Portrait of an abuser: this is the scary-ass freakazoid the twits at Slate feel sorry for

Friday, March 6th, 2009 · 76 Comments »

I’m just going to quote from the report in the LA Times on yesterday’s court appearance:

Asshole needs to be behind bars.

Asshole needs to be behind bars.

“I’m going to beat the . . . out of you when we get home! You wait and see,” a police affidavit quoted Brown, famed for his soulful singing and sensitive lyrics, as shouting at Rihanna.

~

Rihanna suffered bruises and a scratch during the altercation, which ended on a quiet street in Hancock Park. In the affidavit attached to a search warrant for phone records, Los Angeles Police Det. De Shon Andrews wrote that the altercation began after Rihanna — referred to as “Robyn F.” — discovered “a three-page text message” on Brown’s phone from a former lover. The couple began arguing, the detective wrote, and Brown shoved Rihanna’s head against the window of the car. He then began punching her with his right hand while he steered the car with his left, according to the affidavit.

“The assault caused Robyn F.’s mouth to fill with blood and blood to splatter all over her clothing and the interior of the vehicle,” the detective wrote.

Rihanna then used her cellphone to call an assistant, according to the detective. When the call went to voice mail, she pretended she was speaking to the woman and told her to have police waiting at her home, the warrant states. Brown became further enraged, the detective wrote, and told her, “You just did the stupidest thing ever! Now I’m really going to kill you!”

Brown continued pummeling Rihanna on her face, arms and legs, according to the affidavit. When Rihanna attempted to text message another assistant for help, Brown threw her phone out the window, and when she grabbed for his cellphone, he put her in a headlock, pulled her close to him and bit her ear, the detective wrote.

Eventually Brown stopped the vehicle and Rihanna grabbed the car keys and began screaming for help. Brown punched and choked her and she began to lose consciousness.

“She reached up with her left hand and began attempting to gouge his eyes in an attempt to free herself. Brown bit her left ring and middle fingers and then released her,” the detective wrote.

A neighbor called the police and Brown walked away, the detective wrote.

Poor misunderstood 19-year-old boy.

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76 Responses to “Portrait of an abuser: this is the scary-ass freakazoid the twits at Slate feel sorry for”

  1. bluemorning says:

    Wow, that Brown is a nasty piece of work.

    I would never “go back” to an abuser like that.
    Rhianna had better get some counseling and
    run away from him, NOW.

  2. odysseus says:

    the incident should also be seen in a slightly larger context, as in who raised the guy to be such a violent abuser? his family failed….

  3. yttik says:

    His family did fail, not long ago he talked about the violence in his home and how awful it made him feel. I’d guess violence like this is pretty much a learned behavior that you grow up watching. But that’s cause and effect, not an excuse for what he’s done. He’s not a kid anymore, his behavior is now his responsibility.

    What I don’t understand is how people like him can go from talking about how terrible and powerless they felt growing up with domestic violence, and then turn around and do it themselves?

    This police report is sad, but what’s sadder is that you know it’s probably much worse. It’s been going on for a long time, there’s been other incidents, and she’s probably minimizing the seriousness of them all so she can deceive herself into staying in the relationship.

  4. theunmarrieddaughter says:

    “his family did fail”

    No, what is EPIC COLOSSAL FAIL is using Mr. Brown’s family of origin violence as an excuse for his beating another human being, a human being who is physically weaker than him to make a point.

    That is fucking bullshit. Mr. Brown CHOSE to act on his violent tendencies, and yes he did “know better” than to beat the shit out of a woman. You think he didn’t know better? Really? Then, if he didn’t know better than to beat on Rhianna to make a point that she is under his control, why did he say, “you just made the worst mistake of your life, when he found out the police were called? Out of control, think their behavior is okay/justified people have no fear of authority being brought in, so Mr. Brown knew full well that beating the shit out of a human being was wrong, despite what he witnessed as a child.* No, Mr. Brown knew what he was doing, just as all abusers do. Abusers Know beating** their children/partners is wrong, very wrong, no matter what they witnessed as children. To let an abuser wiggle off the hook for his behavior by blaming his family is what Bancroft would classify as “Domestic Abuse Myth”, and we need to shut that Myth down as fast as we can.

