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Beyond Chris Brown and Rihanna.
February 15, 2009 1:50 AM   Subscribe

Beyond Chris Brown and Rihanna. By now you've probably heard about Chris Brown and Rhianna. Jay Smooth of Ill Doctrine asked Elizabeth Mendez Berry, author of Vibe Magazine's 2005 feature Love Hurts (pdf) about "domestic violence within (and without) hiphop", for her thoughts.

For more of Berry, see also: Jay-Z Leaves Hip-Hop With Something to Remember Him By—The Black Album, With Matching Sneakers and The Art of Love and Struggle.
posted by lunit (50 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Domestic violence is unforgivable in all forms, anytime, anywhere. There is always a better solution.
posted by netbros at 7:37 AM on February 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


U.N.I.T.Y.
posted by applemeat at 7:39 AM on February 15, 2009


So because domestic violence hit close to home for a celebrity it should be on everyone's mind now? Or it's somehow unique to the hip hop community? Sorry, this shit has been apart of many people's lives, regardless of their age, sex, race, status, community, etc, etc. How about we focus on a problem that hurts the many and not try to pigeon hole to the few?
posted by scarello at 7:54 AM on February 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


There are lots of examples of public figures sparking national debate. This may not be depression in the 50s, but I don't see the reason for the hate.
posted by rosswald at 7:59 AM on February 15, 2009


The article about teen dating violence statistics is pretty interesting. Based on the question they asked (During the past 12 months, did your boyfriend or girlfriend ever hit, slap, or physically hurt you on purpose?), in the 9th grade I would have been one of the "victims." My girlfriend used to kick me in the shins (pretty hard) whenever I made a joke at her expense. It pretty much lined up with this quote from the article:

In contrast, male victims seldom seem to fear violence by their dates or girlfriends, often saying that the attacks did not hurt and that they found the violence amusing.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:04 AM on February 15, 2009


Advocating for either more resources toward preventing domestic violence because of this incident, or that more attention be paid to the hip-hop community because of this incident: all very well and good, so far as it goes, but Ur doin it rong.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 8:11 AM on February 15, 2009


Rosswald: It seems like SOP for the first 6 or 7 posts on any given subject. Instead of FIRSTIES, the small minded punks on MeFi pointlessly cast aspersions on the validity of the links or viability of the conversation. Wait a few hours and some thoughtful people will happen by.

Anyway, Previously: 1, 2.

Illdoctrine is amazing, and this was some fine Journalism. Thanks!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:14 AM on February 15, 2009 [9 favorites]


There are lots of examples of public figures sparking national debate. This may not be depression in the 50s, but I don't see the reason for the hate.

I think what bothers me the most, is the public's tendency to forget the important issues at hand as soon as a new celebrity stir up occurs. This sort of thing has been happening for a very, very long time. Would be nice to see people tackling the subject in a broader sense in order to find solutions, rather than just thinking about it as soon as it happens to a public figure or attempting to attribute it to unique, specific group. That is pretty angering to those outside that group who have suffered the same indignities.
posted by scarello at 8:24 AM on February 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Flozelle Woodmore, whose story was told in the article Love Hurts, is now free:
Until now, Woodmore had been a symbol of everything that is wrong with the fusion of politics and parole policy. She long ago expressed deep remorse for the crime and had demonstrated her rehabilitation and preparation to return to society. The parole board had previously recommended her release for five straight years - and each time was overruled by a governor, first Gray Davis and then Schwarzenegger.

