09/10/2014 09:13 am ET Updated Sep 10, 2014

Why I Hate Writing About Janay Rice


I hate writing about the terrible things that happen to women, or I suppose it is more accurate to say I hate how I feel obligated to write about the terrible things that happen to women. I feel this obligation because terrible things have happened to me and because for too long I stayed silent. I was scared and ashamed and humiliated. My silence only amplified these feelings, the self-loathing, the isolation. If speaking about violence against women makes other women feel less alone, I am going to use my voice. And still. I hate writing about the terrible things that happen to women. I hate the inescapable feeling that writing about such issues accomplishes so very little. I hate the exhaustion I feel when I see yet another news story about a woman who has suffered at the hands of a man. I hate the guilt I feel because I am exhausted. Exhaustion is such a luxury.

Today, I hate writing about Janay Rice and the abuse she suffered at the hands of NFL running back Ray Rice. I hate why we're talking about this woman's intimate life, and I hate the violation of her privacy. On Monday, TMZ released an appalling video, reigniting the public conversation about domestic violence and professional athletes and the repercussions men face or don't face for abusing women. This is a story about failure, compounded — failures in decency, judgment, compassion, empathy, ethics, and jurisprudence.

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