Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Stacey Ann Chin and Chris Brown and Rihanna


i love love love Stacey Ann Chin.
i've posted these videos on my myspace bulletin boards a number of times, and i have to post it here too.
i read a tiny book review about her memoir The Other Side of Paradise in O Magazine.
read it. bought it. and i'm having her babies in May.

anyway, watching these videos made me think about these conversations i've been having with random people at my job about the Chris Brown/Rihanna incident.
i think all of you know what happened between those two, so i won't go into that. theres a female coworker of mine, who talks about Chris Brown every now and then as if he's the child she gave up for adoption twenty years ago, who she still stalks in a motherly/creepy way. she'll say something along the lines of... "did yall see wal-mart trying to jip my boy chris brown? hiding his cd's in the back? yea, my boy had to get someone to go undercover to expose their hatin asses...."
to which i comment about how he deserves it and that other companies should follow suit.
to which she responds by insinuating that i'm some irrational feminist whose all over Rihanna's shit and has donned her with sainthood. conversations that have ended with the later have happened with a number of people, in and outside work. (and by the way, yes, i am a feminist. and no, that is not interchangeable with "man-hater". the definition for the feminist i am/hope to be can be found in bell hooks' Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center).

now, it is true that i'm not listening to, dancing to, buying, downloading, or supporting any shit that chris brown makes, produces, is featured in, or pulls out of his ass. and yes, it has to do with this situation. and it is also true that i'm not negating Rihanna in the same manner. what is NOT true is that i now support Rihanna and have labeled her innocent and want everyone to rally around her.

and i know the polemic. ... a woman who hits a man too many times should be hit back or "know her place" as one co-worker said. they're saying that chris brown was villified in the media, and Rihanna deserves the same treatment considering it was a fight in which both parties received blows and wounds.

heres the thing though, chris brown is a domestic abuser. yes, he may have gotten hit also, but this doesn't change the fact. domestic violence done at the hands of a man is one of the biggest problems in this country, not to mention worldwide. and to me, supporting ANY type of violence against women (even when she hit him, even if she cheated on him, even if she is "disobedient"-in reference to the violence against women permitted in the Quran...) supports ALL violence against women. if we fail to condemn someone like Chris Brown, then we fail to condemn fully the man who has choked his wife to death in front of their children; the man that has stalked, raped and murdered his ex after she's had restraining order set against him; the man that tosses acid on the face of an ex lover as a form of revenge. because Chris is not just another man. he is an idol to many young boys, and an ideal mate to many females. many people (mainly teenagers and young adults) look up to him. and by not condemning him, you're saying "its okay if you have mike tysoned a woman's long as you apologize". really, what type of message is it sending to young men when a man hits a woman and then comes out with an album that everyone's dancing to in the clubs? what message is this sending to the woman that is being abused right now?

i don't own nor ever wanted to own any of Chris Brown's nor Rihanna's albums. however, i'm not going to give Rihanna the same condemnation that i will Chris Brown.
when there are men being doused in acid, men being raped; being gang-raped, men being killed by their wives, and men having to go to work bruised and lie about their home situation on the same level that it is happening to a woman at the hands of a man (i am fully aware that domestic violence including rape happen against men by women), then i will condemn Rihanna. when there are homeless shelters, Houses of Ruth filled by men and their children hiding from their wives, when there are hundreds of programs and organizations directed towards men to help them cope with domestic violnece, when there are THOUSANDS of men being killed due to domestic violence, that is when i will condemn Rihanna on the same level i am Chris Brown.
but we are not at that level. not even close.

the statistics for domestic violence done against women is staggering, and it is even worse for African American Women. statistics
"The number one killer of African-American women ages 15 to 34 is homicide at the hands of a current or former intimate partner.
Africana Voices Against Violence, Tufts University, Statistics, 2002,"

NCADV statistics
"One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime."

NVRC-OR statistics
"One in five (21%) women reported she had been raped or physically or sexually assaulted in her lifetime."

Find statistics
"Women make up 3/4 of the victims of homicide by an intimate partner. Actually, 33% of all women murdered (of course, only cases which are solved are included) are murdered by an intimate partner. Women make up about 85% of the victims of non-lethal domestic violence. In all, women are victims of intimate partner violence at a rate about 5 times that of males."

and note that i am not condoning violence against men at the hands of a woman in any way. Rihanna was wrong for engaging in it (and/or starting it), absolutely. and sexual abuse done against young males in particular, is something that has not been properly addressed by the media or domestic violence organizations. however, men and women would have to be on the same level, statistically, socially, politically, etc. concerning domestic violence, for me to have the same reaction to either party. but, as i have shown, they are not on the same level. thus, they should not be condemned in the same way.

comment. criticize. think.

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