Among the advocates for her release was the judge who sentenced her, Robert W. Armstrong, who found it "so cruel" that the gubernatorial vetoes caused Woodmore, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, to serve more time than if she had been convicted by a jury of first-degree murder during that era. He also said it was clear that she had been suffering from "intimate partner abuse and its effects" when she shot Morrow.
My best friend when I was 16-18 beat his girlfriend. I didn't know until nearly a decade later when another former girlfriend of his told me the sordid details. I drifted apart from this guy because during our friendship he became more and more of a tool until I just stopped hanging out with him because every time was a trial. But, I wish that someone had told me then that the abuse was going on. It's hard to know what I would have done at age 18 (I was pretty stupid then) but I like to think that I would've confronted him about it and told his then-girlfriend to get the hell away from him. Physical abuse can happen right in front of you and you don't see it. It needs to be okay for women and men to speak up about abusive partners and other people mustn't make excuses or condone it.
posted by Kattullus at 8:26 AM on February 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


Instead of FIRSTIES, the small minded punks on MeFi pointlessly cast aspersions on the validity of the links or viability of the conversation. Wait a few hours and some thoughtful people will happen by.


I think this is a wee bit too arrogant of a generalization...because your opinions clash, doesn't mean you need to start throwing out the insults.
posted by scarello at 8:27 AM on February 15, 2009


How many people bitching up thread actually took the time to watch the video. You might enjoy her closing remarks. And there is a place called MetaTalk where you can bitch and moan and the rest of us can pretend to give a fuck what your opinion on this topic is.
posted by chunking express at 8:32 AM on February 15, 2009 [4 favorites]


i prefer classical music lately...
posted by billybobtoo at 8:39 AM on February 15, 2009


I think this is a wee bit too arrogant of a generalization...because your opinions clash, doesn't mean you need to start throwing out the insults.
posted by scarello at 8:27 AM on February 15


You're right and I apologize for the blanket statement. Disagreeing with the premise of an article like you did generates discussion. I was trying to say that the "THIS SUCKS" and "WHO CARES LOL" single line responses really get on my tits, but also that they rarely represent the general opinion of MeFiters who are on the whole more interested in legitimate debate.

Enough metameta-- Could you explain why you think this could possibly be a bad thing to shine more light on a delicate subject in a community that historically has trouble dealing with their own deficiencies? Of course domestic violence is always a problem, but discussing it is one way of combating it, as Kattullus's story points out.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:39 AM on February 15, 2009


In a community that historically has trouble dealing with their own deficiencies?

And which community would that be?
posted by chunking express at 8:41 AM on February 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


Potomac, I understand that certain comments are pretty useless in these kinds of threads, and I apologize if I came across as harsh, or even rude. I just didn't get the vibe that anyone was trying to be a complete douche in this thread (yet). Actually, I saw some of the comments as an example of the kind of damage attributing an issue such as domestic violence to a specific group or person can cause. That damage being that there will be many who fail to take it seriously. Who view it as just "something that happened to a celebrity", or who end up feeling ostracized by the suggestion it affects group A more than group B. Would we not be in a better position as a society, if we taught our children to care about these sorts of things without the guidance of popular media? How many people debating now, will forget about this issue as soon as Entertainment tonight stops covering it? And wouldn't we be better off as a society, if instead of dividing ourselves and believing that our problems are unique to our own little world, we opened our eyes, expanded our horizons and acknowledged that this is an issue that hurts many women, men and children around the world, in many communities?
posted by scarello at 8:55 AM on February 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


I really don't know how much this has to do with hip-hop. I would classify both Chris Brown and Rihanna as R&B singers, for one thing, although I realize there is some overlap of that genre with hip hop. Secondly, Chris Brown is not exactly emblematic of the pervasive misogyny in hip hop. I haven't listened to every lyric of his every song, but I'm hard-pressed to think of one that is even vaguely offensive. Mostly it's "I miss you, I love you, I'm hot for you, etc." The guy was on Sesame Street FFS.

Don't think I'm excusing what he did for one second, but I don't see any link between what he did and hip hop culture. People seem to be making that link because they're black and in the music industry. I think the more salient point is probably that he witnessed the abuse of his mother.
posted by desjardins at 9:17 AM on February 15, 2009 [8 favorites]


So because domestic violence hit close to home for a celebrity it should be on everyone's mind now?

