I am probably ten years past the legal maximum age to be watching the Grammy’s. And yet, I was interested in the Whitney Houston tributes, feeling a great deal of sadness about the loss of talent and the sad final years of her life. And so I watched.
Of course I felt like an old farty lady, on the couch with Christina, bursting out with gems like “she’s wearing WHAT?” and better, “who is that again?”
So I pretty much stayed out of the tweeting frenzy last night. Until Chris Brown took the stage.
Judging from the responses I got, no, I was not the only person upset to see violent guys tho beat up women winning awards. As @sashalyn wrote, “Can we send them off to space or something?” (Maybe Newt can make that a priority.)
And as I tweeted later, I’m an equal opportunity women abuser-hater. If Mel Gibson and Charlie Sheen dropped off the face of the earth tomorrow, I could live with that.
But most interesting, were the small number of women in my feed defending him. One suggested that since Rhianna forgave him, we should too. Which is about the most convoluted logic I can imagine. An abuser is still an abuser, whether or not his girlfriend forgives him. He clearly still has anger management issues, and guess what? I don’t have to like him. I can accept that he may be honored for his work, and maybe the Grammy’s don’t have to separate his work from his personal life.
But I am also entitled to say I think it sucks. And that believe that we should save our sympathies and our very American underdog support network for rehabilitated shoplifters or middle school truants or you know, pretty much anyone who isn’t a man who beats up women.
Now I understand that we all have our own moral lines we can and can’t get over. Roman Polanski remains polarizing 35 years later. Some women can’t get past Woody Allen leaving his longtime girlfriend for her daughter–and I may be in the minority for forgiving him, considering he’s remained, to my knowledge, happily married and faithful to his wife for 20 years now. So I really do get that we all have different views on forgiveness and rehabilitation. Still, I think that those defending him should ask themselves, why? Why do they feel so committed to this man that they spent hours on Twitter doing just that? Is it an overall belief in forgiveness, or is it just that he is soooo cute (ahem) that we should let it go?
Christina forwarded it this morning and my head exploded.
Some choice excerpts from Matt Stopera’s piece at Buzzfeed about the more disturbing responses to Chris Brown on twitter:
Who are these women’s mothers? Who are their fathers? And what the hell is wrong with young women when “cute guy” (subjective) trumps “violent abuser” (on the record).
I wish I had some smart conclusion. I just know I’m heinously disturbed and recommitted to making extra sure that my own daughters have more self-esteem than these women do. Like, 16 hundred million percent more self-esteem, as Sage would say. (That’s her favorite number.)
Above all, can we talk about the elephant in the room?
I find it wildly ironic that during a ceremony in large part mourning the tragic death of a legend whose end of life was marked by drug abuse and codependency, violence and abuse at the hands of her husband–that at the same time, there was the adulation of Chris Brown.