    *Which, once I start saying “tough shit that Mr. Brown endured child abuse” makes me seem like a heartless bitch. Well, I am one, but only in the sense that I can feel compassion for the child that Mr. Brown was and his abuse as child, and still hold him accountable for his adult abusive behavior. So, yes, poor Mr. Brown for his childhood, and he is still a piece of shit as an adult for beating up his partner.

    **Feel the same way about emotional abuse, because that is just as devastating to women also.

  5. Lisa says:

    the unmarrieddaughter, while I agree with everything you are saying, the poster odysseus might agree with you as well.

    I didn’t hear in that post that it was an excuse, but just another factor to consider. And I think it is important to consider family failure- because it is another area of our society in which women and the economically disadvantaged (most often women and single mothers) are not supported.

    Who is raising these abusive men? Women. Why would a woman allow her son to develop in this way? Because he sees his mother being abused? Because she raises him to be the kind of man she sees surviving in the patriarchy? Because we allow and expect violence from men as a society?

    No, he shouldn’t get a pass, and somehow we need to break this circle of tolerance for male violence towards women. Mothers can’t do it alone.

  6. Luckynkl says:

    Men learn their attitudes and behavior toward women from other men, not from their “families” per se and certainly not from their mothers. My problem with using the word “families” is that it covers up the fact it is learned from male family members, predominantly the father or father-figure, not families in general, which is inclusive of women. Men who were abused as children grow up to abuse other men, not women. It is irrelevant how abusive the mother may or may not have been. Men emulate their father’s/father-figure’s behavior, not their mother’s. I don’t think I need to explain why.

    So says Lundy Bancroft, a man who has counseled abusive men for over 2 decades. Who says that all the myths surrounding abusers are lies that are propagated by the abusers themselves. He says this is a bit like asking alcoholics why do they drink and taking their word for it. Needless to say, what the public generally knows about abuse and abusers are concocted lies. But being the woman-hating/blaming culture that we are, we willingly believe these jerks and their lies and and propagated myths.

  7. m Andrea says:

    I didn’t hear in that post that it was an excuse, but just another factor to consider.

    Consider for what, exactly? To excuse his behavior? There’s a reason you didn’t finish your sentence. So what’s the reason you didn’t finish your sentence?

    Only seeking clarification here… :)

    Mothers can’t do it alone.

    You probably don’t realize it, but that appears to imply that mothers must have the primary responsibility for teaching their spawn how to be human. And apparently mothers have zero problem teaching their girl spawn how to be human, so obviously the problem is not with the mother’s teaching methods, but with the boy.

  8. yttik says:

    I’m not excusing him. He’s totally responsible for his behavior. I’m trying to look at cause and affect here.

    In 2006 he gave an interview in which he said, his witnessing his mothers abuse “was an influence in me on how to treat a woman.”

    Kind of ironic words at this point.

    If anything, he’s twice as guilty, because in that interview he acknowledged where the violence came from and what it felt like, what it did, to the people victimized by it. And he claimed he never wanted to make somebody feel that way. So he understands abuse, he’s not a victim of something psychological he doesn’t get. He gets it alright. Apparently he just didn’t care.

  9. sister of ye says:

    Why would a woman allow her son to develop in this way?…Because she raises him to be the kind of man she sees surviving in the patriarchy?

    You’re suggesting it’s his mother’s fault Brown became an abuser? Seriously? Besides getting beaten herself, his beating up his girlfriend is her fault?

    Brown is an adult. If he’s not, then he needs a financial guardian. I doubt he’d accept being kept from his money.

