I’m Not Okay with Chris Brown Performing at the Grammys and I’m Not Sure Why You Are

Editor’s note: Today (May 5th) is Chris Brown’s birthday. This piece was one of the most popular in our history and we want to memorialize his birthday by reinforcing a message we believe in.

I’m sick and tired of people acting like it’s no big deal that Chris Brown will be performing at the Grammys.

I’m frustrated that the mainstream media is covering this story like it’s any comeback story, like an exiled prince’s return to a former glory, like this is another political timeline — as though some rich and powerful old white men in the music business have not just issued an enormous ‘f**k you’ to every woman who has been, is or will be on the receiving end of domestic violence.

We should be furious.

Why aren’t we?

A Long, Long Time Ago, or Three Years Ago, But Who’s Counting?

For those of you who are currently listening to ‘Look at Me Now’ and wondering what the big deal is, a quick recap: The night before the Grammys in 2009, Chris Brown got angry at his girlfriend, Rihanna, and he took it out on her face. She went to the hospital and then to the LAPD, where this photo was taken and promptly leaked to TMZ. (The LAPD issued a stern statement on the leak, threatening penalties “up to and including termination”. TMZ reportedly paid $62,500 for the photo.)

Both Rihanna and Brown had been scheduled to perform at the Grammys the following evening. Neither did.

Instead, Chris Brown turned himself into the LAPD at 7 pm, was booked on suspicion of criminal threats and was released on $50,000 bail.

Then the Internet exploded.

I was a full-time entertainment writer at the time, so I had a front-row seat to the action. This is what I expected: I expected a string of celebrities to comment on how horrific this situation was, how sad and angry they were for Rihanna, how domestic violence is unacceptable in any context, how as a nation we need to condemn this and condemn it loudly.

Instead, Hollywood went silent and, when they did speak, they teetered on the brink of defending Chris Brown.

Carrie Underwood: “I don’t think anybody actually knows what happened. I have no advice.”

Lindsay Lohan: “I have no comment on that. That’s not my relationship. I think they’re both great people.”

Nia Long: “I know both of them well. They’re young, and all we can do is pray for them at this point.”

Mary J. Blige: “They’re both young and beautiful people, and that’s it.”

Jay-Z, one of Rihanna’s mentors, spoke up: “You have to have compassion for others. Just imagine it being your sister or mom and then think about how we should talk about that. I just think we should all support her.”

In a sane world, Jay-Z’s statement would sound insane. Why would he have to remind his fans to support Rihanna after what happened is that she got hit in the face?

Jay-Z issued that statement because the Internet was, in early February 2009, engaged in a very serious conversation about whether or not all of this was Rihanna’s fault. In fact, large segments of the Internet had devoted themselves to making Rihanna the scapegoat for any woman who ever had the gall to do something worth getting hit, and then the cloying self-esteem to go to the cops about it. Bloggers and their commentators flocked to Chris Brown’s defense in droves. It was a full-blown tearing-down of female self-worth, an assault on any progress women have made in this country in the past 200 years, and the mainstream media ignored it.

It horrified me. It still does.

Later in February, a photo of Brown riding a jet ski in Miami hit the Internet, and singer Usher was caught on video commenting on it: “I’m a little disappointed in this photo,” Usher says in the video. “After the other photo [of Rihanna’s bruised face]? C’mon, Chris. Have a little bit of remorse, man. The man’s on jet skis? Like, just relaxing in Miami?”

The backlash was so severe that Usher was later forced to publicly apologize.

“I apologize on behalf of myself and my friends if anyone was offended,” he said. “The intentions were not to pass judgment and we meant no harm. I respect and wish the best for all parties involved.”

