Every time the general public seems to forget about Chris Brown, he does something idiotic and gets his name back on everyone’s mind. He told the world to fuck off via Twitter after winning a Grammy (a tweet he later deleted) and he collaborated with Rihanna on a couple new songs. Now he’s all I hear about; is he back with Rihanna, has the public forgiven him, how dare he be honored after what he did, and so on.
What Rihanna chooses to do at this point is her business and hers alone. She doesn’t exactly present herself in such a way that she would ever be mistaken for some sort of role model; with her in-your-face sexuality and often inappropriate comments and behavior, she is hardly a woman that a young girl should want to model themselves after. I don’t say that to slam Rihanna for the person she is, I’m just trying to make it clear that she obviously is not trying to be a role model for anyone. If she wishes to forgive Chris Brown for beating her, so be it. If she can overlook the violent behavior he’s exhibited since beating her, so be it. And if she’s wrong and he ends up hitting her again, she has only herself to blame.
I have a zero tolerance policy for violence against women. I’ve been that girl who’s made excuses to explain the bruises on her arms, the marks on her neck, the black eye. I understand how difficult it can be to walk away and realize that love isn’t that type of pain. I know the insecurities that a woman feels while in an abusive relationship and the reasons she’ll come up with for why she was beaten. It’s a sad and sorry situation and while I was in it, I honestly didn’t think anything was wrong. I thought it was normal, that I deserved it for being difficult, that it was an accident and wouldn’t happen again, and that I could fix it. I was a pathetic shell of a person and sadly, it’s a common place for women to find themselves in.
I refused to open my eyes to see the situation as it truly was until I had my son. At that point, something clicked inside my head and I realized that I was placing my child and myself in a dangerous situation with an unstable violent man who could kill us both if he came at us hard enough. Prior to that, I remained in a daze. I ignored horror stories from formerly abused women who tried to help. I ignored those who extended their hand and offered assistance. I have no doubt that people in Rihanna’s life are trying to help her as well, attempting to get her to open her eyes and realize that she’s putting herself back in harm’s way and sending the message that she isn’t good enough, that she’s worth so little that it’s acceptable to hit her. I also suspect that it’s a waste of everyone’s time to try to get her to see something she just isn’t ready to face.
People like Chris Brown who lash out at women don’t change overnight, if at all. They are cowardly selfish people who use their brute strength and the fear others have of them in order to keep control of certain situations and people in their lives. They are amazing actors and have the ability to fool most everyone around them, giving off the impression of a sweet man who really loves the woman he’s with. Lying is a vital and central part of their life and no one is better at creating a tall tale on a moment’s notice than they are. Often they come from homes where they were abused or witnessed abuse, but that fact should in no way excuse their behavior. There is no excuse for a man striking a woman and to make any is just shameful.
Should Chris Brown be forgiven? Sure; it’s not healthy to hold a grudge forever and eventually you have to move on, especially those of us who aren’t ever going to interact with the guy and who just want to enjoy his music. While it’s good to forgive, what he did is something that shouldn’t be forgotten. If I had my way, he would never be allowed to be alone with a woman again as I have no doubt that eventually he will snap once again and some unfortunately woman will find themselves on the wrong end of his fist. I would hope that females would be intelligent enough to avoid this guy like the plague, but if Rihanna’s behavior and the tweets from fans stating they would love Brown to beat them, chicks these days are as dumb as ever.
Ladies, I don’t care how wonderful you think a guy is, how worried you are about being single if you don’t stay with him, or what reasons you can come up with to blame yourself for being struck. There has never been and will never be an acceptable reason for a man to strike a woman outside of you violently attacking him and the male fearing for his life or fearing severe bodily damage. Most men are bigger than us, stronger than us, and able to fight at a higher skill level than us. It’s not a sexist remark, it’s just fact. It is foolish of any woman to go back to a man who hits her, especially if you have children involved. Yes, accidents happen (I literally walked into a guy’s fist once) but it’s foolish and ignorant to call being struck out of anger an accident. Call it like it is and decide what’s more important, your heart being broken or your bones.
