Ray Rice before the graphic video: "Meh, minor offense. Maybe no punishment. What do you really expect from these NFL players anyway?"
Ray Rice after the graphic video: "Worst human being ever! Never play football again. Fire the NFL commissioner!"
It didn't even take a minute before the Ray Rice video had millions of views and had been edited into hundreds of different spin-off videos. Why? Because everyone wanted to see it with their own eyes. But then I had a thought:
Abortion debate with no use of graphic images/video: "Meh, well, that's your opinion."
Abortion debate with use of graphic images/video: Sorry, that is off limits. If you even suggest using graphic images/video in a debate about abortion, people (even many pro-lifers) will condemn you for being a cruel, woman-hating bigot.
Isn't it obvious that (regardless which side you are on) that actually seeing something with your own eyes, rather than simply talking about it, makes a HUGE difference? So why, in the one case, would people climb over top of each other for a chance to see it (wife-beating) with their own eyes and in the other (abortion) bury their heads in the sand? Discuss.
By the way, I am definitely not trying to suggest that women who have had an abortion should be punished (like Ray Rice should be). In this space, I am simply making what I believe to be an obvious observation that we are a highly visual cutlure and it seems like a double standard that we would clamor to see something that we all agree is immoral, but refuse even to look at something that the culture wants to say is okay. Anyway...as I said...I would like to hear your thoughts.
I have already had a few people email me and say that this is a bad example because if Ray Rice had killed his wife then they would not show images of her corpse. While I agree with that (I never thought it was a perfect parallel) I think we too quickly forget that several videos of beheadings (absolutely horrific to watch) have been getting a lot of views/shares lately. So, since I am not trying to pick on the particulars, I feel like my point still stands. We are highly visual and people seem to have no problem watching things that they are certain are immoral. But if you think something is wrong and they think it is right, suddenly they want no part of seeing it with their own eyes. Hmmm...