I say yes, it should. It should be talked about like crazy until young people understand that it's not okay to hit a partner and that society will penalize you for it.

Because what we've got right now is a lot of kids commenting on blogs and fansites saying "I dont kno if it's true but if it is I dont care LOL I LOVE YOU CHRIS BROWN Rihannas just a bytch anyhows..."

And that, quite frankly, is not making me very happy.
posted by padraigin at 9:19 AM on February 15, 2009 [7 favorites]


So because domestic violence hit close to home for a celebrity it should be on everyone's mind now?

It's a little more complicated than that. Because it hit a celebrity it is on everyone's mind, and because it's on everyone's mind, there's a good opportunity to bring attention back to non-celebrities facing the same problems. That celebrities get so much attention may be bad, but you seem to be suggesting it's so bad that it's worth passing up that opportunity.

And wouldn't we be better off as a society, if instead of dividing ourselves and believing that our problems are unique to our own little world, we opened our eyes, expanded our horizons and acknowledged that this is an issue that hurts many women, men and children around the world, in many communities?

So you're saying we should look "Beyond Chris Brown and Rihanna"? You should really watch the video. Sounds like you'd enjoy it if you could let go of your assumptions about it.
posted by scottreynen at 9:26 AM on February 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Racialicious open thread
posted by desjardins at 9:35 AM on February 15, 2009


There so many issues here, just off the top of my head:

Not many know what actually happened
The story keeps changing and things are degenerating into "she said, he said".

Chris Brown's trouble background
Brown's childhood was filled with domestic violence. How has dealt with that, if at all and how has it shaped him?

Rihanna's island background and stereotypes about that
She'sfrom the islands, Barbados specifically. There's a common train of thought that Island women are crazy and so Chris Brown really can't be blamed for getting in a fight with her 'cause you "know" how them bitches are, amirite?!


The rise in females perpetuating violence
Riahanna's song "Breakin' Dishes" is a case in point. Here's a few lyrics:
Now I ain't tripping, I ain't twisted
I ain't demented, well, just a lil' bit
I'm kicking ***, I'm taking names
I'm on flame, don't come home, babe

I'm breaking dishes up in here, all night
I ain't gon' stop until I see police lights
I'ma fight a man tonight, I'ma fight a man tonight
I'ma fight a man, a man, a m-a-n
A man, a man, a m-a-n
Domestic abuse in black communities
It occurs in higher numbers among us.

Pressure on women to be quiet
The video linked in the post talks about this. She got a lot of flak from people for airing dirty laundry, even from women who had been abused.

What to do with domestic abusers?
If Brown did do it, then what should be done with him? Jail? Therapy? Should his career be ruined and if so, what effect will that have a volatile personality?

Celebrity marketing and worship
Violence is large part of hip hop culture. How do listeners of it separate the fantasy from reality? Hell, with all the real violence in rap can even call it a fantasy?

On preview:
but I don't see any link between what he did and hip hop culture.
There's a lot of overlap, especially behind the scenes in production (lots of guest stars appearing on songs, artists under the same label etc, etc) and in general black culture. It's like saying there's a typical rapper hasn't heard a lot of Marvin Gaye or other R&B artists. It's in the DNA of the community, they've heard a ton of it, they just chose to do rap.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:39 AM on February 15, 2009 [6 favorites]


I think what bothers me the most, is the public's tendency to forget the important issues at hand as soon as a new celebrity stir up occurs.

Maybe we don't all talk about anorexia as much as they did when Karen Carpenter did, but her death was still a major turning point in recognizing the disease. Famous people are famous; it's just the way the world works.
posted by Bookhouse at 9:47 AM on February 15, 2009


I really don't know how much this has to do with hip-hop.