The message we sent to young women was unmistakable: You are powerless. You are worthless. You will be a victim, and that will be okay with us.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/danielascrima Daniela Scrima

    @FeFe Monroe, do you hear what you are saying? “So far, he hasn’t gotten into any more arrests, he doesn’t do drugs, and he is still making great music.” I don’t care if he disappears or continues recording or what not, people are free to buy and listen to his music and see him perform. I also think as a woman, and more importantly as a human being, I am not going to defend domestic violence. I do not want to someday have a daughter so she can aspire to live in a world where her boyfriend only beats her once and then feels real bad about it. He chooses to make himself a public figure. If I am unaware of his humanatarian actions, or large donations toward shelters for women who have to go into hiding because it’s kind of getting hard to walk around with a broken jaw– then someone please, point that out. If he is providing counseling to young men & saying “Hey look what I did that one time, and how out of control things got, and how I am not ever going to be okay with it so this is why you cannot ever let that happen in your life”– then maybe there is something to letting him just movin’ on with his happy little life and career. But until then I really do not agree with a platform that says: This is okay, this is acceptable. Domestic Violence as an issue will become “shit that is beyond tired” when it stops and until then, please hope for something better for the world that you are part of.

    • http://www.facebook.com/NisaSCDostalie Nisa S C Dostalie

      I 100% agree with you. I read the article with an open mind. Casting no judgement, but the direction the article went was 200% on point. I remembered when the incident first occurred. Of course, some of the male people I spoke to brought up the idea that probably she provoked him, and that angered me. Because someone upset you during an argument, you think you have the right to physically assault the person. Whatever happened to walking away. But what really disappointed me, was when some females I spoke to took to his defense. I looked at a lot of my female friends differently now. It made me wonder, if a guy were to ever hit me, would they think the same thing? Would they ask whether I provoked my partner to beating me. I ask, if their daughters were beaten, would they still have the same opinion? Is it because they do not know Rihanna, they came to that conclusion? I for one DO NOT AGREE. with any one physically attacking someone. And I am sick and tired of hearing people saying, Let’s move on, We don’t know what happened. You know what I know happened. He beat her. And I am shocked that parents whose daughters went on the various social sites to STAND UP FOR CHRIS BROWN, did not demand that the take down their nonsense. So sad. You as a woman should never support someone who beats someone. You know what his FANS should have done. Sent him messages telling him that he was wrong, probably it would have sank in if he heard it from his fans. I have learned that just because someone is my friend, does not mean I have to lie and tell them that the are right when they are wrong. I don’t know what THESE FANS, want to see, to realize the wrong in this situation. Do they have to see a portrayal of it on the big screen like Tina Turner’s life. To my friends who still thinks that Rihanna called it up on herself, I say to you, walk a mile in someone else shoes before you cast judgement.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nkbhatti Nadia Bhatti

    Can you never be redeemed after a making a mistake? I actually agree that Chris Brown shouldn’t have been invited to perform at such a high-profile event such as the Grammy’s, but I think if someone makes a mistake, no matter how bad it is, they should be able to get redemption somewhere if they are genuine enough about it. This whole culture of hating someone forever cause they hit a woman, shouldn’t we be more worried about rehabilitating the guy rather than uselessly hating him forever? You know why Chris hit Rihanna? Because women are second class citizens in the world- probably should spend our times fighting against that rather than vilifying one man who is a product of that society.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dasha.briqueleur Dasha Briqueleur

      Sure, if he’s being rehabilitated. That’s not happening here.

    • http://www.facebook.com/nkbhatti Nadia Bhatti

      ”The fate of many young black men in this society, whose lives are characterized through cycles of violence that usually climax in the death of others or their own deaths, epitomizes the peril of trying to actualize the fantasy of masculinity that is socially constructed by ruling groups in capitalist patriarchy.” – bell hooks

    • http://www.facebook.com/nkbhatti Nadia Bhatti

      And how on earth do we know if he’s been rehabilitated or not? How do we know he’ll ever hit a woman again? This is exactly like not allowing felons to vote or get a job. Marginalizing black men for a caving in to societal pressures that they didn’t even create. If you personally think his actions were not something worth getting over, then don’t buy his music or support his career. I don’t, but I sure as hell am not going to go on a public crusade to ruin his life and force other people to feel the same way as me. There are much bigger things to worry about.

