It's not enough to (now) note that the Ray Rice incident was not some random fight between angry, unrelated individuals, but an episode of violence between intimate partners, which is a cornerstone in the foundation of domestic abuse. It should also bear a spotlight as yet another significant and high-profile display of how readily violent aggression and physical retaliation of men against women are accepted, expected, and dismissed in a victim-blaming culture.
Whatever there is in any of our human NATURES, or illnesses, that inclines us to violent or abusive acts, we have not the RIGHTS to inflict those inclinations upon other human beings, and then attempt to cover the foul acts with their perceived or presumed sins.
No person, man, woman or child, has a right to be a physical aggressor, no matter how angry or ill-equipped to respond with an adequate form of self expression. Your inability to healthily manage your anger and allowing that inability to manifest itself onto someone else is your own human failing.
Own that shit. Work on it. Go to therapy. Anything other than excusing and justifying it.
If a person is defending oneself from my (however unlikely) physical attack, said person has the right to resist me, restrain me, or remove me or oneself from our commonly occupied space.
That person, and particularly a man, for whom I will never be a physical match, does not have the right to backhand, bitch slap, throat punch, gut check, molly-whop, or skull drag (or any variation thereof) me into submission, tap out, or unconsciousness, and then hold me accountable for the "elements" that "provoked" the altercation, while absolving himself of responsibility, and especially not by suggesting how said altercation might have been avoided.
Don't play the "man card" and then tell me it's too much to expect you to be a man. Whatever the way to man up is, it is certainly not to beat a woman down. Ever.
The "man card" trumps the "see what you made me do" card.
Abusers, much like bullies, don't need to be provoked. The only way to avoid domestic abuse is to not be an abuser.
And ladies, if you're going around spouting that, "Don't hit a man, and then expect not to be hit back...Don't go mouthing off to a man, and not expect him to pop you in the mouth..." rhetoric, then it might be in your favor to reconsider and reevaluate some of the male company you keep.