    I don’t know if this happened with Brown, but sometimes mothers restrain their sons from confronting their fathers to keep them from being beaten, too. A child might misconstrue that as acceptance of her abuse. An adult should know better.

    I can see why as a temporary strategy Rihanna would return to him. He’d likely gun her down if she didn’t. Hopefully once he’s arrested and denied bail, she’ll change her mind. For her safety he needs to be in jail till his trial, and if convicted, go directly back.

    They should charge him with reckless driving, too.

  10. Lisa says:

    sister of ye- no I am not suggesting it is his mother’s fault at all. Of course it’s not.

    As a mother I often think about how the other children I see around me are raised,the messages they hear and see at home, and how is it that boys are raised by women to abuse women? It is a question that is worth exploring- but not in any way a slam on the mothers. Women that are oppressed and abused aren’t in a good position to be able to teach their children how to do things differently.

    I would hazard to guess that all of us that come here know that he is responsible for his own actions and should be punished accordingly.

    Actually in my opinion, one of the biggest dangers/factors is the violence and misogyny inherent in rap music. When I brought up the mothers that need more support and a break from such an oppressive culture of patriarchy and misogyny, I was mainly just defending the statement made by odysseus.

  11. Greenconsciousness says:

    The reason his family history is important is because abuse fills children with a rage they carry their life long. It hard wires people. Then people act on that rage in self destructive ways all their life long because it is subconscious and primitive. If you haven’t experienced it you don’t/can’t understand.

    The woman also must have a lot of violence in her family background. She understands it, calls it love. Needs the passion like a junkie. They are both victims and neither is appropriate. They are dancers in a waltz of their own choosing. I learned this after working with BW for many years. There is no victim/abuser split – they are both active participants in the dance.

    The victims are the children and animals who live with them. In the case of celebrities, the victims are those who follow their example.

    The abusers are the family members who put these children into the abusive patterns they will struggle with for ever. The family is not only important to understand but should be held criminally accountable and of course they never are. Rape a child outside the family you might go to jail; rape your daughter, you will be reunited with your victim by child protection services. Listen to the families explain, deny, blame, minimize, and condone. This is how both these children were conditioned and exploited.

    The abuse dynamic is an addiction to dominance submission acted out between parent and child with spankings followed by declarations of love and by extreme forms of discipline resulting in lifelong rage;like drug addition, alcohol addiction, any addiction. There are many relapses. Eventually, you can free yourself somewhat but never totally because the rage never goes away.

    Prevention of rape and femicide and battery is all about ending child abuse. This is the root of the problem and the root of the answer.

    Feminist need to get smart about this and stop doing our own versions of denial. Prevention only works when it is based on hard understandings of the roots of the dysfunction. I am advocating for Children’s Villages, not foster homes. Children’s Villages where no child is abused and adult professionals are employed in three shifts to form families in units. Places where parents counseling and treatment can be monitored. Oh to radical you say. Check on the web to see how many pedophiles live in your neighborhood. Multiply that by four for domestic abuse. Either we start to apply radical solutions or we will lose.

  12. odysseus says:

    this high profile couple presents much more than a look at rap music, black culture, families (by this I mean extended families), motherhood, absent AND abusive men, or crime and punishment–it portrays violence in each of these guises

    don’t think for a moment you (general/societal not a specific poster) are beyond violence yourself

    it’s pernicious in the blogosphere, as well

  13. anne says:

    There is some kind of bizarre knee-jerk reaction going on when a man is clearly guilty of criminal behaviour towards a woman, but the conversation still manages to be brought back to blaming his mother for his actions.

    When do men accept responsibility for their behaviour toward us? When do men get held accountable for it? Women have very little power in this world, yet violence towards us is either our fault or the fault of other women, not the fault of the men beating us.

    We’re always hearing about women’s choices. Well it is the choice of some men to use violence towards women.

  14. Lori says:

    Oh fuck – I can’t believe you blamed it on the mother. I just can’t fucking believe you said that. That is just so fucking fucked up. Fuck! It’s like my dad blaming war on women and talking about how general’s wives push their husbands to invade. fuck.

