Domestic Disturbia

Misogyny hangs in the air like fog over a picturesque seaside village in England around the allegations that singer Chris Brown beat his girlfriend, R&B superstar Rihanna, following a Grammy pre-show party Saturday night.  Though the Los Angeles district attorney’s office is still building its case against Brown, the details gathered so far are grim–police responding to a 911 call found 20 year-old Rihanna bleeding and battered, with injuries serious enough to require hospitalization, as well as cancellations of upcoming public appearances, including a concert in Malaysia originally scheduled for this weekend.  Brown was not on the scene when police arrived, but later turned himself in, only to be released on $50,000 bail a short time later.

Rihanna’s people aren’t talking in specifics about the incident yet, except to release a statement saying that she’s okay and appreciates the support she’s receiving from fans, but the media is reporting on rumors about what may have triggered the attack as though they’re facts already.  According to Gawker, nearly all the rumors have to do with Rihanna’s supposed seething jealousy over Brown’s making time with everyone from British pop star Leona Lewis to the ubiquitous Paris Hilton (the C-list equivalent of Samuel L. Jackson, in that she shows up in damn near everything) to an unidentified woman who supposedly rang Brown’s cell phone shortly before the assault occurred.  The most widespread rumor is that Brown was furious over discovering that Rihanna had given him herpes.  Notice a pattern there? Every “theory” seems to imply that Rihanna brought on the argument and subsequent beating, either by being unreasonably jealous or cheating on Brown.

While Brown’s print ads for the ‘Got Milk’ campaign have been pulled, and a handful of radio stations across the country have at least temporarily dropped his songs from their playlists, the majority of Brown’s fans have remained staunchly in his corner despite the abuse charges.  Check out these comments posted at an article reporting on the “Rihanna gave him herpes” rumor.  The atrocious spelling and grammar has been preserved for posterity.

Herpes=Deserves her butt kicked.

Ohhh yeah u quick to say that hes a punk and u hate him and shit…but what if a bitch that you thought was real with you gave u an incurable std . Id go ape shit on her ass too she deserved it.

NOW HOLD DHA FUCK UP iF SH3 GAV3 U H3RP3Z WOULDNT U BiTCHSLAP H3R ASS BAQ 2 BARBADOS?? RiHANNA GOT OFF 3ASY LAST TiM3 AT HiZ BDAY PARTii N SH3 WANNA TRY DHAT SHiT AGAiN?? iF SH3 WAS SMART SH3 NO3Z HOW FAR 2 GO iN A DiSPUT3 BUH SH3S NOT iM NOT SAYiN H3 WUZ RiT3 BUH iF SH3 DiD GiV3 HiM DHAT SH3 D3S3RV3S 2 B SLAPP3D

I would give anyone a beat down that cheated one me and gave me an std…..so I am supporting Chris Brown on this one.

I’m a female and i am SO against niggaz beatn up on women BUT…if she gave him HERPES!! HERPES yall! datz uh STD for LIFE!! Id for DAMN sure beat her azz up n down da street. So if datz da kase im wit Chris

man i wouldnt of just beat her i woulda killed her

I spent much of the time between researching and writing this post both wiping the blood that streamed from my eyes while reading that garbage and looking into finding a cave I could move into, preferably in the side of a hill, perhaps in that picturesque seaside English village I mentioned above.  Let’s take a moment to clarify two things: one, Rihanna giving Chris Brown herpes is a rumor, though the typically irresponsible entertainment media is reporting it as fact.  Two, even if she did, let’s remember that nearly half of all Americans are currently walking around carrying the virus that leads to HPV.  If everyone who has it and inadvertently gives it to someone else “deserves” to be beaten for it, we’d see an awful lot of people walking around with broken noses and black eyes, including some of our friends and loved ones.

Even the reasonable minded of Brown’s fans keep insisting that they need to hear “the whole story” before forming an opinion.  What would that “whole story” be, a justifiable reason for Brown attacking Rihanna? There isn’t one.  Could she have hit him first? That’s possible, but it wasn’t Brown who ended up in the hospital with bruises and bite marks.  There is no such thing as “I think it’s wrong to hit women, but…” You either do or you don’t, there is no “but,” because “but” implies that you think it’s okay in certain cases.  Guess what? It isn’t.  This is something we all should have learned back in kindergarten.  Trying to put Chris Brown in a sympathetic light because he’s young, or because he reportedly grew up in an abusive household, or because we all know what it’s like when some mouthy bitch gets up in your face doesn’t mitigate the fact that he is certainly old enough to be responsible for his actions, and to be expected to control himself.  Everyone who is aghast at the news, saying “Not Chris Brown! He’s such a nice guy! I can’t imagine him doing such a thing!”, you know what? You could say the same thing about most common, everyday perpetrators of domestic violence, whether male or female, regardless if their victims are their partners or their children.  Very few people who mistreat their partners are ogres in their everyday lives.  They seem normal, they’re friendly, they’re even charming–that’s how they keep getting away with it.

I don’t claim to “know” Chris Brown.  Hell, I’ve never even heard any of his songs.  However, I doubt even his biggest fans really know him–let’s remember that most celebrities are much savvier than we realize when it comes to how much of them the public is allowed to see.  It’s entirely plausible that Rihanna acted inappropriately in their relationship, whether by cheating or being jealous and possessive.  However, she was the one who required medical treatment, not him.  He is the one who has assault charges pending, not her.  He is the one hiding behind “blame the victim” statements that are getting leaked to the media by “friends” and “insiders.” If Rihanna hit him first, so be it, then she should be held accountable for her actions, which is not the same as saying she deserved the abuse she got.  Chris Brown had a responsibility to not act out in violence, and he failed.  There’s your whole story.

One thing is certain in all this: you know Michael Phelps and Christian Bale are breathing sighs of relief.  Smoking pot and cursing out a film crew member are child’s play compared to this.

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