    • http://www.facebook.com/gingerrox Ginger Dzerk

      Not forever, but seems reasonable to me to follow his sentence as a guideline: avoid high-profile appearances through the end of his five year probation in 2014. He can make albums and do concert tours so he’s allowed to earn an income, but he really should have pulled himself out of any public appearances *other than to show remorse, regret and apology for his actions* for the full five years, and those who booked him for such appearances should be ashamed of themselves. He wasn’t sent to jail, but he should still do the time – otherwise what is the point of probation?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=569404521 Leslie Gornstein

      Running a stop sign is a “mistake.” Using a dashboard as a brickbat to beat one’s girlfriend is not a whoopsie. It’s a crime, one that takes serious, repeated focus and deliberation. So, no, this was not a mistake. It’s a shame that Brown keeps framing it that way (I believe his preferred word is “mishap”) and that people, particularly young women, accept it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=547655483 Victoria Hinchcliffe

      I like your argument a lot Nadia. I want to know though, if you don’t mind: if he is ‘rehabilitated’ why should he still be banned from attending the Grammys?

    • http://www.facebook.com/nkbhatti Nadia Bhatti

      I don’t think he should be “banned”. I’m just saying if I was the head of the Grammy’s, I personally wouldn’t have invited a Chris Brown to perform. And the fact that he is performing there shouldn’t be a problem with Chris Brown, it should be taken up with Ken Ehrlich. It’s like when people hate on undocumented workers when they should really be looking at the companies who hire them. And I’m not saying he IS rehabilitated, we don’t know, I don’t know Chris Brown, but neither do any of us so we shouldn’t pass judgment on if he is or not just because he’s not being super public about it. Let me just put it this way- my dad may have been abusive towards my mother when I was younger so should I stay hating him forever even though everyone has moved on and forgiven him INCLUDING the victim-my mother? He has never laid a hand on her since- for over 15 years and is at a completely different place in his life. Do I want everyone to continue to stigmatize him when the people close to him have found it in their hearts to forgive him? Sometimes feminism wants to attack the person when it needs to be attacking the system.

    • http://www.facebook.com/nkbhatti Nadia Bhatti

      And a separate argument- I find it more than a little appalling that the author think that Komen defunding Planned Parenthood is in any way shape or form comparable to Chris Brown abusing Rihanna and the media aftermath of that situation. Defunding Planned Parenthood would have affected thousands of women—literally affected them, to where they wouldn’t be able to get breast exams. How on earth is that comparable to one man hitting a woman? Of course, you can argue that he’s a celebrity and if people become “okay” with him engaging in this type of behavior then other young boys will think that this is acceptable behavior. But do you really think he has that strong of an influence on kids? What will teach those men to hit women is women being shitted on since the beginning of time, it will be seeing their fathers and uncles and brothers hit women- where do you think Chris Brown learned it from? I just think comparing that to a situation that affects thousands of women and their health is dangerous. Nothing about that is the same.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ohdearitslayla Layla Earls

    So very well said. I am not anti-Chris Brown. As you said, everyone deserves a second chance after making mistakes (if you can call beating a woman a mistake instead of a senseless act of inhumanity). What I am is anti-domestic violence and pro-woman, and I don’t understand the warm fuzzy blanket that has been laid over Chris Brown for this, or the absolute inability for other celebrities to have a reaction to it. I also feel that I must be missing something in how this whole thing was handled. I, for one, will not be watching the Grammy’s this year. The only thing they are a victim of is their own stupidity for driving viewers away with their insensitivity.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=18900644 Ramou Sarr

    While I support anyone’s decision to boycott the Grammys and/or Chris Brown, it’s interesting to see how different the public response is to Brown as opposed to other “famous batterers” (Mel Gibson, Charlie Sheen, Michael Fassbender to name a few). I think that there are a number of reasons for why this is, a huge part being that the photos were made so public and available. But I do think that it’s important to ask ourselves why we may be holding Brown to a different standard. What Ehrlich said was awful and frankly, stupid, but goes to show how this is a business, and who you are is entirely less important than how talented you are, what you can do for ratings, viewership, etc.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dianasof Diana Zapata

