If you’re famous, the spotlight is on you most, if not all, of the time. Celebrities are on Cloud 9, free of most responsibility. This is evident in the case of Chris Brown and his very much spoken of relationship with Rihanna.
Chris Brown, who in the past has pleaded guilty to assault on his then girlfriend Rihanna, has been brought back before a judge for a parole violation and revoking of said parole. This is due to his inability to remain at the scene of a car accident and his further inability to complete actual community service hours.
This kind of behavior by Brown is not something representative of a star that has many followers, who may even look up to him. This is never the kind of behavior a person should have, especially if some observing the case sympathize with the abuser. This is wrong, yet it was still perpetuated in this case.
Let’s not talk about the fact that Brown was much too aggressive with the female singer after she questioned him about suspicious texts between a mystery woman and himself.
Let’s not even talk about the fact that Brown did in fact get punishment in the form of probation and community service, which further entailed a restraining order against Rihanna.
Let’s talk about the fact that people actually believed, truly believed, that Rihanna asked for this kind of violence against her.
I can recall that, when this physical assault was first being discussed and brought up, many of my female classmates thought that Rihanna had it coming, and that she shouldn’t have provoked him.
This poses a very interesting question: how exactly do you provoke someone so much with words that it leads to them deciding that you need to be punched and pummeled?
Obviously, in the opinion of my former classmates, words are in fact as hurtful as sticks and stones. Rihanna’s words were so painful to Brown that he felt she needed to feel his pain. He decided not to use these figurative sticks and stones, however. Instead, he used his fists and other ways of physical and abusive behavior to level the field between himself and Rihanna.
This exact opinion, along with those of my peers, is almost the exact perpetuation of something called rape culture. This culture, which is perpetuated when someone claims a woman “had it coming” when she was attacked, is somewhat seen in this case of domestic violence.
Rihanna was seen as the provoker of the entire assault. Her confrontational behavior the evening of the assault was the reason why Brown beat her.
This is not something you should ever assume. If someone attacks you, you didn’t ask for it. You received the abuse, but you didn’t order it to occur.
It shouldn’t matter that Brown is famous and most likely has more money than all of us combined. It shouldn’t matter that Rihanna was posing questions to Brown, which aggravated him.
It should matter that Brown put his hands on her, not even out of self-defense. It should matter that people who aren’t famous and abuse their girlfriends or wives get prison time.
But this doesn’t matter.
It doesn’t matter because Brown is a powerful man. Powerful men, unfortunately, have the final opinion on most things in the patriarchal society we live in. This is not fair. It is not balanced. Yet is very prevalent in American and global society, and in this specific case.
Of course, Chris Brown is just one of many men who have been caught abusing their partners. Furthermore, many white men in powerful positions have abused their wives, but are not discussed as much as Brown. Sean Penn, who was in a relationship with Madonna, abused her physically and emotionally. However, this is not discussed at all, and Penn still gets high-profile work. This despite the fact that he tied up, tortured, and raped Madonna to leave her there for several hours.
It is a pattern very prevalent in Hollywood and other platforms that allow people to get certain privileges for their “talent” or “fame.” Abusive celebrities do not get the same conviction as “normal” citizens. This is an issue, and something that should not be overlooked as celebrities “just being Miley.” In other words, they shouldn’t be able to get off easy with very poor excuses.
Abuse in any way, shape, or form should never be tolerated. Unfortunately, it is. It will continue to be when celebrities own up to their mistakes and finally come back down to Earth with the rest of us.