*Ahem*It doesn't. Hip-Hop has definite boundaries, and it was MTV (once again) that initially started blurring the lines. In 2000, Sysqo was given the award for 'Best Hip-Hop Video' for a song that didn't include an ounce of Hip-Hop. Everybody collectively asked "WTF?" Even Sysqo acknowledged this in his acceptance speech announcing he "didn't care". To this day singers who want to come off with more "street cred" align themselves under the category of Hip-Hop. At one time that "community" was able to be honest with itself and not allow as much BS to be filtered through it. Such as, when MC Hammer threw on a Starter jacket & some sport clothing and started calling himself "OG", did not go over to well. It seems the term "being real" escaped his grasp, as it does to a much larger extent the people that involve themselves within the "community" these days.
posted by P.o.B. at 9:56 AM on February 15, 2009


Brandon, I saw it as a needless stereotype. It's like saying that the Michael Phelps bong incident somehow reflects on elite swimmers, or athletic white guys. No. He's a celebrity who did something stupid that has affected his career. (I am not equating marijuana usage to DV, btw.) Lots and lots of non-black, non-music industry people are victims/perps of domestic violence. The hip-hop angle seems to be a red herring IMHO. I wonder if you would feel differently if it was primarily white people making the hip hop/black culture link?
posted by desjardins at 10:06 AM on February 15, 2009


Because it hit a celebrity it is on everyone's mind...

Even when i was younger, I didn't think 41 was very old. But it's apparently old enough that one can be completely unfamiliar with any single name mentioned in a celebrity story on everyone's mind.
posted by troybob at 10:19 AM on February 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wonder if you would feel differently if it was primarily white people making the hip hop/black culture link?

I wonder if you find it ironic that in lamenting stereotypes, you perpetuate one.

You wonder if instead of listening to facts and thinking for myself if I'm going to be more concerned with the color of the person or group making the statement? Really?

As to the general point that Chris Brown isn't hip hop, yeah technically true, if you consider hip hop just a form of music. But it's also a culture, incorporating language and fashion and if Chris Brown himself is part of that culture, I don't see a problem with people connecting him with it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:00 AM on February 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


if you consider hip hop just a form of music.

No, like I said it's very defined. There's four elements to it (some say five) which is in the first paragraph of the Wiki article. The culture is built around these things; rapping, Djing, B-boying, and Graf writing. Chris Brown can be a part of the culture you and I can be just as much a part of the culture. But none of us are doing Hip-Hop unless we are doing one of those four (five including beatboxing) things. And the point where you start mixing in something else, then it is not strictly Hip-Hop anymore.

if Chris Brown himself is part of that culture, I don't see a problem with people connecting him with it.

You didn't get what I said in the first place...so...yeah, call it what you want
posted by P.o.B. at 11:28 AM on February 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Brandon, I saw it as a needless stereotype. It's like saying that the Michael Phelps bong incident somehow reflects on elite swimmers, or athletic white guys."

Hey, remember when Elyse Sewell got beat up by the her boyfriend, who was in The Shins? Both were white, upper middle class and the Shins are about as far away from hip hop as you can get, right?

Yet, somehow even this this was somehow the fault of "Thug Life"
-- maybe if she hadn't glorified this culture and dated someone with thug attributes, she wouldn't be facing charges.... -- i have seen a great deal of positive thug references in our culture of late, and this is something i cannot support. she made a choice to help promote and glamorize "thug life". it's the thugs who use words like "bitches" and "hos" all the time.
This was all inspired by her livejournal icon.
posted by delmoi at 11:59 AM on February 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


No, like I said it's very defined.

Yeah, got that. I'm saying that if Chris Brown wants to sport a lot of the characteristics of hip hop culture, especially in his hit songs, then it's not surprising, nor some racial conspiracy, that he gets mistaken for being hip hop.

desjardins might have a point if it was the same situation, except it had H.R. from Bad Brains and his girlfriend/wife/whatever and people were connecting that to hip hop. But it was two R&B singers with a record of incorporating hip hop elements into their songs, so again, it's not surprising a hip hop connection is being made.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:12 PM on February 15, 2009


This was all inspired by her livejournal icon.

