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13 February 2012 @ 11:31 am
Chris Brown at the Grammys: Too Soon?  
http://www.theboombox.com/2012/02/13/chris-brown-grammys-2012-second-chance/

Exec producer of the Grammys: "If you'll note, he has not been on the Grammys for the past few years, and it may have taken us a while to kind of get over the fact that we were the victim of what happened," Ehrlich said in an interview with ABC News Radio.

Uh, dude, was it YOUR face that got smashed, your throat that got choked? No? Then you weren't the victim and neither was your show. WTF?

(The link below takes awhile to load right now. I suspect lots of visitors are overwhelming their server. Worth the wait, in my opinion. I just let it try while I did other things.)

I’m Not Okay with Chris Brown Performing at the Grammys and I’m Not Sure Why You Are, by Sasha Pasulka

I’m sick and tired of people acting like it’s no big deal that Chris Brown will be performing at the Grammys.

I’m frustrated that the mainstream media is covering this story like it’s any comeback story, like an exiled prince’s return to a former glory, like this is another political timeline — as though some rich and powerful old white men in the music business have not just issued an enormous ‘f**k you’ to every woman who has been, is or will be on the receiving end of domestic violence.

We should be furious.

Why aren’t we?


Blackbird Family Therapy, Inc. asked, on Facebook, "What does it say about violence against women that a man who is notorious for beating girlfriend is honored at the Grammy's - an event where the victim herself was performing? What message does this send to young men and women watching the event - that domestic violence is okay if you're popular or rich?"

They (Chris and Rihanna) are exchanging tweets these days so I wonder if the music biz is taking a cue from her apparent forgiveness. I have mixed feelings. I do think he has the right to get help and try to redeem himself; I don't want abusive men to take that on as a permanent identity but rather they should recognize their behavior for what it is and work hard on changing it. That said, I do think he has all along shown an attitude that wants this to be "over" and I was never convinced that his apologies contained a full understanding of the roots and grave nature of his actions. I suspect that a tendency for this kind of violence is something one would have to manage carefully and that requires working through often massive levels of denial. [The HelloGiggles piece brings up the jet ski riding Chris Brown did later that month (after the abuse) and how Usher was pressured to apologize for criticizing Brown for it.]

I have no problem with his continuing a career but he ought to use his experience to reach out to young boys, advocate for counseling if there has been violence in their homes, and so on. Don't hide it; claim it and turn it into something positive going forward. I'd love to see him do some anti-domestic violence music. I'd love to see it reflect all of the confusing feelings abusers must have, the "why did I do that?" "how could that be me?" along with the usual face-saving rationalizations "bitch asked for it" "I don't normally act like that so it must be something about her that makes me" and so on, ending with the realization that it IS within him and only he alone can change it.

Those of us who survived domestic violence know that we have flashbacks still, years after the violence is over. I haven't been beaten, kicked, thrown down on the floor or across the room, choked, yelled at, hit, slapped, pushed or otherwise brutalized since 1982 and I still have flashbacks. They have lessened in severity over time, thank Goddess, but they are still there. So it does gall me and other survivors that the abuser can apparently just go on with his life as if he never did anything wrong and everyone is happy to assist him in doing so. Abusers (former or current) are invited to award shows and parties and family gatherings no matter how uncomfortable it might make his victim(s). There is something wrong with that.

This comes in the wake of Republicans voting against renewing the Violence Against Women Act. It is just another data point telling us that society really doesn't take violence against women seriously enough. We are fair game. Our feelings don't matter any more than our safety. There are harsher sentences for drug possession and use than for violence against women.

ETA: http://www.ebony.com/entertainment-culture/too-easily-forgiven

Zerlina Maxwell has a wonderful piece, beginning with this:

"We need to stop kidding ourselves. We don’t actually think there is much wrong with domestic violence."

YEP. Sad but true.