stimulate or give rise to (a reaction or emotion, typically a strong or unwelcome one) in someone.
"the decision provoked a storm of protest from civil rights organizations"
synonyms: arouse, produce, evoke, cause, give rise to, occasion, call forth, elicit, induce, excite, spark off, touch off, kindle, generate, engender, instigate, result in, lead to, bring on, precipitate, prompt, trigger;
"the plan has provoked outrage"
stimulate or incite (someone) to do or feel something, especially by arousing anger in them.
"a teacher can provoke you into working harder"
synonyms: goad, spur, prick, sting, prod, egg on, incite, rouse, stir, move, stimulate, motivate, excite, inflame, work/fire up, impel
"she was provoked into replying"
deliberately make (someone) annoyed or angry.
"Rachel refused to be provoked"
synonyms: annoy, anger, incense, enrage, irritate, infuriate, exasperate, madden, nettle, get/take a rise out of, ruffle, ruffle someone's feathers, make someone's hackles rise;
I think that I am an extremely blessed woman, because at thirty-six years of age, I have never been punched in the face in my life. I imagine that I would make up a part of a very small percentage of the population, and it is an unfortunate thing to have to say. I remember my mother slapping me once as a teenager for mouthing off in some horribly disrespectful way, and my father had a wooden paddle that he spanked me with when I was little, but I cannot remember it happening more than a handful of times. I actually enjoyed taking controlled hits in martial arts when I was younger; I believe that I felt empowered by my ability to do so. Even with my less than ideal sexual history, the abuses that I suffered were all manipulative rather than physically aggressive, and again, for that I feel very blessed.
Here is an example of a situation where I believe the word provoke is being used reasonably: If my son managed to make his way into a tiger exhibit at the zoo, and then proceed to poke the tiger with the stick, if the tiger attacked my son, my son would have effectively provoked the attack. Additionally, my son would be in great part responsible for the injuries that he would most likely incur. There are two important things to note about this scenario. One is that we have every reason to believe that the tiger would have fear for its own wellbeing, which would contribute to its instinct to attack. Secondly, we assume here that the tiger has absolutely no ability to restrain itself once provoked by my son into attacking, because it is an animal, and it has no self-control. Are we then saying that we have managed to turn men who enact violence upon women into such animals that once they are provoked into attacking, they have as little ability to restrain themselves as a wild animal does? Are we also saying that these large, physically powerful men are in fear for their safety or wellbeing when they physically attack a woman?
I am speaking specifically to NFL players now, in light of all of the domestic violence arrests they have incurred recently, and to the Rice case specifically. The things that we forgive these players for are truly abominable, and they are getting worse year after year. We are cultivating these very large, very powerful, men to have absolute entitlement complexes where they believe that they are the most special human beings on the face of the earth, and they can do absolutely no wrong. We pile this on top of the fact that we continue to give the average man in our society an excuse to hit women by saying that they have been provoked, and that they were absolutely unable to control their anger. Fuck that! Would as many people feel the same way if they saw a video of a man yelling at a woman, then saw him slap her in the neck/shoulder without causing her to turn her head or take a step back, and then about four seconds later she hauls off and punches him in the face? Would you excuse her by saying that she was provoked?
Rice was not a huge player when it comes to professional football. He weighed in this year at around two hundred and five pounds, so he wasn’t a giant. His fiancé looked to be roughly two-thirds his size. There is no way in the world however, that anyone can possibly discount the lifetime of physical training that this guy has used to create his powerhouse of a body. For him to punch his fiancé in the face is an assault roughly comparable to me taking my fist to a five year old. The force with which his fiancé hit the side of the elevator after he punched her in the face could have easily resulted in death if they had made it to their hotel room, and she had fallen into the coffee table instead of the side of the elevator. Not only do men who are physically trained athletes have the same responsibility to control themselves that any other normal human being does, they have an additional fucking responsibility to learn their own goddamn strength and tread even more gently than other people do, because they are capable of causing far more damage. Additionally, when we are attempting to say that they were provoked into physically attacking someone, are we saying that they were defending themselves out of fear for their own safety, and that they were incapable of halting their actions because they had no more control than a wild animal?
As to controlling themselves, this is the argument that pisses me off the most, because it speaks greatly to sexual assault as well as physical assault. “He was drunk, and she made him mad, and he just couldn’t control himself.” It is the exact same thing as saying: “He was drunk, she was flirting with him, her outfit was really sexy, and he just couldn’t control himself.” It is the same old defense every single time, and it is fucked three ways to Sunday. Allow me to be a little outrageous for a moment, but quite frankly, no matter how damn drunk I am, I am quite capable of restraining myself from shoving an object up a guys ass if he tells me not to. Never have I desired, in a drunken lustful haze, to commit rape, even considering the fact that it is physically impossible from me to suffer from whiskey dick. I actually have better chances of getting the job done, with say a dildo, than a male attacker who was actually as drunk as he claimed to be when he was supposedly unable to stop himself from raping someone. (Because if he were really as drunk and out of control as he claimed, he would statistically have trouble maintaining an erection in the first place.) Men are raped in our society too, so are children, and does anyone fucking question them about what they were wearing before it happened, or if they provoked their attacker? Hell no, because it is entirely irrelevant, just like it is with women!
And yet female rape victims are likely being questioned in court right now about what they were wearing just before they were raped, and football fans all across the country are watching footage of the Rice assault and wondering if maybe it wasn’t his fault because she hit him first. Here is what we should be asking ourselves: “Would I hit my wife or husband like that, or girlfriend or boyfriend?” If you would, then please get some help, there are many classes available to help men and women alike to learn anger management. For those of us individuals who would answer “Hell no, I would never think of doing such a thing,” please remember that different rules do not apply to Rice because he is a professional football player. It is not ever okay to hit anyone, especially when you are far stronger than they are, just like it is never, ever okay to rape anyone; absolutely nothing justifies it, EVER! If you think that restraint is especially hard for these guys, think about sixteen year old mothers who are working and going to school, who stay up all night with brand new screaming babies and do not fucking shake them, because they know that you just do not shake a baby! Men can control themselves if they choose to do so. Football players can too. Our society must demand that everyone recognize there is no greater sign of strength and discipline that a human being can display than honorable restraint. The double standards are hurting far more people than we allow ourselves to recognize. They need to end, now.