Tag Archives: Rihanna

Woman = Victim? It’s a hard habit to break.

6 Feb

-8

 

So yesterday afternoon, I was out for a walk, listening to a new album I downloaded onto my iPhone and a song came on that I thought was very pretty.  Nice beat, lovely lyrics and above average vocals.  The man singing had a very soulful, smooth voice and I pulled my phone out of pocket to see who this undeniably compelling singer could be.

 

Ugh.

 

Chris Brown.

 

 

You know who that is, right?  He’s the guy who did this to Rihanna’s face.

 

-6

 

My initial reaction was to feel disgusted that I had inadvertently given that dickbag money, but then I got to thinking.  Why am I boycotting Chris?  I wrote before that I think a lot of the opprobrium and scorn Chris has earned for his unquestionably violent attack on Rhianna is motivated by racism.  People who give Sean Penn or Mickey Rourke a pass for beating the shit out of their wives/girlfriends, but NOT Chris Brown are probably just reacting to a cultural trope that loves to paint black men as animals.

 

http://judgybitch.com/2012/10/25/the-fact-that-chris-brown-is-a-fucking-asshole-doesnt-give-you-a-free-pass-to-be-a-fucking-racist/

 

I kept walking and started to unpack my assumptions and then it hit me:  I’m engaging in exactly the same thought processes that I rail against daily on this blog!

 

JudgyBitch:  giant hypocrite!

 

Hey, life’s a learning curve.  What can I say?

 

-3

 

My hatred of Chris Brown is first and foremost a visceral reaction to the fact that he beat Rhianna so badly.  I want to kill him for that, which makes perfect sense, right?  I object to violence and my first reaction is to go Reservoir Dogs on his ass.  But underneath that are a couple of assumptions that are not justifiable and play into the kinds of stereotypes that do more harm to women than good.

 

My first assumption:  that Rihanna is completely innocent in all of this.

 

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I mean, look at her. She’s so beautiful and slender and small and how could she possibly be an accomplice to her own destruction?  How?  Oh, rather easily.  The reality is that domestic violence is perpetrated EQUALLY by both men and women.

 

http://www.ajph.org/cgi/content/abstract/97/5/941
http://ncfm.org/2009/01/issues/domestic-violence/

 

Did Rhianna provoke her attack?  Did she throw the first punch?  Was she a full participant in the altercation?  I don’t know.  But the automatic assumption that she is a completely innocent victim denies that women are just as violent as men. That perpetuates the idea that women are innocent and men are evil and that is just the kind of thinking that permeates the culture and makes it acceptable to express an open hatred and disdain for men.

 

How thoughtful of me to help spread that ideology.

 

-2

 

 

Erin Pizzey, who founded the first shelter for female victims of domestic violence in the US has a good deal to say on the subject of violent women, and her writings at A voice for Men are well worth a read, especially if you find yourself, as I did, axiomatically buying into the idea that women are always the victims and men are always the abusers.

 

http://www.avoiceformen.com/women/working-with-violent-women/

 

My second assumption is that Rhianna is incapable of understanding her decisions and that going back to Chris Brown is a cry for help and we must all intervene to protect her from this violent predator who is certain to hurt her again.

 

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This particular assumption is one that is incredibly damaging to women. Rhianna is a grown woman with agency and intelligence and responsibility.  EITHER she is an adult fully capable of understanding the consequences of her decisions OR she is a helpless child who needs an authority figure to intervene in her life and make decisions for her and protect her from the consequences of her actions.

 

-7

 

You can’t have it both ways.  Are women adults with responsibilities and obligations, including the obligation to face the consequences of their decisions?  I certainly think they are.

 

It’s hard to throw off the idea that women ought to be protected from their own bad decisions.  A natural instinct to protect and shelter, especially when a woman is beautiful, kicks in and it takes a conscious effort to stop and reconsider how we feel.  Rhianna does not need our protection.  She needs to be held accountable for her decisions and face the consequences and in doing so, she will learn and grow.

 

That’s how life works.  You make a choice, that choice ends up being really stupid, you learn from that, try to make better choices, and you carry on.  You don’t look around for someone to blame.  That someone is YOU.

 

I made a choice to boycott Chris Brown, it turns out that in doing so I am helping to perpetuate the very ideology for which I have nothing but withering contempt, I spent some time thinking about that decision and today I am going to download and pay for ONE Chris Brown song.

 

Baby steps.

 

-1

 

Here’s your money, Chris.  I still hate you, but I refuse to hold you accountable and give Rhianna a pass.  Now that’s equality.

 

Lots of love,

 

JB

 

 

 

 

The fact that Chris Brown is a fucking asshole doesn’t give you a free pass to be a fucking racist.

25 Oct

So, Rhianna is cuddling up with Chris Brown again.  You know, they guy who did THIS:

Personally, I would like to meet the ugly little fucker in a dark alley and choke him til he’s dead, but that’s just me. Luckily – DRAKE!  He bottled the fuckhead in a bar and ha ha!  Payback’s a bitch, eh?

But here’s the thing:  Chris Brown is not the first (or last) man to ever settle his differences with a woman with his fists.  He has come in for an astonishing level of vitriol and hatred that is astonishing only because he’s NOT  getting a pass on something plenty of white entertainers have done.  His music is boycotted, he is mocked and derided in the press, basically treated like shit.  Which he totally 100% completely fucking deserves,  BUT SO DOES EVERY OTHER FAMOUS WOMAN BEATER, TOO.

Something else is going on, and I think that something has to do with a racist cultural narrative about black men being dangerous, violent predators who have no place in society. This image  was taken less than 100 years ago, and the kind of fear and loathing of black men it represents is still very much with us.

Chris Brown is a gigantic asshole, but he is not MORE of an asshole than oh, let’s see:  Sean Penn, Mel Gibson, Michael Fassbender, Nic Cage, Mickey Rourke, Charlie Sheen ….  yeah.  The world has no shortage of assholes who beat women.

If you are one of those people who rages on about Chris Brown while enjoying some Three and a Half Men or Braveheart or gushing over Sean’s sensitive portrayal of Harvey Milk, you just might be a giant fucking racist. Sean Penn hit Madonna in the head with a baseball bat (which may partially explain that Wallis Simpson movie)!  I am in no way approving of Chris Brown (and I’m sure he gives a giant fuck about that), BUT I also do not approve of anyone who gets over WHITE men beating the shit out of their wives and girlfriends, but hangs on to hate for the BLACK man who did the same.  That’s just cloaking straight up racism in some morally acceptable indignation.

Also, Rhianna is a grown woman.  A really fucking stupid one, clearly.  Still, she can do whatever she wants.  Personally, I recommend she do some mixed martial arts training and learn how to put the little fucker in a chokehold if he ever lifts a hand against her again.

Lots of love,

JB

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