      Well I don’t think that Chris Brown is being vilified more than those other celebrities you mentioned, just because this article isn’t about Michael Fassbender, Mel Gibson or Charlie Sheen. Believe me, after I read about Fassbender’s history of violence against his girlfriend (was it his girlfriend? i forget) I saw him in a different light. I don’t think I can watch one of his movies and swoon the way other girls swoon. But he is less famous and less people know about it so proportionally speaking I can see why public response is larger against Brown. Mel Gibson? Never cared about him and after knowing what a disgusting person he is I wouldn’t support anything he says or does. Sheen? Same. Scumbag, looks like he’s mentally unwell and a violent sexist creature. I’m not holding Brown to a different standard, but I think Hollywood is. Why? Maybe because Rhianna is also famous so the industry doesn’t want to cause any trouble? It’s disgusting, either way.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kmgk20 Kimmy Gunderson-Kuramoto

    It is never ever okay to hit/beat a significant other, and boys on a girl? No good. However, I lost a ton of respect for Rihanna after her “We Found Love” music video, and for other small things she has done since the incident. This was a very well written thoughtful article. Thanks!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=124216 Jessica Plummer

      Why does whether or not you respect Rihanna have anything to do with the fact that Chris Brown hit her? Do women you respect deserve to get hit by their loved ones less? Your opinion on Rihanna is completely irrelevant to this discussion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000124555576 Abby Lindsey

    Thank you for writing this. I, too, am appalled that this was never a bigger deal. The message that this whole incident has sent to young women is disgusting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dancerLiz88 Elizabeth Michelle

    My mother was involved in an abusive marriage for seven years, years ago. This article hit close to home because even she, I don’t think, knew how to deal with it. Eventually she came to her senses, and I really hope Rhianna does too.. and I wish the media would acknowledge the severity of what Chris Brown has done as well. I agree, domestic violence is really not okay at all and people need to know more about it. Women need to feel empowered.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002153822908 Carla Ann

    I think that the key message here is really this – Chris Brown is a dirtbag for hitting his girlfriend, for his lack of remorse and for his apparent ongoing obnoxious, sexist and homophobic behaviour.

    BUT WE AS CONSUMERS are dirtbags if we don’t hold him to account. If we showed that this kind of behaviour was unacceptable through not buying his records, by not endorsing the guy, then perhaps he would get the message.

    Everybody does deserve a second chance, and domestic violence is one of those complex social issues that tends to be a result of societal attitudes and can often be hereditary, in that it is a product of that person’s experiences as a child and in the world.

    So we explain why this is wrong, we don’t support the cult of celebrity when it gives credibility to perpetrators of domestic violence and we give second chances ONLY TO THOSE who have shown they want to, or have, changed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=65800494 Meredith Bagdazian

    Funny how in Hollywood Chris Brown can beat Rihanna to a pulp, Roman Polanski can rape little girls and people are okay with it, but when someone says something “offensive” on twitter or Facebook they lose their jobs.

  • Anonymous

    I appreciate the sentiment of this article, but essentially the message I got from it was that you believe Chris Brown should never be allowed to perform, record or leave his house ever again because of what he did. I agree that it was wrong, but you know who else hit a woman once in their life? John Lennon. He even admitted to it on “Getting Better.” He’s revered as one of the greatest songwriters of all time.

    Now, I’m clearly not comparing Chris Brown to Lennon, or even defending what Chris Brown did. All I am saying is that someone should not have their entire life dedicated to one bad thing that they did. It’s not fair on anyone – least of all Rihanna, who no doubt has to continually hear about this sort of thing so many years after it happened.

    I personally saw Rihanna as the victor in this whole affair. While Chris still had some hits here and there, Rihanna continues to be arguably the most popular female pop artist in the world, up there with Katy Perry and Lady Gaga. Her last three albums have sold into the millions, and she’s had far more success than Chris has in the past few years. She’s refused to let it stop her. That should be something that’s celebrated.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sarahelayna Sarah Elayna Fletcher

      For him to disappear completely may be the authors wishes, I don’t know but I take it as more of a commentary on how forgiving people have been. He shouldn’t have to disappear but we can certainly control how we view this as the public and especially as women. It’s shameful how even women are team Chris Brown. He was supported immediately after the beating on Rihanna and the people who spoke out against him were expected to apologize afterwards. He can continue doing whatever he wants and there will still be people that love him but dismissing his problems absolutely sends the wrong message to women and belittles the issue. Domestic violence is not taken seriously enough and the victims aren’t given nearly enough support.

