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March 2, 2009

Top 10 Things We Wish People Would Stop Saying about Chris Brown & Rihanna

Okay, we know that everyone has already written about Chris Brown and Rihanna by now. Honestly, we weren't going to write about it because we're almost sick of it by now. Why? Because some of the stuff that's been said has been really fucked up. And just when we think it's over, the stupid comments start back up again. Now that the media is reporting that Chris and Rihanna may have reconciled, we figured it was time to give our list of the top 10 things we don't want to hear about anymore regarding the Chris Brown/Rihanna scandal (or really, that we don't want to hear about any similar situation, ever).

1. "She didn't deserve it, but..."

When you say "She didn't deserve it, but..." you are in fact saying, "well, maybe she deserved it a little." I'm not sure what is the point of comments like that. You either think she deserved or you don't. There's no "but".

We have heard a lot of variations on this phrase and it's super annoying: She didn't deserve it, but she may have seen it coming and didn't back down. She didn't deserve it, but I heard she liked to push his buttons. She didn't deserve it, but I hear she started the argument in the first place. She didn't deserve it, but didn't she get out of the car and go after him? She didn't deserve it, but she should have gotten away sooner. She didn't deserve it, but she obviously knew he was violent.

She didn't deserve it... period. No one deserves to get beaten. I think it's dangerous the way some people throw about the term "but" in hot-button topics, especially when it comes to blaming the victim.

2. "She must have provoked him".

And then of course, there are the stupid people who don't even hide behind "but" and just blame the victim. Like the creators of this cafepress store, the assholes from this article, or Brown's cousin, Phylicia Thompson:
"Chris was not brought up…to beat on a woman. So it had to be something to provoke him for Chris to do it. He wouldn't have done is just to be having fun….But what happens behind closed doors, nobody ever knows."
Yeah, cause if he was doing it for fun that would be bad. But if he's doing it because he can't control his temper, no problem. Idiots. Even if she physically attacked him and he was defending himself, I'd still say it's probably his fault. He's bigger and stronger than she is, so even if she "started it" he didn't have to finish it. Of course, I wasn't there and don't know what happened, so I can't really speak to that point... but for those of you who saw the leaked crime photos (fuck you to everyone who posted that and invaded Rihanna's privacy) you know the full extent of her injuries.

3. "He's just young and immature."

Yes... and yes. But so what? Is domestic violence less violent if the aggressor is under 30? I don't care how immature you are (and yes, most 19-year-olds are pretty immature), don't you learn that you're not supposed to beat people up at about age... 10? Or earlier? Yes, he definitely has some growing to do, but his age is not an excuse for his behavior.

4. "It's just life man".

Or pretty much any other comment that implies that domestic violence is just a regular thing that sometimes "happens". That particular quote came from Terrence Howard. He followed up with:
"Chris is a great guy. He'll be all right. Rihanna knows he loves her. They'll be alright. Everyone has just got to get out of their way."
Rapper T.I. also downplayed the situation on Carson Daly's talk show:

“Yeah, I spoke to him today. He cool, you know. I guess he a little concerned about the situation, but he’s still the same Chris. I told him this too shall pass. [...]

Hey man, you people gotta remember, we celebrities and we entertainers but we still human. All of us. Don’t expect us not to make mistakes ‘cause we will.”

Um, what? They eventually both took it back. T.I. said he "made a mistake of commenting before understanding the situation" while Howard also claimed ignorance:
"When they (paparazzi) asked me about Chris Brown the other day, I was in no way aware of what he had been accused of. Had I known, I would have never had said something so insensitive."
Which I guess, begs the question how was he not aware of the accusations? It's all over everywhere. In the future, if you're not aware of the situation - don't fucking comment on it. I have to wonder if Howard is being sincere or not, considering his own history with domestic violence. And I guess considering that T.I. is on his way to jail, maybe he's pretty familiar with "mistakes" too.

Other celebs who are downplaying the situation are Kimora Lee Simmons: "Sometimes I think young lovers go through things" and Ray J: "You know things like this happen in life. And in life, sometimes these are the tests and obstacles that you got to overcome."

5. "I can't believe Rihanna canceled that concert!"

Yeah, because celebrities aren't real people who can get hurt or upset or need time to rest/heal. No, they're robots whose sole purpose on earth is to make you happy and entertain you.

6. "Rihanna should come out and speak about this!"

Yeah, because celebrities aren't real people who can get hurt or upset or need time to rest/heal. (Didn't we just say that?) How about we give her some time to heal, mentally and physically, before she has to become the involuntary poster child for Domestic Violence?

7. "Chris Brown's apology wasn't good enough!"