I remember that thread from when I was still lurking, and that was one guy who was pretty clearly trolling. In fact, the reason I remember it is because the lengths he went to to continue being completely and obviously wrong were hilarious. You can't really cite that as representative of the attitudes of anyone other than people who think it's clever to spew noise all over a website to get a rise out of people.
posted by DecemberBoy at 12:42 PM on February 15, 2009


that he gets mistaken for being hip hop.

Again you didn't get what I originally said, but I've actually noticed our conversations seem to be meshing with different intentions. So I'll let what I said stand.
On review, It seems Mendez/JSmooth discussion wasn't centered on the Hip-Hop community, but that it included it. Her original article also doesn't include this cross-referencing (it's specifically about Hip-Hop) that seems to be happening.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:00 PM on February 15, 2009


It's a stereotype to say that only people in what Mz Berry called the "Urban" community are involved in domestic violence issues, but it is purposeless to contend that this community doesn't exist ("He sings R&B so it's got nothing to do with other Urban music!") or that it's not a unique challenge for activists and people of conscience working in that community to combat attitudes about it. RTFA or watch her talk about the violence in the neighborhood she grew up in and the way it affected her. Testimony like that is the first step in changing the fucked up parts of one's society.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:01 PM on February 15, 2009


Chris Brown is an R&B artist. Rihanna is an R&B artist.

Anyway, I thought the first comment on Illdoc was crazy, because common sense will tell you there's going to have to be a really good case to support an argument as contrary as that. And it seemed like the articles that poster linked made generalizations and left out some very important parts of the arguments. Jay hadn't replied yet when I'd read it the other day.

I read the comments even though I didn't watch the video when it came out. I just think it's too soon to do the issue and specifically this case formal justice, because with rumors flying everywhere it's hard to go over all the details of the case with a lot of certainty. I heard randomly last week that "she gave him herpes". Who knows. I just want what seems like a reasonable version of the whole story (it doesn't have to be every single move plotted on a graph) before it gets into big time dissections of what went wrong and where.

I don't think this specific incident has anything to do with the genre of music he's singing.
posted by cashman at 1:13 PM on February 15, 2009


I don't buy the "this has nothing to do with hip hop culture!" angle at all.

"Hip hop" only includes the five elements? What is this, 1988? Every city in America has radio stations blazing hip hop and R&B. Vibe, XXL, The Source all address both "hip hop" and "R&B" artists in their features, fashion spreads and album reviews. Rihanna's mentor is Jay-Z. Chris Brown has collaborated with Juelz Santana, Lil' Wayne, Kanye, Nas, The Game, etc. etc. Purists can hate, but the lines between different genres of contemporary "black" or "urban" music were blurred a long time ago, and it's seriously pointless to get into some kind of semantic argument about it now. Rappers sing, singers rap, they make music together and are affiliated with the same culture.

I have been following this story pretty closely, for a number of reasons. The biggest is that I've spent a lot of time working with "underserved" (a.k.a. minority) youth in New York City, and there are two things I've experienced that are directly related to this incident. The first is the ridiculous amount of teen idol worship Chris Brown gets from 90% of the young women I've worked with (Me: "How about you write about your love of cooking?" Student: "I love cooking, and I would love to cook a meal for Chris Brown someday to show him what a good cook I am.") The second is the issue of abuse and domestic violence in teenage relationships--many people, when first experiencing the world of romance, have no idea what's appropriate and what's not in how they are treated or the way they should treat their partners. What's abuse? How do I know if I'm being abused? What should I do if I suspect my friend is in an abusive relationship? These are questions my job tries to help teens (and the adults who work with them) tackle every day.

