Abuse and Attitudes...

FROM GARLAND: This is the first time that Chuck or myself have decided to use our Q&A blog for a sole personal opinion. Chuck may add a comment of his own, or he may not - but I really want to take a moment and get something off my chest.

I'm sure that many people have heard about the Chris Brown and Rihanna situation. Obviously, very few people TRULY know what happened. I, like you, have my own opinions.

But, this post isn't completely about Chris and Rihanna. It's about something I heard last night on the radio and what I see as a dangerous shift in attitudes.

One of the local radio stations had a "call-in-line" where people called in to talk about the C&R situation and I'm going to paraphrase a bit here, but the majority of calls went like this:

  • "I don't think Chris hit Rihanna, he doesn't look like the kind of guy that would do that,"

  • "She must have really made him angry to punch her like that,"

  • "Everybody has their limits and she must've made him real mad to hit her like that,"

  • "Females have to understand that if you hit a man, he's gonna' hit you back,"

  • "She had to have hit him first to make him hit her like that,"

  • "Chris Brown is too nice to hit a woman,"

  • "Rihanna, obviously provoked Chris to beat her up,"

  • "Let's not be mad at Chris until we find out what Rihanna did to him first,"

The vast majority of callers were African-American women and most of them sounded youngish, in their teens and 20's from my guess. Sadly, they all leaned towards defending or sympathizing with Chris Brown and virtually blaming Rihanna for what may have happened to her.

I was simply stunned. I assumed that man on woman violence would rally women behind the alleged victim, but quite the opposite. They solidly stood behind the man. Maybe it's because Chris has a squeaky clean image, maybe it's because he's cute, maybe it's because he can sing and dance pretty good - but don't all those qualities apply to Miss Rihanna too?

So, why have attitudes shifted, and when did these attitudes shift? Honestly I don't know and I guess I'm floating my thoughts out to the universe to see what floats back.

I always assumed and believed, and still do, that a man NEVER lays his hands on a woman. A man, even when provoked with the gravest of circumstances, NEVER hits a woman. He can yell, he can scream, he can walk away, he can file for divorce, he can go get drunk, hell, he can pack bag and go stay at a hotel for a few days, but he NEVER hits a woman. I thought that was the way MEN did business when things got bad.

Now, I'm not just sitting here passing judgement from on-high in cyber space, I've been there and done that. I've been THAT MAN. Years ago, this woman I was dating brought some nonsense to me and started this intense argument, it went on for 5 or 10 minutes and she decided that she wanted to make her point by punching me in the face. I didn't touch her, I stepped back, furious. When she saw that I wasn't going to strike her back she became emboldened and grabbed a pair of scissors and tried to stab me, I caught her arm and knocked the scissors from her hand, she then bit down on my hand and fell on the floor trying to kick me off my feet. It was intense for a few minutes. But I never hit her, I never smacked her, I never did anything physical to harm her. If this was a man doing this, I would have beaten him bloody, but I have always believed that a man NEVER hits a woman.

I guess that attitude is gone now in most folks. Sadly, I think it's gone in most women.

But, I want to say, right here, right now to anyone reading this blog... THAT NEW ATTITUDE OF ACCEPTANCE needs to change. The standing policy should still be, "A Man Never Lays His Hands on a Woman." Women of all ages and colors should make that a Universal and Un-Breakable policy. It is completely unacceptable that a man should beat up a woman and then have people... and not just men... but have OTHER WOMEN rally around him and help justify what he did! And, I don't give a damn about how much money he has, how cute he is, how nice you think he is... a man that hits a woman is a straight-up punk! A sorry, sucker-ass, jive-time, low-down, no-good, punk!

If a man hits you, get help, call the police and leave his behind in the dust.

Demand more, Ladies! Stand together, and don't accept anything less than you truly deserve!


CHUCK: See, and people like to laugh and say to me, "You've had some bad experiences with women."

I'm with Garland here in large part. I've had some pretty angrry confrontations with women I've been involved with, but it's never gotten to a physical level. Still, I've got some thoughts on this whole Chris Breezy/Rihanna business I want to share with you in the form of some bullet points, as follows:

A) WHY DOES CHRIS BROWN HAVE A GIRLFRIEND... if he's not going to be faithful to her? I call this Bow Wow's Conundrum. Chris is young, rich, and apparently attractive to females. He also, by most reports, is lacking the emotional maturity to be in a monogamous relationship right now, like his peer, the former Lil' Bow Wow reportedly was when he was dating Ciara. Fine. He's 19. What would I do if I was in his shoes?