    • http://www.facebook.com/alexk.ca Alex Kojfman

      this is a great response. I really enjoyed the article, and I don’t think hitting a woman in any circumstances is right. He made a mistake. Laid low for a couple of years and his albums haven’t been selling millions. But he does have a right to continue however he can to make money and have his career. If it fizzles it’s up to the consumers. Mel Gibson gets drunk and says dumb stuff, and his last few movies stink it up at the box office. Lindsay Lohan can’t get insured on set to be in a movie, so her career has taken a dive (for now. Give it time.) It happens all the time.

      I particularly like this response involving John Lennon, because would the author have taken such a stance it if was Lennon and not Brown? And I’m not talking about race (Black v. White) but perhaps a Beatles fan vs a Hiphop Fan.

      Also, consider that theft (Wynona Rider), DUI’s (too many celebs to count), drugs (too many to count) etc are all offensive and illegal things why are we not blacklisting all these stars. Oh… because they are human and they make mistakes. Not to say that a my life wouldn’t be better without Nick Nolte, Michelle Rodriguez, Macauly Caulkin, Hugh Grant or Paris Hilton to name a few. But I’m sure there are plenty of other stars/celebs that get caught with their pants down (Eddie Murphy/Hugh Grant), with their noses powdered, high as a kite (Seth Rogan and James Franco) and their blood alcohol levels well above the legal limit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=718260442 Natasha Simmonds

    Totally on the same page as you! I cannot and will not listen, buy, dance to any Chris Brown music. The music industry may have been quick to forgive, but not I!

  • http://www.facebook.com/msfrancesXO Frances Vasquez

    I would like to know how many woman who wrote comments are actually victims of domestic violence. I have been a victim & let me say this: its a terrible, awful, scary situation. Just like Rihanna I reported my abuse the first time it happened. In no way am I trying to defend Chris Brown. I have been able to forgive my abuser and don’t live with hatred in my heart. I choose not to watch the Grammy’s. It seems that Rihanna has forgiven him because i am sure that she wouldn’t perform knowing Chris Brown would be there. It seems like he is a lost soul & only has gotten angrier. Until someone steps up and rallies against these power heads, no one will listen to anyone’s concerns. These are all empty words. Stop being angry & take a stand.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1072110047 David Amezcua

    I didn’t know this was how the media responded. What the heck?!

  • http://www.facebook.com/degtor Dani-emma Richardson

    Absolutely loved the article- it was so eloquently written, and I appreciate how you highlighted the medias response to this whole ordeal. However, I would love some direction as to how to act; is there a petition going around to call out the organizers of the Grammys? You have rallied us, now tell us how we can change things!

  • http://www.facebook.com/kimberlynappi Kimberly Nappi

    This was something that needed to be said, and you articulated it so well. I’ve been of the same opinion since the whole Chris Brown/Rihanna scandal and am appalled at the fact that he’s continued to have such a thriving career. I’d never heard the quote about the Grammys being the victim of the scandal before, but that just made me even more angry. What is the world coming to?

  • http://www.facebook.com/l3killi Lesley Hill

    This is a great article. It bothers me deeply that Chris Brown is performing at the Grammy’s and I am disappointed in the media’s support of him. I am also nearly equally disappointed by Rihanna’s glorification of sexual violence in her music following the incident. I know that a musical artist can choose to outlet their experiences/feelings however they want (and I still support her as a victim), but I was hoping that her music would denounce sexual violence and it sometimes seems to do quite the opposite.

