Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thoughts on Chris Brown *Trigger Warning*

As a big music fan, I have been very disturbed by the recent response to Chris Brown. His recent appearance at the Grammy Awards has been met with a mixed response that really downplays and at times outright disregards the severity of his physical abuse towards Rihanna. Brown himself has done nothing to demonstrate that he has any remorse or has learned anything about why what he did was so wrong, and the fact that people are so willing to forget or brush off his history of rage and violence shakes me to my core. Even when, three years ago, clear documentation of his violence towards Rihanna (Which was released without her consent, another issue in this case) was released and STILL people were not quick to condemn him. I suppose that given the refusal to hold him accountable after it happened I shouldn't be surprised how quickly people have put his abuse behind them, but the response he has gotten has been alarming to say the least.

For example, take a look at this list of Twitter updates about Chris Brown; how people can think that what he did was not only acceptable at the time but that the possibility of it happening again is not a big deal is absolutely stunning to me.

As if the fan response was not bad enough, an executive producer for the Grammy Awards said, "I think people deserve a second chance, you know. If you’ll note, he has not been on the Grammys for the past few years and it may have taken us a while to kind of get over the fact that we were the victim of what happened." YOU were the victim of what happened? Not the woman who got violently assaulted by her intimate partner? Outrageous.

People have done awful things like blame Rihanna for provoking Chris Brown into assaulting her or the aforementioned forgiveness for a man who has demonstrated how little he has learned by refusing to acknowledge what he has done as a serious crime (Including a violent outburst when the topic was brought up). He has allegedly even begun joking about the abuse as a pick-up line, which again shows how little he thinks of what he did.

I am so deeply saddened by the fan response to Chris Brown and upset with the way the music industry has been so willing to welcome Brown back into the fold with no repercussions for his actions. Everyone deserves a second chance, but Chris Brown has obviously not learned from his mistakes and clearly thinks he has not done anything wrong. I can only hope that people learn to hold abusers accountable for their actions not just in this case but in all cases, because until we all do so we will be doing a huge disservice to survivors of interpersonal violence.

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