    Why don’t you blame it on the fucking father? Cuz he’s not there? Didn’t it ever occur to you that maybe this is the job father’s must do? That maybe mothers have little ability to dissuade their sons from violence if that is the direction in which they incline? When have you ever seen a woman successful in turning a determined and angry male away from violence? I’ve never seen it and I doubt that I ever will. Fuck.

    God damn. I worked my ass off as a single mom and I’m fortunate to have raised a nearly perfect young man, but genetic fortune is a good part of that success. I don’t know what a mom can do to stop a son determined to go down that road. Men who have anger problems rarely, if ever, listen to the women in their lives. It’s only when they are dealt with by other men that they are pliable in the least.

    I used to date a guy who talked about beating his first wife. He came from a violent family and had spent every birthday and holiday hiding in the closets from an alcoholic father. He married young and had no skills for conflict resolution – because he had never seen a conflict resolved peacefully. He and his wife argued and he lost his temper and beat her. She called the police. He was arrested and received a lecture from the judge. It happened a few months later again, and this time the judge threw him in jail for a couple weeks. When he came back out, the judge told him that if he ever laid a hand on her again, he would spend years in jail – not weeks. That was the end of the abuse. He had a painful climb out of the pit that he’d grown up in but with the proper threats, he found the motivation to climb back out. Do you really think that he didn’t know violence was wrong and that his mother had never tried to instruct otherwise? Do you really think guys beat their girlfriends because their mother thinks it’s the thing to do? That is just fucked up beyond all fucking belief.

    Learning to deal with rage is tough journey. Male entitlement is all rolled up in there as well. Last night at Alegre’s, I quoted what John Elsom conjured up as an existential definition of sadism – that is, the process by which one person is reduced to a mere object of another’s person’s will. That’s what Brown was up to.

    But after the sad spectacle of the Kobe Bryant trial, I know that nothing will happen to Chris Brown. Rhianna is the one who is at risk of having her career damaged by this occurrence. Fuck.

  15. Lisa says:

    I am puzzled by this whole thread. I don’t blame women or mothers, and I don’t see where anyone else has, and yet it seems like that is what is being perceived.

    Oh wait a minute, I just noticed my last comment is in moderation. sigh.

  16. Gidget Commando says:

    I’m with anne. Why is it that women are somehow supposed to be responsible for the bahavior of everyone around them, and men aren’t even held responsible for their own behavior?

    I’m getting really, really tired of us wimminz always being at fault. Makes me suddenly understand the appeal of revenge movies, because damn, if I had superpowers, the temptation to exact some much-needed payback on patriarchal poopheads would be overwhelming.

  17. Lori says:

    Lisa – this is what you said:

    <

    Who is raising these abusive men? Women. Why would a woman allow her son to develop in this way? Because he sees his mother being abused? Because she raises him to be the kind of man she sees surviving in the patriarchy? Because we allow and expect violence from men as a society?</strong?

    If that’s not you blaming mom, I don’t know what it is.

  18. Sis says:

    If they were both white would that change the tune at Slate et al? How about if they were Republican-supporting whites, who are also anti-abortion evangelical Christians?

  19. m Andrea says:

    I think Violet has a tough job, moderating some of us. *cough*

    Lisa, I don’t mean for you to feel picked on. It is the sexist culture which brainwashes everyone into automatically blaming women, but as women, we have more incentive to deprogram ourselves. And part of that deprogramming involves pointing out when other feminists are victim-blaming. It’s so insidious, we don’t alway see it in ourselves.

    And I just know a MRA is going to read that and ask “so if women do it too, then why trash men so badly?” Because the motivations are not the same, that’s why.

    I think XYonline has a few articles on how a boy’s opinion is formed by the men around him and his peers, not the women in his life.

