Chris Brown, notorious abuser and asshole, performed at the Grammy Awards last night. He performed twice and received Best R&B Album. It truly hurt to see someone who has taken zero accountability for his past actions celebrated and praised. I believe in second chances, but Chris Brown has shown no remorse, and in fact, continues to act as though he did nothing wrong. The man is violent. He needs counseling. It's disgusting what Grammy producer, Ken Ehrlich said of having Chris Brown perform:
We're glad to have him back. 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.
Well, Mr. Ehrlich, it's certainly clear that you don't give a shit about women--you think you're the victim of what happened? So, you don't think Rihanna was a victim then, huh? That's interesting. How kind of you to have kept Chris Brown out of the Grammy's for 3 years. How tough that must have been for you.
I have not personally been affected by domestic violence, but my mother has--more than once. It angers me to see an abuser achieve success and fame. It pisses me off that this continues to happen. Women are consistently seen as nothing in this world, and it's so fucking sad.
Just last March, Brown said:
At the end of the day, if I walk around apologizing to everybody, I'm gonna look like a damn fool.
No Chris. I don't think you could ever over apologize for hitting your ex-girlfriend. I don't think over apologizing exists, and how the hell does that equate to looking like a "fool"? In the same interview he said:
You can't blame people for how they want to be portrayed or if they don't want to be associated with somebody who had a particular mishap.
Oh, that lovely word "mishap" covers up beating-your-then-girlfriend so nicely. This guy has not once been sorry for his actions. Brown added:
The last two years, everybody dissed me.
Awww, really Chris? Everyone "dissed" you? That must have been so hard for you! Are we supposed to feel bad for you? Fucking idiot. Think about what Rihanna went through. Not only was she beaten, but she had to deal with it all in public. Just this past November, Brown tweeted a rant about how annoyed he is when asked about beating Rihanna. He quickly deleted it, but not before news outlets could take a snapshot of it. He wrote:
Don't say shit to anybody and everyone feels it's cool to attack me. GROWN ADULTS!!!! That shit happened three years ago!
Chris, not sure if you know this--it seems like you don't--but your past actions stay with you and, in your case, the world for, well, life. Also, just because you beat Rihanna three years ago, doesn't make it any less problematic. My mother was nearly killed by her first husband (not my father, I should say) when she was 23--she's now 60. Do you think, since time has gone by, my mom is "cool" with it? Do you think she's forgotten about it? No. She has fucking PTSD, and she has been working through it since it happened. There is no time limit on "getting over" abuse, because you can't "get over" it. The world is still so immensely unsupportive of survivors of sexual/domestic abuse. Our culture's atitude is disgusting and disturbing.
When my friend Audrey pointed me to this horrendous post titled, "25 Extremely Upsetting Reactions to Chris Brown at the Grammys", I literally got teary-eyed. These young women who are tweeting they would "let Chris Brown beat me any day" is so sad. Women in this world have such little self-worth, because we've been told since the beginning of time that we are devoid of importance. I'm not surprised by these women's reactions. What I'm surprised by is society's refusal to do anything. I mean, we live in a country right now that can't even ratify the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women - CEDAW (when so many other, under-developed nations have) or reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.
All of this reminds me of a very powerful Andrea Dworkin quote:
Society’s general refusal to do anything meaningful to protect women and girls from male sexual aggression is testimony to the worthlessness of a female life.
It's depressing when you realize your sex is considered worthless, which is why many women choose to not think about it--it's easier that way. But this isn't truth. This isn't reality. I can't believe we are still fighting to be equal. I can't believe we are still fighting for the acknowledgement of our worth. I can't believe we are still fighting for our health and safety.
I have never felt so powerless.