Thanks for the heads up Feministing. A couple weeks ago, R&B pop star Chris Brown choked, bit and beat his girlfriend, R&B pop star Rihanna to the point of filling her mouth with her own blood. Shocking photos of her battered face have circulated the world. (i figure you don't need to see it here).Well intentioned people are stepping up to rightfully denounce this behavior. And Newsweek just floored me with a really insightful article about the myths that a lot of us are perpetuating while trying to "use this case as something the educate kids with". Chris Brown carries/carried a lot of cool cred with kids, so it is definitely important to be clear to them that this is a toxic, unacceptable expression of masculinity. Also being clear about our inherent sexism while discussing this is also very important.
Here is an excerpt of myth number 1:
Myth No. 1: It was a domestic argument, and she provoked himAnd an excerpt of myth number 3:
We need to remember that any discussion of domestic violence should not revolve around what the couple may have been arguing about, or as one CNN anchor put it: "the incident that sparked the fight." Nor should we be using the word "provoked" when describing this case, as in the Associated Press account that said the "argument" was "provoked" by Rihanna's "discovery of a text message from another woman." Domestic violence has to do with, well, physical violence, not arguments. There isn't a verbal argument that should "spark" or "provoke" an attack of the kind that leaves one person with wounds that require medical attention.
Myth No. 3: People make mistakes. Give the guy a breakKanye?!? C'mon now. I'm almost more disappointed in him than Chris Brown.
When singer Kanye West talked about the Rihanna-Brown case with his VH1 audience recently, he asked: "Can't we give Chris a break? ... I know I make mistakes in life." Kanye's not the only one saying this kind of thing, so let's get something straight: People leave the oven on or fry turkeys in the garage and burn their house down. One may even accidentally step on the gas instead of the brake and run over the family cat. Mistakes resulting in tragic consequences happen all the time. But one cannot mistakenly beat someone up. You do not accidentally give someone black eyes, a broken nose and a split lip.
Newsweek however, stealthly extorts kudos from my unsuspecting person. Props.