Okay, now that one makes somewhat of a good point. I understand the desire we all have for Chris Brown to come out and admit everything and show remorse. I can relate to the feeling that his statement was inadequate a
nd came too late. However, we have to realize that he can't just come out and say "I'm sorry I beat up my girlfriend" because he's facing criminal charges. I'm sure he's got lawyers and publicists controlling everything he does and does not say. Now, of course, in a perfect world he would just apologize, turn himself in, confess, and take his punishment, but we have to be realistic about the fact that this isn't a perfect world and he's not the one making the decisions right now. The truth is that his apology wasn't good enough regardless, but we have to at least adjust our expectations based on the situation.

8. "
I'm going to stop chewing Wrigley's gum!"

Some people have complained that Wrigley didn't have a harsh enough reaction to Chris Brown's alleged behavior. I disagree. They suspended the campaign (and will probably cancel his contract later on)... what more do you want them to do?

Wrigley's actual statement:
"We believe Mr. Brown should be afforded the same due process as any citizen. However, we have made the decision to suspend the current advertising featuring Brown and any related marketing communications until the matter is resolved."
In the same way that he can't just come out with the full story yet, Wrigley can't come out and say "we think it's horrible that Chris Brown beat up his girlfriend!" Not only is giving him the benefit of a fair trial before convicting him in the media the right thing to do, but they would probably be risking some libel/slander accusations if they said too much without proof.

9. "Will Chris Brown's Career Survive This?"

Who the fuck cares? If he's guilty... I don't give a shit if his career can survive this scandal. If he's not guilty, then I'm sure that will come out eventually. We may have already convicted him in the media, but the truth is, we are a very forgiving public sometimes. If it somehow, bizarrely comes out that this was all just a big old misunderstanding, then I'm sure his career will be fine. However, the odds of this being all just a big old misunderstanding are really really slim. So in that case, I don't give a shit about his career.

10. "I heard Rihanna gave Chris Brown herpes."

Yeah, and I heard that you're a fucking moron. Not only does that sound like one of those stupid false Internet rumors (in fact, that's like the #1 red flag of stupid false Internet rumors), but it has nothing to do with what happened and still wouldn't excuse anything if it did. There have been a lot of stupid speculations of what caused them to fight - the bootycall rumors, claims that it had to do with Leona Lewis or Paris Hilton or Jay-Z, and of course, the herpes thing - but really, who gives a shit what started it.

I'm sure that while recovering from domestic abuse the last thing you want to read about is a bunch of bullshit rumors about why it happened, a bunch of horrible comments about why you may have deserved it, and how you haven't reacted/responded in the "right" way. So please, for Rihanna's sake, the sake of any other woman that has ever been abused, and the sake of future women who may experience this - shut the fuck up, thanks.


Adam said...

I agree with you guys 95% on everything in here. People need to stop invading the privacy of these people and let the courts do their job, and the couple (or ex couple) handle their own affairs.

But I don't think the idea that because he's bigger or stronger than she is should make any difference here. The way you said it made it feel like you think there's no way the 'weaker' spouse could possibly commit violence against the 'stronger' spouse. Domestic violence can occur against anyone, man or woman, regardless of their size or strength.

I don't know a lot about this particular situation, so maybe that's why this jumped out at me. Sounds like there is no plausible way this was in self defense, so the point doesn't have anything to do with this story, just an odd thing to hear from you.

Bex said...

Eh...I'm perfectly fine with bigger and stronger. I completely agree that no one should ever be physically aggressive with, well, anyone. But the whole power of domestic violence is it takes a fair (verbal) fight/argument and makes it completely unfair.

Once the bigger/stronger of the two makes it physical...it's no longer a fair fight. One person has immediately assumed power and the other has been completely robbed of it.

The femi-nazi I am (thanks Rush, for the cute title), I still think that watering down Domestic violence into something that happens frequently to either sex is sorta - well - crap. I've smacked a bf in the arm before out of irritation...he giggled. It didn't hurt...and maybe - just maybe the physical pain isn't the issue and I deserve the same for that instance that Mr. Brown does for this.

Except that fair isn't always equal, fair is getting what you need. As the weaker of the two in a very icky, volatile relationship I can tell ya that size did matter...what people said - "Please stop getting in his face, you know he hates that" - the feeling of being utterly powerless...it was very definitely a gender issue.

I seriously doubt that unless it's an amazon in a relationship with a male pixie that you can absolutely exclude the gender factor. I'm not saying that women don't abuse and men don't deserve protection. Just that if you look at the psychology behind it all - there really isn't one size fits all domestic violence.

Lilith said...

I didn't say that a 'weaker' partner has never committed domestic violence against the 'stronger' partner. I said:

He's bigger and stronger than she is, so even if she "started it" he didn't have to finish it.

Meaning that if even if she had attacked him first (which doesn't seem to be the case) it still wouldn't constitute the severity of the beating she received. In a one-to-one fight, he is the stronger and bigger one, so he is at a physical advantage. I'm pretty sure he could defend himself from getting attacked by her without beating her the way it appears she was beaten.

I was just trying to support the point that it doesn't matter if she "provoked" him or "started it"... it's still no excuse.