On February 8, 2009 R & B star Chris Brown is “alleged” to have beaten and threatened to kill his girlfriend and fellow R & B artist Rihanna. The media frenzy surrounding the incident continues to this day (March 14, 2009).
The latest furor – small and localized as of yet, but it will most likely grow – is over the findings of a survey conducted by the Boston Public Health Commission in the immediate wake of the Brown v. Rihanna altercation. It seems that almost half of Boston area teens think Rihanna is to blame for the assault. Some people are dismayed by the responses of the 200 Boston youths (ages 12 to 19) surveyed last month by Boston Public Health Commission.
Among the findings:
- 71% said arguing was a normal part of a relationship
- 44% said fighting was a normal part of a relationship
- 51% said Chris Brown was responsible for the incident
- 46% said Rihanna was responsible for the incident
- 52% said both individuals were to blame for the incident
- 35% said the media were treating Rihanna unfairly
- 52% said the media were treating Chris Brown unfairly
Since 51% + 46% + 52% = 149% (!) the findings listed were either the result of separate questions or a deliberate overlap / massaging of the results by the BPHC.
Additionally, a significant number respondents in the survey said Rihanna was destroying Chris Brown’s career, and it was shown that females were no less likely than males to come to Rihanna’s defense in this matter.
Boston parents need to be aware that our children are facing a crisis. Ten percent of Massachusetts youth report having experienced dating violence during their lifetimes.
The consequences of dating violence can be severe and long-lasting. Teen dating violence victimization can be a precursor to adult violence victimization, and can increase risky behaviors during adolescence, including substance use, unhealthy dieting and weight control practices, and suicidal behavior.
— Asst. Prof. Emily F. Rothman
Boston University Department of Social & Behavioral Sciences
I believe the underlying cause of the concern and dismay of people like Professor Rothman is that they’re largely out of touch with modern society. They – Rothman especially judging by her research (examples here and here) – approach this incident from the traditional or “old school” viewpoint of Male Aggression, Dominance and Violence over Women. The results of the survey certainly seem to indicate that the youths queried approached the Chris Brown / Rihanna fight from a far different perspective.
The youths (ages 12 to 19) are growing up- or have grown up in a post-Feminist Revolution world. I do not think that they have the inherent assumption of a Power Exchange or abuse in the circumstance of inter-gender violence. This is a logical conclusion of feminism; violence is violence, irrespective of gender.
It logically goes to follow that, if women are the equals of men, then physical altercations between the sexes need not carry the burden of abuse. Frankly, the feminists can’t have it both ways. They can’t strive to empower women and still keep them a “protected class” by claiming that violence against them is inherently worse (abuse) than any other sort violence.
That is NOT to say that such abuse doesn’t actually happen; it does. It is merely to say that violence against women no longer always equates to abuse. The power dynamic isn’t always there.
If my assessment of the respondents’ attitude is anything close to being correct, then we – and those feminists who care about equality and empowerment more than hating men – should be somewhat pleased. Breaking the cycle of victimization is a very positive step, if one that undercuts the political power of the “capital-F” Feminists.
Rather than than being dismayed by the responses from a sexist perspective, these people should be dismayed by the youths’ seeming acceptance of violence at a personal level in general. The prevailing music and culture of these young people, Rap and Hip-Hop – R & B far less so – have glorified violence, drug use, promiscuity and a plethora of other antisocial behaviors. It should be a cause of sadness and shame that our young people are so inured to violence as they are these days.
NOTE: This post covers my views and opinions of the societal impact and revelations of the survey in question. It does not in any way shape or form reflect my personal views on Chris Brown beating Rihanna.
I’m a mostly un-reconstructed American man. Given my preferences, I’d drag Brown out back somewhere and take my belt to him. I’d stripe his back bad enough and permanently enough that he’d never think of raising his hand to a women again.