Saturday, February 21, 2009

Fame and victim blaming

Unless you have been living under a rock in the States recently, you have probably heard of the case of musical artist Chris Brown facing charges for beating the stuffing out of his girlfriend, Rhianna who is actually more widely known than he is.

Cue the inevitable cries of "What did she do to make him act like that?" There is unsupported conjecture that she cheated on him and/or gave him herpes being give as justification for his actions, or the usual suggestions of "but hes so NICE!" that are being offered as proof that the bitch must be lyin'.

I will never understand how someone can rationalize the idea that because you like someone's artistic expression that you know who they are and how they would act. Famous people are still PEOPLE and some people are assholes. Just because you like his music/think hes pretty/hate her for her fame/looks/relationship with him, does not mean you know fuckall about who they are.

No, I don't want to hear any, ANY justification for domestic violence. I have heard that he was abused by a child, and if it is true then it is awful that he was. This does not excuse violence he commits in any way. Aileen Wuornos was sexually and physically abused throughout her life and no one excused her for her crimes.

As far as the incursion into Rhianna's privacy in this case, I get so enraged that someone not only released her name, which is against law enforcement protocol, but a motherfucking picture of her after the attack that it is all I can do not to fucking walk to LA to verbally tear the shit out of whoever did that and their boss until this person is unceremoniously and publicly fired and shamed. I will instead quote Uppitybrownwoman:

I don’t want to open up any dialogue right now. I don’t want to teach you. I don’t want to explain to you how women of colour are shoved in all directions when it comes to violence against women. I don’t want to teach anyone about sexism and racism in the media. I don’t want to tell you about my experiences so that you can satisfy your voyeuristic curiosity that we have been trained to have. I don’t want to make any woman, WOC or not, into a model victim. I don’t want to tell you why it’s wrong to expect that of any survivor. I don’t want to have to argue again and again why it is downright bullshit to try to take away agency from the survivor. I don’t want to explain that “the personal is political” doesn’t mean no one has a right to privacy.

I want to yell. I want to scream. I want to rage. I want to extend a hearty ‘fuck you’ to a lot of people.

I don’t give a fuck how your life has been fundamentally changed by seeing a sensationalized photograph of a domestic assault survivor.

I don’t give a fuck about her fame.

I don’t give a fuck that you want to see it too.

I don’t give a fuck that you think she has no right to privacy because she’s a celebrity.

I don’t give a fuck how lucky you now feel to have never experienced intimate partner violence just because you’ve seen it.

I don’t give a fuck that you can see the ‘upside’ of this because it’s “raising awareness.”

I don’t give a fuck about you making her into an example.

I don’t give a fuck about what you think she should and should not do about her life.

I don’t give a fuck about her abuser’s career.

I don’t give a FUCK if you think she deserved to be abused, or to have her photos spread around like a fucking Christmas card.

Fuck the people who have turned this into entertainment.

Fuck the people who have turned this into an after-school special on VAW.

Fuck the people who published it on news sites and displayed it on television (I am looking at you Entertainment Canada).

Fuck the people who posted it on their blogs, their journals, their Facebooks, MySpaces, and other social networking sites so that EVERYONE else can see it.

I give a fuck about her dignity and I am yelling about it. I give a fuck about her choices that only SHE has a right to. I give a fuck about her life. I give a fuck about her rights. I give a fuck about her privacy. I give a fuck about her, so why don’t you?

This woman and her injuries are not gore porn for anyones amusement. No one has a right to see these photographs just because she makes a living in the public eye. If you need to see a picture of a battered woman to "show you the REALITY" of domestic violence, I suggest instead volunteering at a local homeless or battered women's shelter or just fucking right the hell off. If it takes something like that to "prove" to you that shit like this is a problem, then you have some serious soul searching and questioning of your humanity to do.


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