However, instead of openly playing the field, he's in a public relationship with another pop star. Why? Publicity. Chris is gonna get a lot more press if he shows up for award shows and the like, with another star rather than a random jump-off. Magazine covers, videos, these kind of showmances can be beneficial to the principles' careers if people don't go off the deep end and start to think of the relationship as anything other than a business tranaction. Rihanna, Breezy, maybe you should have called Tom Cruise or Nicole Kidman before either of you did anything rash.

B) WHERE IS THE LOVE FOR RIHANNA? I know, she's not from America, she supposedly tried to "steal" Jay-Z from Beyonce, she's supposed to be really jealous in relationships, and all that gossip-blog stuff. And I didn't like that song with Ne-Yo, either. But any expressions of concern for the woman allegedly assaulted here have been few and far between. They're basically along the lines of, "Boy, Rihanna must have really done SOMETHING to get Chris to rough her up like that." Sigh.

Granted a lot of the opinions I heard about this last week were from numbskulls calling in to radio shows, but still. If the alleged assailant is innocent until proven guilty, shouldn't the reported victim be shown at least the same discretion? And the fact that a lot of Chris Brown's most fervent defenders were female only bolstered my belief in something I've said for years: No man can show as much disrespect and lack of concern for a woman as another woman.

C) THE BITES Garland and I were discussing these the other day with some friends. Striking a woman with a hand or a fist is dreadful, but it seems to be historically the way a man will try to display his power over a woman. But biting? Where the hell does that come from? One of our female friends said to me, "Oh, you'd bite some one," and I had to disagree. That would never occur to me. I told her, even in a fight to the death with someone, I would fight with my hands, or whatever I could grab. And if my only way out was to bite, I'd bite hard and take a chunk out of my opponent.

The fact that Chris allegedly laid a number of bites on Rihanna gives me a little pause. Maybe this dude wasn't as Doublemint clean-cut as we were led to believe.

D) PARIS HILTON: WTF? One of the more outlandish stories of the past week concerns the source of a number of suggestive texts to Chris Brown that supposedly kicked off the melee between Chris and Rihanna last week. One report is that the source of those texts was one Paris Hilton.

Let me say this: As mad as my wife would be if I was getting texts from any woman seeking to get with me, she would probably be infinitely more enraged if those messages were coming from a say, woman of loose virtue, like Paris Hilton.

That's all I have to say about that. I don't believe it.

E) THE WHOLE SORDID MESS. The election of Barack Obama as President led most of us to rersolve to do better, as individuals, and as Black people. But here, it's barely been a month, and the new Prez's economic plans for the Nation are fighting it out for headline space with this mess. Domestic violence is a very important issue that I feel is becoming trivialized by the he-said-she-said back-and-forth on this story. The rules were simple when I grew up: You do not lift your hand to strike a female. If Chris Brown did this, and is guilty as charged, he should go to jail for it, And good riddance.


Pamela said...

The issue is not the abuse. The issue is that many bw are told or it is inferred that you never ever come against a brotha. If a brotha is having a problem the bw caused it no matter how ridiculous or violent the bm gets. Too many bw have this attitude. It is even preached in pulpits in SOME black churches. They will do right when we do. Watch how the NAACP and other black groups will ALWAYS come to the defense of bm in trouble usually claiming unlawful treatment from law enforcement. Rarely if ever if the act they did ever mentioned or confronted by these groups.

I am almost 50 years old. This dynamic is as old as I am. We are the cow chips that are causing all the problem for bm. Too many emotionally damaged bw believe this. I will never forget hearing Juanita Bynum before she married Weeks. She screamed that bm do not want you bw because you have too much baggage. She mentioned the similar comments that were called in. She was incredibly mean I thought. After her beat-down in 2007 I wondered if she thought about those comments. At least she had the sense to leave. Too many bw will not and may be dead today thinking that the bm went nuts because there was something wrong with her. Basically the communication is that are only dating options are bm. Since that is the case we are to take any bm with the notion that if he is maniac all he needs is the love of a good bw. So basically if they act like a maniac it is because we did not love them they way they needed to be loved. NO they acted like a maniac because they were not forced to change.