  20. Lisa says:

    There is a big difference between blaming and between seeing cause and effect. To blame his mother would be to say “well no surprise he turned out this way, look at how he was raised!” To show cause and effect without blaming is to point out that you cannot escape the influence of violence if you are the child of a mother trapped in a bad situation. Most likely his mom had no choice but to stay with her abuser- perhaps she had no money or resources to leave, perhaps she was afraid for her life of the life of her children- I don’t know anything about his personal circumstance but we have all heard these stories before.

    To change this type of family scenario will require that people be willing to talk about it, and to recognize that more help needs to be given to these mothers- more resources- more protection- more support.

    Yes, men are completely and ultimately responsible, but to find solutions might be easier if women are the ones to receive the attention and resources first. If the word “mom” can’t be mentioned without raising hackles, I fear that little progress will be made. Because who is it that is the most interested in the welfare of most of these kids? The moms are- not the fathers. Many men will see no benefit from being engaged in the process. I am just looking for results- not justice. Find help for the moms, they need it. Absolutely educate the men, but I think that is the slow road to progress.

    When I said “we allow and expect violence from men in this society” I didn’t mean women or mothers- I meant our patriarchal society as a whole allows it

  21. Lori says:

    Lisa,

    You still said that it is mothers raising these boys and “allowing” them to “develop that way”. Mothers don’t “allow” their son to go down that path. I don’t know any mother who has had much chance of stopping it.

    The men allowed it. The men who beat his mother allowed it. Them men that didn’t draw the line at the abuse allowed it.

    I was a single mom and I’m not going to sit still for this. If you’re going to blame women, as you did, for men abusing women and you’re going to hear about it from me, at the very least.

    Single mothers don’t raise sons to become violent. Absentee fathers fail to prevent it. This is rightwing meme from the nineties that you’re foisting on us and it was one that was used to blame single mothers for crime rates and let the fathers off the hook entirely.

  22. Lori says:

    BTW, I have two comments in moderation.

  23. Toonces says:

    Warning, amateur psychoanalysis ahead:

    I think men can grow up in an abusive situation and see the hurt it causes their mother and feel it themselves, and still decide that “the bitch deserved it” because they (obviously) do not fully humanize their girlfriend/wife. Put simply, the mother is the virgin, the girlfriend is the whore. The nurturing mother didn’t deserve it, but the girlfriend who spreads her legs, talks back, dresses this way or that, etc. does. When someone dehumanizes another person they can justify abusing them even when they know it’s wrong to hurt “real” or “good” people/women.

    And in saying that, I am in NO way trying to excuse his behavior or blame his mother. I just think it’s part of the truth of how these men think, how they justify it to themselves. The girlfriend is less than human to them, she is there to fulfill his needs, including his need for anger release, so it is not the same in his head as hurting a real person. And our culture reinforces this thinking constantly.

  24. Kiuku says:

    You can’t raise the Patriarchy out of men. Just another entitled male abuser.

  25. orlando says:

    “she is there to fulfill his needs, including his need for anger release”

    I think you’ve really identified something crucial here. Something that goes a way towards explaining why men often seem so *surprised* when they’re told hitting their girlfriend or wife is wrong or criminal (like the Vietnamese men in the domestic violence survey someone posted about last week).

    Everyone accepts that a man under pressure needs to blow off steam, so why wouldn’t he be allowed to use his woman for that, the same way he uses her for whatever else his whims decree at the time. Except they’re not called whims: it’s very important that they keep being called ‘needs’.

  26. slythwolf says:

    What I don’t understand is how people like him can go from talking about how terrible and powerless they felt growing up with domestic violence, and then turn around and do it themselves?

    Because it makes them feel powerful. Because everything in the world tells them that’s how powerful people act, and they never want to be powerless again. They don’t care how it makes their victims feel. They don’t have any empathy, they don’t give a fuck about anyone but themselves. I don’t really understand that either. And I’m glad, because I don’t want to be that kind of person.

  27. Kiuku says:

    I bet Slate told the women they ushered into “XX” that they’d pay them less but they’d get more exposure. LOL

    Fools.