It is terrible that this happened--whatever "this" is, as we definitely don't know the whole story and perhaps never will. It is terrible that a young woman (allegedly) was physically assaulted by her boyfriend, and it is terrible when domestic violence happens to anyone, in any situation at all. But I can't help but hope that the celebrity of the two people involved--and their reverence in urban teen culture, particularly among the teens that I worked with personally--will help call attention to a problem that absolutely needs calling attention to.
posted by cosmic osmo at 2:16 PM on February 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Update: Chris Brown just released a statement (perezhilton.com link)
posted by cosmic osmo at 2:57 PM on February 15, 2009


Again you didn't get what I originally said

Again, you are incorrect.

desjardins wrote "People seem to be making that link because they're black and in the music industry." I'm saying it's completely reasonable that people are connecting Brown and Rihanna with hip hop because there's a lot of hip hop elements in their music, lyrics and videos. It doesn't matter if they themselves are hip hop artists or not, much of their sound and look comes from hip hop.

Chris Brown just released a statement

He couldn't hire a better PR firm to write something vaguely human?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:14 PM on February 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Mark Anthony Neal writes about this situation in Vibe, looking through several black male musicians' histories with domestic violence.
posted by cashman at 4:13 PM on February 15, 2009


I just think it's too soon to do the issue and specifically this case formal justice, because with rumors flying everywhere it's hard to go over all the details of the case with a lot of certainty. I heard randomly last week that "she gave him herpes". Who knows.

Excuse me???? She ended up in the HOSPITAL. I don't give a shit if she gave him herpes or called him names or questioned his manhood. You do not beat another person to the point they are hospitalized and even begin to justify it. Do you honestly need the court of public opinion to tell you that is wrong? If anyone does I suggest they call their Mom right now and have her remind you of right vs wrong!

As far as tying it to hip hop or urban/ black culture when the leading cause of death for women aged 15-45 is domestic violence then I think it's fair to examine any and all cultural mores and norms that might be causing that. I come from an ethnic groups where domestic violence was tolerated until very, very recently and it didn't become less prevalent because we all closed our eyes and thought about unicorns.
posted by fshgrl at 6:10 PM on February 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have to confess some puzzlement at Scarello's reaction, since it seems to me almost everything he's saying is in agreement with what we said in the video, but he's stating it as if we disagree.

Our video was inspired by the same sentiment Scarello is expressing, the wish that we could shift focus from celebrity drama to the larger issues that face the 99.9% of us who don't get followed around by TMZ. As Ms. Berry said in the video, "I really don't care about Chris Brown and Rihanna, I care about my neighbor who's in an abusive relationship and it won't be covered by MTV when she leaves the house with bruises on her face.."

But regardless thanks for the link and feedback, always honored to be on Metafilter. :)
posted by jsmooth995 at 7:18 PM on February 15, 2009 [6 favorites]


FIRST!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:29 PM on February 15, 2009



Wil Anderson "[yada yada] Heavy D and the Boyz. Boyz spelt with a Z."
Adam Spencer "Now why doesn't that surprise me."

/obscure conversation from Australian yoof radio that has somehow stuck with me... I was going to post some misogynist lyrics to "prove" a point but would that have helped, eh?
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:17 PM on February 15, 2009


I don't buy the "this has nothing to do with hip hop culture!" angle at all.

That wasn't the intention my original statement.

"Hip hop" only includes the five elements? What is this, 1988?

No, it's 2009 and the boundaries are still the same. It looks like more than one person is not only misreading what I wrote, but quoting Wikipedia and basing an argument off of it is pretty weak when it's obvious you don't know anything about the subject.
Purist? Yeah, I'll cop to that.

Again, you are incorrect.

NO! You are! Yeah, quality argument. Reread, what I wrote and you may just grasp why we are talking about two different things.

Besides, jsmooth himself stepped into the discussion and it would ridiculous of me not to defer to someone as articulate as him on this subject.
posted by P.o.B. at 8:57 PM on February 15, 2009


...we are talking about two different things.