  • http://www.facebook.com/solou Sophie-Louise Ford
  • http://www.facebook.com/areed1134 Amy Reed

    I honestly can’t nail down my feelings on this subject. There is never any excuse for a man to punch a woman in the face, that’s obvious. Chris Brown committed a terrible crime and I think that his actions said a lot about his character. He is paying his debt through community service and probation.
    Being a singer is his job. Is he supposed to find a new career because of what happened? Or should he be able to make amends and continue working?
    I honestly don’t know. It does seem as though a lot of people have just simply brushed aside his actions and allowed him to become a “comeback story”.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=18900644 Ramou Sarr

      Yes. Your second paragraph is also a big issue for me and speaks to a much more complicated issue of how we tend to treat felons/criminals. We get really angry at recidivism and when people go back to bad habits and/or behaviors after serving their time, but also say, “Welp. This person deserves to be punished even more and should not be allowed to go back to the one job that they’re trained in and do well and has allowed them to provide for themselves.” I guess it’s a court of law v. court of public opinion problem, and the court of public opinion is often much more harsh.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=548223691 Natalie Clark

        In the real world if you have a criminal record of any type it can seriously effect your chances of getting a job. It is part of the punishment for breaking the law in the first place. Chris Brown was charged and convicted, he has a criminal record, yet he can go on and sell millions of records and perform to thousands/ millions of people. His job is to be part of our lives through music and performance. Yes you can turn off the TV, change the radio station but its still an inconvenience for the people he is meant to be entertaining. It’s like finding out that a waiter at your favourite restaurant has beat up their partner. Its just not the same, you might want to eat elsewhere or ask for someone else to serve you or simply avoid eye contact but what it means is you have to adapt your life to accommodate them. Criminals have to rebuild and re-enter society. Chris Brown did not.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kristen.mansker Kristen Mansker

    We believe in second chances, and everyone should have a second chance…but Chris Brown should crawl into a box and not inconvenience us with his ongoing existence ever again.

    Whether or not we like it, he still exists. Whether we like it or not, she’s over it. Let’s not pretend we’re shunning and punishing him on her behalf, because she’s long since moved on. We’re not making her the poster girl for battered women, we’re making him the whipping boy for all abusive boyfriends.

    “A man who hits a woman in anger may eventually be permitted to go on with his own life, but he is not permitted back in my life, even if it’s been three whole years.”

    Chris Brown is not the man who hit you. Chris Brown is not the man who victimized you. Chris Brown performing at the Grammys is not, in any way, Chris Brown in your life. It’s Chris Brown in HIS life, and you can turn the TV off if his ongoing existence is that much of a trigger for you.

    • http://www.facebook.com/azuldeluna Tomie Kourai Aminoacido

      Chris brown is in my life the moment he decided he was performing for an audience, expecting them to buy his records and like his songs.
      I am part of the public towards which his whole PR machine is directed, therefore I deserve to form an opinion on him based on all the information I can get my hands on.
      He may have not hit me, but as a consumer and a woman, I have every right not to forgive him for hitting another girl.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cgilmore1 Charles Gilmore Jr

    I am completely against domestic violence of any of any kind. Whether it comes from a man or a woman it is completely wrong. If anyone did that to my daughter I’d be serving a jail sentence.

    However, what gets lost in this story is that Rihanna also abused Chris. She initiated the slapping and punching that night. This makes her both an abuser and a victim. No, I’m not saying what Chris did to her was justified by her initiating the slapping and punching. I’m just saying that we need to be against domestic violence on both sides of the spectrum

    We can’t have double standards. Hitting is wrong from either gender.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dennis.kelch Dennis Kirk Kelch

      I’ve never heard that Rihanna hit him at all before, so I’m not sure where you’re getting that from? Brown is a piece of shit.