    Slate let your women out of the kitchen!

  28. Sis says:

    He’s a product of this culture that excuses him for everything; because he’s poor, because he’s Black (Obama effect–and being also, because he’s being used by some racist to be a get out of being a racist card) because his father beat his mother, because R was being a a bitch, because she made him so made he drove dangerously, because he loves her sooooo much.

    His lawyers have him in script workshop now.

  29. julia says:

    This hits on everything.

    In response to ‘who is raising this kind of man’ I say we are. We in this ugly patriarchy, where so many of our lives are about survival. I refuse to blame women if they have sons like this, because look what we do to women in the good ol’ USA: no health care, no child care, no stipends or housing for single mothers, no free or inexpensive universites, language schools or technical schools.

    If women are raising their children alone, on one person’s income, and if they have to work two jobs
    or barely make enough – who can blame them? We don’t offer them anything.

    I’m tired of asking women to be everything. And I’m tired of living in a country that says it’s ‘free’ and makes women indentured servents.

  30. sister of ye says:

    To show cause and effect without blaming is to point out that you cannot escape the influence of violence if you are the child of a mother trapped in a bad situation.

    Sorry, this phrasing isn’t any better. It still implies that the control of and responsibility for the situation lies with the woman, not the man who is beating her.

    Accusing some of us of having our hackles raised because because you dared mention the word “mom”, and not because we disagreed with what you said and are arguing back, is a nice little “it’s you, you’re touchy” rhetorical trick that, oddly enough, men use on women all the time.

  31. sister of ye says:

    Now to follow my “grouchy” post with a hopefully more practical one.

    Perhaps someone out there knows if something like this has been tried anywhere. I’m thinking we need something like a “buddy system” for women in Rihanna’s situation. One of the most dangerous times for a woman is when the justice system is engaged. Restraining orders don’t stop the knives or bullets of men who are determined that “if I can’t have her, no one will.”

    Women’s shelters are a help, but another approach would be to work at protecting women in their homes, allowing their and their children’s lives to be a normal as possible. I’m thinking drafting other women to be helpers in the home – accompany the women and the kids to work, school and other places they need to go. Teach them as a friend any financial and other practical information they need to manage their lives. Someone able to use weapons might not be a bad idea, either.

    It would be a huge commitment in time and effort. And quite likely dangerous, though some men might actually be deterred knowing their were parties involved willing to be witnesses. It might not go over with a lot of Powers That Be, either.

    FWIW, I throw it out for discussion.

  32. Lisa says:

    sister of ye, that is pretty much what I have been suggesting- that we need to find protection and a means of help for women raising children in a violent home. This whole beheading tragedy just points out the failure of the legal system to protect women.

    Ruminating on the irony of how women end up raising sons that do the same violence to other women that their mother’s were subjected to is not the same as saying that therefore the mothers are to blame. Of course they are not. I’m really not trying to be stubborn here, believe me I know I say things that I can be talked out of easily, and I’m often wrong (and many people point that out to me!)- but I think the sad facts are that violence in the home is most often the fault of men, and women are most often the ones looking for the solution. And they end up not being able to provide the healthy environment that children need to be non-violent because they don’t have the support and resources.

    Men are the ones that should be finding solutions to their own violence, but I don’t trust that they are going to be working hard on that one.

    I was involved in a child’s advocacy program that worked with the court system for the short time I lived in Austin about 10 years ago. Finding people that can intervene in the home is helpful- but as you say- also dangerous. Also, we were coached that taking children out of a dangerous home can be just as emotionally damaging for them. There is no good answer, but we really need to find more answers then we are coming up with so far.

  33. Violet says:

    Hey folks — sorry so many comments were trapped in moderation. I think the filters were feeling their oats a bit.

  34. m Andrea says:

    The man is abusive.
    But what about his mother.

    Chris beat Rihanna.
    But what about his mother.