Clarice said...

Thank you! Women in this case are their own worst enemy and willing participants in their own abuse, misuse and disrespect. Regardless as to what happened R should get away from this male now - and forever.

BW especially and anyone who values women, believes abuse is unacceptable, and is a MAN as described here should let Wrigley's which is now owned by MARS Inc., that this man should not be rewarded for this behavior.

Corporate Media Contacts
Corporate Communications

Kelly McGrail

Mars - Officers and directors

John Franklyn Mars Chairman
Paul S. Michaels President and CEO
Mars Inc.
John Franklyn Mars, Chairman
6885 Elm St.
McLean, VA 22101
Phone: 703-821-4900
Fax: 703-448-9678
E-Mail: site.operator@mars.com



Do not support these products or this company as long as they support his unsupportable behavior.

Wrigley brands are well-known and loved worldwide. Four Wrigley brands - Wrigley's Spearmint®, Doublemint®, Juicy Fruit®, and Altoids® - have heritages stretching back more than a century. Other well-loved brands include Life Savers®, Big Red®, Boomer®, Pim Pom®, Winterfresh®, Extra®, Freedent®, Hubba Bubba®, Orbit®, Excel®, Creme Savers®, Eclipse®, Airwaves®, Solano®, Sugus®, P.K.® and Cool Air®. Wrigley sells its products in more than 180 countries around the world.



Pamela said...

The first time I heard about this fellow was while getting my hair done. The young gal is the daughter of my hair stylist's friends. She thought he was really cute. I think at the time he was only 17 or maybe 18. From what I told the music was not real offensive like some of the artists these days. I would love to know what her father has said to her about this incident. I was shocked to see her with him because if I remember she was dating another fellow. That was the first time I heard of her at the time.

Clarice, amazingly enough I do not purchase a single MARS product listed. Believe me I was checking to make sure that not one penny of my cash goes to pay for an ad campaign for an abuser.

Anonymous said...

Clarice, Mars was the first company to drop Chris Brown. They were the first to act and then the 'Got Milk' company dropped him too!

Anonymous said...

I agree with this post TOTALLY! No matter what the circumstances are a man should never hit a woman. And yes women, black women, ALL WOMEN, need to adjust their attitudes when it comes to abusive relationhips, an abusive relationship should not be tolerated or codoned.

Anonymous said...

Glad you pointed that out Anon I came back to update the info. Mars and Wrigley's have dropped his ads. This is good news, rewarding people for bad behavior only encourages it! Please let Mars know that they made the right call in what they did!



TJ said...

I had a few interesting discussions about this. About women who raise their sons to put their mamas on a pedestal, not really taking the time to teach (and more importantly enforce) respect for all women. About the fact that the civil rights struggle by African Americans was led by some guys who had very negative attitudes toward black women. About the pains some women take to justify violence against other women (she crazy, she's immoral/hoish, she hit him first). It's all pitiful, yet here we are. All I can do is teach my sons to respect women and teach my daughter not to accept anything less.

Southland Diva said...

I find it amazing the myriad reasons people use to excuse violence. It is not right for a woman to hit a man. It certainly is not right for a man to hit a woman. There should be no physical game-playing or provocation on the woman's part and unless the woman has a lethal weapon and is intent on using it (this assumes the weapon is not being used in self-defense) a man should never hit, bite, kick, etc. a woman.

Non-violence is not merely a word on a bumper sticker or a plank of the civil rights platform. Non-violence is a philosophy, a way of being in the world. We need to teach non-violent ways of resolving problems in our homes and in our schools.

This is not funny. There are no excuses.


Che Che said...

THANK YOU. People are KILLING me with this "If Rihanna was brave enough to hit him, she should be brave enough to take it." Of course, it was a bw who said that ish, some idiot I went to school with. B.S.! It's almost as if bw have lost their minds, collectively. I was taught as a child that NO MAN should put his hands on me, regardless of what I do. Now that doesn't mean that I won't respect men, but there shouldn't even be an issue if we're being grown, responsible people. I really can't understand this phenomenon. Not at all.

Elizabeth said...

Thank you for this commentary C & G. I respect and appreciate your stance.

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