deal with way too much just for some puzzy. Have you gentlemen done a “Top 10 benefits of being a gay man” yet? @nick @ocky? If not, this should definitely be in the top 2.

    I don’t understand what all the back and forth is about. If you put your hands on ANYONE, you should expect retaliation. FULL STOP. That goes for men, women, fish and foul.

    To these brothers talking that a man should never hit a woman- I don’t understand your logic. I’m not advocating for ANYONE to physically assault another human, but sometimes men are absolutely justified in hitting women; my apologies to the male lesbians. In order for society to function with some semblance of order, men absolutely CANNOT give women the impression that they can physically assault them without reprisal. To do otherwise would send our society into complete anarchy.

    • PsychNoir | July 30th, 2014

      “one of the benefits of being a gay man is that you don’t have to deal with shyt like this.”

      I have to agree with that! LOL

  12. Joe C | July 30th, 2014

    Yeah and Gays provoke hate crimes by flaunting their homosexuality. If they didn’t act Gay then homophobes wouldn’t attact them.If Blacks stayed in their place Racists Bigots would leave them alone.
    Do the women who provoke their man by not having dinner ready or making eye contact with another man deserve to be killed.
    RIP Aunt Linda

    • Rod Turpin
      Rod! | August 1st, 2014

      I’m sorry for the loss of your aunt. Anyone who places their hands on a loved one over not having dinner ready or not making eye contact, or anything non-physical is a monster, plain and simple.

      In this situation though, apparently the fight didn’t start over anything like that, it was because Janae Palmer physically attacked Ray Rice without provocation. So far that’s all we really know, its unclear exactly how exactly she was knocked unconscious (as that hasn’t been released; its reported that he punched her but all we see in the video is him dragging her body out). Once can debate exactly how wrong each party is, but in any case it’s a completely different situation from making eye contact with another man or not having dinner ready; she swung at him and expected him to not retaliate.

  13. Matthew D | August 8th, 2014

    Absolutely there are times that women foment violence. I am not a big guy 5’5 and 155. I was in a crowded restaurant sitting at a bar with friend and this women spilled half her drink on me, She said to me “sorry little man” and brushed me off. I did say she was rude ,and she came back to me and jabbed me in the chest. Of course it did not hurt but she laid her hands on me. I told her never do that again, and she asked what I was going to do about it little man and once again put her hands on me. I did call her a cow and she pushed me so pushed her back and she fell hard. Cops were called but everyone witnessed the event and she was cited. I agree with Whoopi Goldber’s comments.

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