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March 5, 2009

Well Played, Duffster

It's kinda funny, and a little bit sad, that one of the only really intelligent celebrity comments on the Chris Brown/Rihanna situation has come from Hilary "Not, Like, A Crazy Feminist" Duff. Here's what she had to say recently in an interview with Extra:

I wish her all the best and want to let girls out there know that it’s never okay to be treated like that.”

So much better than the 'everyone makes mistakes' and 'give Chris a break' crap that some other celebs have been serving up. Between this and the pro-gay rights PSA that she made recently, maybe there's hope for Hilary yet. We'll keep you posted.

Her comment seemed even more insightful to me when, halfway through writing what I thought was going to be a short and sweet Duff blog, I came across singer Angie Stone's take on the situation. From AOL's Black Voices blog (emphasis mine):
Last night, backstage at her sold-out show at New York's B.B. King nightclub, R&B/soul diva Angie Stone expressed empathy for the tragic occurrence but did note that, "women have to be women."

"We have to be ladies," the 'No More Rain' singer expressed. "You can't provoke men to hit you because the patience is not there anymore. Life is just too stressful."

Stone seems to know a thing or two about high-profile romances. She and Grammy Award-winning neo-soul crooner D'Angelo didn't only collaborate in the studio on hit records, they were also lovers. The former couple have an adolescent son.

"That wasn't no stormy ride. I had a wonderful ride," she clarified. "It's just it didn't work out. All relationships have their ups and downs. I can honestly say that though I was never physically abused in that relationship ever, I wouldn't tolerate that. But my heart goes out to Rihanna and Chris because I do know them. ... They are two wonderful, young superduper stars."

"I know a lot of females hit guys first because we have this control-of-nature thing, because we feel like because we're women, they won't hit back," she continued. "But in today's society, it's keep your hands to yourselves. Now, I don't know how it went down, but I'm praying for some peace and just for them to really get the help they need."

Stone did say she was disappointed and shocked to hear the reports about the couple and the fallout but added that domestic abuse is commonplace in the industry. "I can assure you that quite a few celebrities have been tapped upside their heads before," she revealed.

When asked if she ever experienced abuse, Stone quipped, "Oh hell no! Understand and do believe that when I tell you that faces will be cracked and on the ground. Because if you hit me, I'm telling you right now, I'm going for broke to try to break you off. I don't play that. My face is too beautiful and my skin is too well kept to get a scratch. And you better not mess with nobody else that I love, because guess what? Angie Stone immediately goes back to Angie B."

Ah, victim blaming. It's not about abusers taking responsibility for their violent actions, it's about women learning that we have to always make sure we're being ladylike enough so that we never provoke a man into hitting us. And 'it's acceptable to resort to violence if you're out of patience' is a great message too. But it's nothing compared to the part where Stone explains that she would never tolerate abuse herself because she's too beautiful. Yeah, let's just let that one sit there for a minute.

Even if we had wanted to give Stone the benefit of the doubt and say that she meant inner beauty or confidence or something, we can't because Stone goes on to describe her 'well kept skin'. It's too bad that Cover Girl model Rihanna didn't know about the Too Beautiful Clause, or this whole unfortunate situation could have been avoided. Let's go full circle and bring it back to The Duff - no matter what you look like or how glowing your skin is or how ladylike you are, domestic violence is never okay.

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