Last night, the 54th annual Grammy Awards aired, showcasing the best of the best in the music world and giving top honors to the best of the best in various categories. Prior to the show, most of the talk was centered around Adele and how she would fare after her vocal cord surgery, the tribute to the recently deceased Whitney Houston, and The Beach Boys reunion and subsequent performance. I got into the excitement by not watching one single minute of the award show; all the updates and information I received about the night was courtesy of my friends in the Twittersphere.
I had forgotten the award show was on at all until someone made a comment on Twitter. I asked my husband, quite reluctantly, if he had any interest in watching. To my delight, he responded in the negative. We ended up filling our evening with a new episode of Shameless, a bit of Black Ops, and some time just enjoying each other.
Award shows lately seem to be less about the awards themselves and more about how many presenters can be crammed on stage, how many musical performances can be shoved in to the show, and how many tributes to various artists can be presented before time runs out. The last award show my husband and I watched went through the first hour only giving out two or three awards at most, making me wonder what the point of it was. It made me wonder if I was actually watching an award show or simply watching famous folk stroke their own egos and fight for on-screen time at an event they weren’t even attending due to a nomination.
Another reason I tuned out last night is the predictability and the knowledge of who is going to get a lot of screen time due to the hype beforehand. Was it a surprise to anyone to see Adele walk up to the stage multiple times to accept an award? Don’t get me wrong, I think Adele is an amazing talent, but couldn’t someone out there used their brain and granted another award some screen time rather than give so much of it to Adele so the audience can hear her say thank you over and over and over again? It must be a bittersweet feeling to win a Grammy but not be important enough to earn on-screen time accepting your award.
The twitter-talk made me feel quite justified in skipping the ceremony because it turns out that Chris Brown was quite the hit (no pun intended) with the audience in attendance and the one at home. Chris Brown has proven himself to be a violent moron, not only by the way he mangled Rihanna’s face, but with his behavior at various talk shows and in his daily life. I have zero tolerance for any man who is cowardly enough to strike a woman and I find it disgusting that Brown walked away from that incident seemingly unscathed, forgiven because he can dance.
The biggest issue I have with awards shows nowadays is their often failed efforts at making their show cutting edge and interesting. Tons of preparation goes into set design, booking acts, writing jokes for presenters who haven’t told a single joke in their career, and montages to whatever seems relevant at the time. The awards, which should be the centerpiece of the evening, take a back seat to the theatrics and the nonsense that some expert decided we as the audience are demanding to see.
What’s wrong with an award show being about the awards? Sure, get a witty host to warm up the crowd and throw a joke in before calling a presenter out, definitely book a few relevant musical acts, but center the show around the honored artists that are receiving the award. Stop having a presenter come out to announce two more presenters; honestly, it makes no sense and just wastes time. Don’t book an act to perform if they haven’t been relevant in the past 5 years and/or aren’t planning to release a new CD in the very near future. Cut the acceptance speeches down a bit more but allow the winner to elaborate to a camera backstage; throw that online and let people browse at their leisure if they want to hear someone thank every single member of their family individually.
I’ve gone from eagerly anticipating various award shows to being the person who checks out the winners online the day after and goes about her day. Sadly, it’s a better use of my time to look up a great performance on Youtube the next day than it is to sit through three hours of nonsense just to see one great band play and watch one or two of my favorite artists accept an award. I fear that the direction we’re heading will bring award shows that are about nothing more than who is wearing what designer and what long forgotten artist is either being honored or will be performing for the first time in years. And while the creators of these award shows feel that they are appeasing their audience, people like me are sitting here wondering what in the hell is going on.
The Grammys could not exist without the wonderful musical talents that exist today and have been around since the award’s birth. The creators of each show would be out of a job if not for the public demand to see these artists and their wish for their favorite to get high honors once a year. There has to be a common ground that can be reached to make these shows flashy and fun while still keeping the focus where it should be, on the creative people that give the awards their meaning.