    • http://www.facebook.com/cgilmore1 Charles Gilmore Jr

      TMZ reported numerous times that the argument started because Brown got text messages from a woman that he had a prior relationship with. She was talking about hooking up later that night. Rihanna became upset and jealous about this and began to hit and slap Brown. This has been kept out of the mainstream media but has been reported on TMZ a few times. I’m not saying it is right, just saying that if true she too is an abuser

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=541683791 Mackenzie Snead

      I’m not saying that I support Chris Brown, and I also don’t think it’s necessary to victimize Rihanna. I agree with what was said earlier, by Charles Gilmore Jr. When the story first came out I remember one of my friends supporting Chris Brown in the matter and I thought she was being ridiculous, and then I looked into it. Rihanna, while arguably provoked by Chris Brown’s possible infidelity, hit HIM first. I’m not saying that Brown doesn’t deserve blame in the matter, but we need to remember that she hit him too, and everyone forgot about it because she was the one with the bruised face. The problem I continually run into with staunch feminists is their perceived blind eye turned towards things like that, and–sorry to generalize there–but I think if we want to make comments on the matter, or judge anyone, we need to look at the whole story and not stop at the evidence that was conveniently provided for us. We forget that there are two sides to every story because it tends to complicate things. I fully agree that the Grammy’s shouldn’t have invited Chris Brown to perform this year, but to say that he shouldn’t have a career at all is extreme. I wish there had been some reporter who could have investigated whether the allegations that Rihanna hit Brown first were true, because if they are, then she likely needs some sort of anger management too…though at the time, and continually now, I still support her as a victim. I have a problem with people who were so harsh to Usher and Jay Z because they were completely right to judge Brown, as his mentors and peers. Obviously as the target audience for the media and incidents like this, we are going to have our own opinions on the matter, but I think that real change for Brown, and Rihanna, would come from THEIR friends telling them they need help, etc. and not us. We should pressure others in the limelight to act, instead of raging on over Brown continuing his career. I also don’t think it should be necessary to judge others’ comments based on whether they have been victims of abuse before (as suggested a comment above). That’s something completely personal that shouldn’t be needed to validify a comment.

    • http://www.facebook.com/hazel.monforton Hazel Elizabeth Monforton

      Keep in mind that the majority of domestic violence is exactly this situation, a reciprocal fight escalating and the bigger, stronger person ended up beating the shit out of the smaller, weaker one. That’s not “equal” domestic violence. That’s an abusive relationship where a woman tries to defend herself.

    • http://www.facebook.com/etwiggs Erica Nicole

      I remember watching something about men who were abused in relationships and the one thing I always remember them saying is that no one ever tried to help them. So they dealt with it until they hit a breaking point and did something drastic like retaliating which in turn was the only time someone took notice. That could very well have been the situation here. We don’t know though because we were not there, all we know comes from hearsay and a few pictures. And I fully agree that his actions were awful, but the fact of the matter is I’m not him I don’t know what was going through his head then and I doubly don’t know what’s going through his head now. He admitted he came from an abusive household and he has even said that he vowed he would never behave in that way, but he did. And he has to deal with that everyday of his life and go through his process of dealing with his actions and figuring out how to move on in his life. And regardless of what that process is its his and his alone he does not owe you or anyone outside of those involved anything. And what I find ironic is that there will inevitably be the comment that because she abused him it doesn’t make it ok for him to do what he did (and I fully agree), but on those same lines the constant harassment of him is also a form of abuse and what he did doesn’t make it ok for anyone to do that. To continually call for him to be shunned and to continuously keep pushing the idea he should lose everything is mental abuse and it could have very serious consequences. These articles and comments are like punches and each one beats him down more and more, but I don’t understand the purpose of making them. He can’t do anything about the past all he can do is move forward and try to become a better person. And yeah he does stupid shit still, but he’s young and CLEARLY dealing with a hostile public so I’m sure he’s doing the best HE can. But in the end I don’t know and you don’t know, the only thing I do know is I don’t want to turn on my TV and find out this kid killed himself because he could never escape a mistake. We need to stop vilifying people without knowing the whole story, because in the end it does nothing to help if anything it hurts. Instead of keeping Chris Brown from performing why don’t we put our energy into actively working to stop abuse and helping the woman stuck in an abusive relationship because she is poor and has children and has no way out because getting that woman and her kids out of that situation changes their lives. One less child witnesses abuse, one less child learns to abuse, one less child grows up to abuse. See how that works.

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