This Is Easily the Worst Halloween Costume of the Year

The NFL doesn't seem to understand why a zero-tolerance approach to domestic violence matters. Unfortunately, they're not the only ones, as evidenced by what is most likely the most disgusting Halloween costume of the year. 

Sports fans and non-sports fans alike were shocked in early September after disturbing video emerged in which Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was seen brutally knocking out and dragging his then-fiancee (now wife) Janay Palmer from an Atlantic City casino elevator months earlier. Rice received professional retribution in the form of a terminated contract but was accepted into a special program for first-time offenders. It spared him jail time and could lead to all charges being cleared for good behavior. 

The clear takeaway? Some men in power have little real accountability when it comes to creating environments where women are affirmed and respected. Unfortunately, that very logic — one rooted in misogyny and the devaluing of women and their bodies — emerged yet again at a Halloween party this past weekend when a man was photographed making fun of not just the elevator scene involving Rice but domestic violence in general.

The photo, which emerged on Reddit this week, was posted by a user on the "Too Soon" channel and who confirmed — as if it needed confirmation — that the costume was indeed Rice. In another post, the same user, AL0311, shares yet another image of the guy dressed as Rice, dragging around a black blow-up doll to depict the unconscious Palmer. 

"Ladies were falling for my friends Ray Rice costume," the post said. 

Although it's unlikely the world will never know whether the women at the party really were in on the so-called joke, one thing is clear: Sexual and domestic violence is never a laughing matter. 

Men and women are impacted by the issue, yet numbers and studies consistently show that the abuse disproportionately affects women. According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, nearly half of all women experience sexual violence at some point in their lives — and these rates disproportionately impact both black and Native American women. 

This reality was thrown into sharp relief for those who watched the Rice controversy play out online and in the media. The complexities of the issue resonated poignantly with women, especially those who themselves had survived abuse, who spoke out against the type of victim-blaming eventually leveled against Palmer. Many of these brave women shared their personal stories in the hashtags #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft on Twitter.

It seems impossible that anyone would be able to read these stories without recognizing the way toxic masculinity and deeply ingrained misogyny leads people to routinely devalue women in nearly all facets of society — whether that is reflected in the deeply unfortunate choice of a Halloween costume or the actions of league officials worried about a public relations fallout. 

Because ensuring the game plays on, or that the party keeps rocking, still often comes at the expense of the survivors of intimate partner violence. 

h/t BuzzFeed

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Derrick Clifton

A reporter, news commentator and speaker on issues of identity, culture and social justice, Derrick is a graduate of Northwestern University. Web: derrickclifton.com

MORE FROM

A Czech company made interns compete in a bikini contest to get hired

A spokesperson from the company said the competition was to "promote technical education."

Trump's Medicaid and immigration policies will make home health care more expensive

The predominately female work force that serves the elderly and people with disabilities in their homes is under fire from two fronts.

Poland makes emergency contraception a prescription-only drug — even for rape survivors

There's a relatively small time frame in which emergency contraception is effective. Requiring prescriptions may mean many Polish women will go without.

Bill Cosby publicists insist speaking tour has nothing to do with sexual assault

Ebonee Benson and Andrew Wyatt accused the media of twisting Wyatt's words, when really there is a video record of his announcement.

Third Vanderbilt football player, Brandon Banks, convicted in rape case

A jury found Brandon Banks guilty on one count of aggravated rape and one count of sexual battery, sending him to a probable 15 years in prison.

What does consent look like on a show like 'Bachelor in Paradise'?

Warner Bros. has cleared the allegations involving Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson, leaving many questions about consent on the show in its wake.

A Czech company made interns compete in a bikini contest to get hired

A spokesperson from the company said the competition was to "promote technical education."

Trump's Medicaid and immigration policies will make home health care more expensive

The predominately female work force that serves the elderly and people with disabilities in their homes is under fire from two fronts.

Poland makes emergency contraception a prescription-only drug — even for rape survivors

There's a relatively small time frame in which emergency contraception is effective. Requiring prescriptions may mean many Polish women will go without.

Bill Cosby publicists insist speaking tour has nothing to do with sexual assault

Ebonee Benson and Andrew Wyatt accused the media of twisting Wyatt's words, when really there is a video record of his announcement.

Third Vanderbilt football player, Brandon Banks, convicted in rape case

A jury found Brandon Banks guilty on one count of aggravated rape and one count of sexual battery, sending him to a probable 15 years in prison.

What does consent look like on a show like 'Bachelor in Paradise'?

Warner Bros. has cleared the allegations involving Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson, leaving many questions about consent on the show in its wake.