I don’t usually post two blog posts this close together. But this evening, I caught sight of something that disturbed me. Cheryl Cole is calling for people to forgive Chris Brown with regards to his 2009 assault on R n B singer, Rihanna. http://www.nme.com/news/cheryl-cole/63872?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=twitter-cherylchrisbrown
Now, with regards to Chris Brown, I tend not to seek out stories about him. I choose not to. Around the same time I left my abuser, tales were surfacing about his assault on Rihanna. None of them painted Brown in a particularly favourable light. The naive young version of myself made the mistake of believing that was the end of Brown’s music career. After all, who would be daft enough to endorse the actions of an abuser?
Well, it seems the answer to that question is; The music industry. 2012 has already proven that the music industry has forgiven Chris Brown. 3 years after Brown assaulted Rihanna, he was back at the Grammy Awards, with Ken Elrich claiming that the Grammy’s were the real victim of what happened that evening in 2009. Rihanna got hit, the Grammys claimed that they were the victim. Seems legit.
The problem is, we never hold men fully accountable for their actions. Domestic violence is painted, much in the same way rape is; something the survivor is partly responsible for. “Was he drunk?” “Was he on drugs?” “Were you flirting with someone else? Had you burnt dinner? Were you breathing?” If there’s an excuse for domestic violence, the domestic violence apologists will apply it to the survivor.
As far as I’m aware, Chris Brown has never taken full responsibility for what he inflicted on Rihanna. He’s never spoken out against the abuse his supporters have inflicted on her. Perhaps, when Brown proves he’s a reformed man, and takes some bloody responsibility for his actions; when we stop blaming domestic abuse survivors for their abusers actions, I may consider “forgiving” him. But that’s only a might. It is no-one else’s place to tell society when they should and shouldn’t forgive an abuser. Nor am I going to tell anyone else when they should or shouldn’t forgive an abuser. But if the rest of us wish to retain our anger at the ugly side of the patriarchy that Chris Brown represents; the side that has women speaking out in his defence, even worshipping his actions; then leave us to it. Please.