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Love at First Fight?

Reaction to Chris Brown’s Grammy performance stirs debate

For the most part, Adele's performance withstanding, I was not particularly impressed by Sunday night's 2012 Grammys. It wasn't until the day after the Grammys, when I heard on the radio a sample of fan Twitter feeds following Chris Brown's performance, that it became apparent there was a significant topic to discuss related to the over-bloated awards show. Apparently, a number of Brown fans who were females went beyond celebrating his performance on Twitter to actually promoting his having a history of perpetrating domestic violence. So is this what Girl Power has wrought: It's okay to be violent towards women if you can sing, dance, and are relatively attractive?

For those of you who haven't heard what sparked controversy following Chris Brown's performance, here are a sample of these Tweets (again, these came from female fans): "Chris Brown is SO fine!!! I would let him beat me up!!!" and "I'd let Chris Brown punch me in the face" (as reported by CBS news online, see cbsnews.com for the full article and more reported Tweets). These are just two of many Tweets promoting similar sentiments.

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When it comes to the Internet, of course any moron can open a Twitter page and spout any number of ridiculous sentiments, but there was something particularly outrageous about so many females willingly promoting Brown's documented history of domestic abuse (on another equally if not more well-known musician, Rihanna). How can women be insensitive to such a significant threat that affects so many women every day, everywhere across the globe? Are we really that desensitized as a society to the realities of domestic abuse, or are we so star-struck as a culture that some of us are willing to overlook violence when the perpetrator is a celebrity?

Here's the stark reality of domestic violence: Every nine seconds a woman in the United States is the victim of a beating or assault; in fact, domestic violence is the number one cause of injury to women, more than car accidents, muggings and rapes combined; everyday in this country, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or lovers; across the globe, at least one in every three women has been beaten, raped, or otherwise abused, most often at the hands of a family member. The list goes on and on.

A punch is still a punch, and it is going to be just as damaging regardless of whether or not the fist comes from a musician or a regular civilian. Snap out of it, ladies, and offer a rallying cry for the victims of the abuse. Abusers come in all cloaks and disguises, and just because he may sing or dance, this doesn't condone the violence he is capable of. I have no problem with those promoting the power of forgiveness or giving Brown a second chance. But to claim his talent is so impressive as to invite his violence? Well ladies, I'd say you are just asking for it; but, I wouldn't want to be one to promote the rallying cry of the abuser or those who condone abuse against women.

 

"Domestic Violence Statistics", 2012 (N.A.). Retrieved on February 13, 2012 from http://domesticviolencestatistics.org/domestic-violence-statistics/.

Ngak, C. (2012). Grammys 2012: Chris Brown fans and haters react on Twitter. CBS News. Retrieved on February 13, 2012 from http://www.cbsnews.com/2300-501465_162-10011295-2.html?tag=page;next .

Copyright 2012 Azadeh Aalai

Azadeh Aalai, PhD, is a Tenure-Track, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Queensborough Community College in New York.

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