Let’s play the blame game.
Janay Palmer’s then fiancé, Ray Rice, delivers a knockout punch to her face resulting in her hitting her head and being knocked out unconscious. She is subsequently dragged out of an elevator by her man (who seems unbothered), and we say that she spit on him. She never should have ran up in his face. We call her stupid for marrying the indefinitely suspended Baltimore Ravens running back after that ugly incident went down.
Iyanla Vanzant visits Atlanta to meet with 44-year-old Jay Williams. He has fathered 34 children with 17 women and the focus is later put on the women, why they had issues with one another, and why some of them wished to have a romantic relationship with the father of their kids.
New “Love and Hip Hop Hollywood” star Teairra Mari acts out on the reality series after he allows his new girlfriend to embarrass her at his event and is coined as Ray J’s bipolar ex, tempting a revenge plot from Brandy’s ever-petty brother.
Is it just me, or have we established a pattern? No matter what role a man may play in the drama, the blame or focus is always placed on the women involved. After new video surfaced showing Rice assaulting Palmer in the elevator of the now closed Revel Hotel in Atlantic City, conversations that followed the disturbing footage focused on her low self-esteem for her choice to stick by her husband’s side. She went from being a victim to being judged ferociously. The victim was vilified in cyberspace, leaving room for other detractors to even blame her for the punch she took.
The blame placed on Palmer for marrying Rice was misguided and a cop-out to ignore the fact that he had a lack of self-control. No one fully understands the particular reasons behind their heated argument, nor do we understand the inner workings of their relationship, but domestic violence, whether inflicted by a male or female, is never an excusable action. The issue here is not why she married him a month later or her choice to defend him against the media. It’s why her then-fiancé felt the need to punch and drag her out of an elevator unconscious. A microscopic lens needs to be applied on why some of us were more comfortable questioning Palmer’s actions over Rice’s.
A similar lens should be used on Iyanla Vanzant’s methods of dealing with the women of Jay Williams’ life. Williams fathered 34 children (actually 35, but that child didn’t make it) with 17 different women. Yes, the women involved aren’t saints, and it makes sense to ask why they would have wanted to get involved with a man they already knew had so many children and clearly, so many issues. But their desire to have a relationship with a man who fathered their children plays into the fantasy, if not hope, that many women desire. I was just wondering why so much time was spent trying to get them right, while Williams got to deflect and let his parents and those women took the blame for his foolishness? What personal responsibility does Williams have after not being there to raise his children and bouncing from baby momma to baby momma with hopeful conversations of love and family?
And “Love and Hip Hop” as a franchise does an excellent job of making women appear as though we all deserve to be in strait jackets. From Erica Mena to K. Michelle and now Teairra Mari – there is nothing this franchise isn’t afraid to show, and all of it has people pulling the “C” card on the women involved–“Crazy.” Karlie Redd has exchanged blows with the other woman after catching Young Joc redhanded for stepping out. The conversation afterwards mentioned nothing of his infidelity, but instead, it focused on Redd’s theatrics and behavior. Sure, Karlie may have gone a bit overboard in the heat of the moment when having to finally get the truth from her man’s mistress and not her man, but can you blame her? Why are we giving Young Joc a pass to be a lying boyfriend? Why do we trash Amina Buddafly for being with Peter Gunz, but not Gunz for lying and cheating on two women?
Why did we attack Kenya Moore for all that went down at Nene Leakes’ pajama party, and not Christopher Williams once it was proven that he grabbed her arm roughly?
Why was Monica Lewinksy the only one ruined after having an affair with Bill Clinton?
Why did we automatically call Solange crazy and find every excuse to blame it on her career (or lack thereof as some tried to claim) after that video leaked of her attack on Jay Z?
Why are women the only ones people like to put a lens on when these things happen?
We all point fingers. It’s human nature. But in our pointing the finger, we should also evaluate why we’re more comfortable being critical of the women in situations, as if they’re the only party who knows that they need to do better. It takes two to tango.