In honor of our lovely BAngieB (Justice Fighter Extraordinaire) and also to discuss today’s most recognized screw-up, this is the Cuntry Justice Tribunal. Pop/Hip-Hop/R&B singer Chris Brown has been arrested for allegedly hitting his girlfriend, international popstar Rihanna. The incident under suspicion took place in a car early Sunday morning and the encounter reportedly left Rihanna with bruises.
Megan at Jezebel has already raised some interesting questions about what this incident could mean for their respective careers and endorsement deals, and there are a great many other questions and issues to consider about what the alleged assault itself means in terms of media coverage.
To start, a couple of points: Hitting your partner is not okay. It. Is. Just. Not. Right. Secondly, although we have to remember “innocent until proven guilty,” this incident has enough credibility that, while the public is not privy to the details of what exactly went down, Chris Brown is not smelling like a rose right now. Enough evidence existed to charge him with criminal threat and while he has neither been judged guilty in court nor pled guilty to charges, public concensus is not on his side at the moment.
So, dearth of information considered, I had some initial ponderings as to how this is going to continue to play out in the media.
1) In terms of pop stardom, the closest example I could think of immediately is when Nick Carter allegedly struck Paris Hilton. This seemed to die down fairly quickly, from memory, but I’d say that Rihanna is a lot more respected (and mantains more of a sweetheart image) than Paris. Personally, I think that he’s screwed and it will be interesting to see in what way she addresses the circumstances publicly.
2) They’re both very young (he’s 19 and she’s 20) and he’s admitted to a troubled, abusive childhood. Is this going to earn him sympathy than might not be accorded someone older or with a different background?
3) As a for example, famous men get busted for this shit with some regularity. Most of these abused partners are anonymous, or at least nowhere near the calibre of famous as their batterers. Is the world more outraged because the victim herself is “somebody” in this case? I would say so. And Rihanna is no more or less a victim than any other woman who has suffered domestic abuse. While I’m relieved to see the widespread shock this has caused, I am not amused by flippant comments or puns (and I am referring to the commenters on that link) that undermine the seriousness of the situation.
4) Let us not forget: Fuck you, Sean Connery.
5) What of the “she gave him herpes” rumors? If my partner gave me herpes, especially knowingly, I would be tempted to slug him one, I admit. And I am a pacifist who believes hitting your partner is. Just. Not. Right. I think this rumor is bullshit. But would it be more “okay” if I smacked a guy than if he smacked me? I think true equality would answer that with a no.
So, Tribunal, weigh in with your thoughts, queries, and outrage on this whole ugly scene, and wish Rihanna well.