Yeah, that was pretty implicit.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:37 AM on February 16, 2009


Excuse me???? She ended up in the HOSPITAL. I don't give a shit if she gave him herpes or called him names or questioned his manhood. You do not beat another person to the point they are hospitalized and even begin to justify it. Do you honestly need the court of public opinion to tell you that is wrong?

No, it's obviously wrong - I said that in my post specifically. And as I said, I'm waiting for more information to come out so that it is discernable what went wrong and where. I've since heard that he had been abusing her prior to this incident. That it had been going on for a long time. It's just hard to discern what is actually happen because you have a million rumors flying around and speculation about previous events, things she wore that suggested or didn't suggest previous violence, and just all kinds of discussion.

It's obviously wrong, and I hope a picture comes out of what she looked like to put the issue front and center for a good year solid. I do want to see the various rumors put to rest or confirmed.
posted by cashman at 4:44 AM on February 16, 2009


I'll concede the point that CB's and Rihanna's music could be within the realm of hip hop, but I still don't understand what that has to do with domestic violence, which is endemic everywhere. Is someone asserting that because CB did songs with rappers who have misogynistic lyrics, he picked up their attitude and started beating his girlfriend? I don't see the causal link here. It really seems to be more an attitude of "Well, they were in THAT culture and you know what THOSE people are like," which would be obviously offensive if it were coming from mainstream white media. Why is it any less offensive when the people saying it are not white? Maybe DV is more prevalent in certain communities, but how does that relate to this specific case?
posted by desjardins at 9:23 AM on February 16, 2009


Is someone asserting that because CB did songs with rappers who have misogynistic lyrics, he picked up their attitude and started beating his girlfriend? I don't see the causal link here.

I'll assert that, or something like that. Had Chris Brown spent his adolescence around Buddhist monks I think he's have been quite a bit less likely to beat his girlfriends.

There is an obvious and clear link between communities and groups of people who tolerate and encourage violence and, y'know, violence. It has nothing to do with race or socio-economic status but it does have to do with approving or and reinforcing behaviors. If you grew up in a community where it was accepted to punch your kids in the face for talking back to you and you saw it go on every day and people joked about it and told stories about it, you'd be a lot more likely to think it was OK to punch your own kid in the face.

IMHO, people claiming their could be no possible connection between hip hop's lyrical obsession with physical and sexual violence against women and violence against specific women in or around the hip hop community is hopelessly naive or in denial. It's not the only community with a problem but it is the one in the news this week.
posted by fshgrl at 2:49 PM on February 16, 2009


Well this is old news (12 hours) by now, but the photo of Rihanna, and a wrap up of who ran it.
posted by cashman at 8:47 AM on February 20, 2009


Women of Color, Domestic Violence, and 'That' Picture of Rihanna.
posted by lunit at 12:53 PM on February 20, 2009


Aaand Rihanna is apparently back with Chris Brown. I'm sure it's easy for me to say, but I wish she would have dumped him, taken a stand and watched his career tank unless he turned it into something megapositive. I'm sure a lot of advocates are annoyed if not surprised.

I still wish more information would come out, because from what I can see, he beat her pretty noticeably and then like 2 weeks pass and they're back together. I hope they release more information than less, but I get that sinking feeling they're going to just ride it out and not say much and then say "it's in the past".
posted by cashman at 8:51 PM on February 28, 2009


Front page of Yahoo now. Her father is supportive, but the comments are rough.
posted by cashman at 9:22 PM on February 28, 2009


I'm torn. On the one hand, if everything that people think happened actually happened, then yeah, she should have dumped him and he should have to deal with consequences.

On the other hand, how long should he have to pay for his mistakes? More than two weeks, sure, but is it good to have his professional life destroyed over this? Part of me wants to say "Hell yeah" but that might be extreme.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:19 AM on March 1, 2009


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