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Media Portrayal of Women: Naya Rivera

On the afternoon of Sunday, November 26th, former ‘Glee’ star Naya Rivera struck her husband Ryan Dorsey. While out on a walk from Dorsey’s family home in West Virginia with their son Josey, Rivera was under the influence of alcohol and struck Dorsey across the forehead and bottom lip. A year ago this month, Rivera filed for divorce from Dorsey but abandoned the case (proving that there were previous instances of difficulty). There’s the background of the situation, now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.

Domestic battery is no joke. No matter if you’re Chris Brown or Naya Rivera, hitting your significant other (or anyone else, damn) is inappropriate and is under reported. Especially because Rivera is female, her bail was set at $1,000 while Chris Brown’s was $250,000. The media has emphasized Rivera’s attempt at divorce from Dorsey but fails to blame her for her outrageous actions. In domestic assault cases especially, women are put on a pedestal — but when adrenaline kicks in, Rivera could’ve had the strength of any man. If Dorsey were to hit her back, the media backlash would’ve been gruesome. Instead, however, Dorsey is forced to tweet a request for privacy and forgiveness for his wife. If Dorsey had not posted such a kind and level-headed sentiment, the media would’ve torn him apart for “not letting Rivera divorce him” or painting him as an overbearing husband. (tweet shown below)

Imagine being assaulted by your significant other, the 911 call being broadcasted over the Internet and you, the victim, being demonized. This is what happens to male victims of domestic battery. Media bias has always been around but the culture around assault needs to stop; hitting people, no matter your status or theirs, is uncalled for and inappropriate. Naya Rivera deserves to be punished and fined just as much as Chris Brown. One’s time in prison or media scrutiny should not be decided by their gender or preconceived bias.