    He chose to abuse.
    But what about his mother.

    You’re making excuses.
    Oh his mom needs more support.

    You’re changing the subject.
    Let’s empowfulize his mother.

    On the pillars of denial, we still burn witches here.

  35. anne says:

    I’m extremely bemused at the people here wringing their hands and arguing that we should have some sort of special system for women outside the criminal justice system. Aren’t we citizens? If crimes are committed against us, shouldn’t the criminal justice system be protecting us? Why do we need some sort of special ladies’ system rather than *demanding* that the criminal justice system serves our needs as well as those of men?

    The answer to male violence against women is to hold men accountable for it and to punish them for it – to make the cost of beating women too high to make it worth them raising their fists against us.

    The court in Los Angeles is doing exactly that, they are continuing with the trial despite the fact that Rihanna is not pressing charges. Yet somehow that is being ignored and instead people are pretending that we need something else, something special, something for women that ignores men despite the fact that it is men who are carrying out this reign of terror against us.

    As for this.

    “The woman also must have a lot of violence in her family background. She understands it, calls it love. Needs the passion like a junkie. They are both victims and neither is appropriate. They are dancers in a waltz of their own choosing. I learned this after working with BW for many years. There is no victim/abuser split – they are both active participants in the dance.”

    You make me sick Green Consciousness. Go to hell. You understand nothing.

  36. Anna Belle says:

    I have been sick over the media treatment of this for weeks. It has been utter bullshit. From the beginning, they tried to cover for him, refusing to even tell people the first day why he was arrested, and waiting more than a week before reporting any of the details.

    Then, when they have reported on it, it has always been with the frame of trying to understand poor Chris’s point of view. Well, I say Chris’s point of view is the PROBLEM because it’s the fucking norm. As I have said many, many times, you can do any goddamn thing you want to to a woman in this country.

    What we need is to understand Rhianna’s point of view. What does it feel like to have your face smashed in and your agency stripped from you within minutes by the man you have been told by the culture you should be able to trust? What did those microseconds feel like for Aasyia Hassan, as she woke up, saw her husband with the sword, and realized she was about to be beheaded in America? What did she think in that final second? That’s the focus this conversation, and every media contribution, should have. It doesn’t, because America Hates Women.

  37. Anna Belle says:

    FTR, the thing that pissed me off the most about this whole thing was when I heard an African Studies professor from HARVARD say that, while what Chris did was illegal and inappropriate, it was understandable, because white culture has effectively “feminized” black man, and domestic violence was their understandable, but misguided attempt to assert their masculinity.

    Because, you know, the oppressive forces working against black women don’t matter, or aren’t “real.” The only thing that makes oppression odious is if happens to a person with a penis.

    Maybe we should all strap on some junk and march that way.

  38. Anna Belle says:

    Crap, modded…I was trying to avoid buzz words!

    For the record, I meant strap them on outside of clothes. What a spectacle that would be, a million woman march, all wearing penises and holding signs that say “I’m a Human Too.”

  39. Violet says:

    Anna Belle, I found and deactivated the penis filter. Heh heh. So I think you can use that word now without being modded.

    Off topic, but did they find the beheading weapon in the Hassan case? Was it a sword?

    I think we should start a movement to have a Million Woman Strap-on March. I love the idea of the penises and the signs. That’s really what it is: only people with dicks are human.

  40. Lisa says:

    Even better, could we find a woman owned company to supply the strap-ons?

  41. Sis says:

    Papier mache?

    That should do. It doesn’t have to work any better than the real ones.

  42. sister of ye says:

    Anne, I didn’t mean to imply that our support of each other should be in lieu of the criminal justice system. It shouldn’t. But the sad fact is that, unless you’re a celebrity, you’re not going to be given 24/7 police protection. Arrests often take time, and in the meantime the woman is vulnerable to someone who has intimate knowledge of her environment and schedule, maximizing his opportunity for revenge.

    It’s another sad fact that certainty of punishment, as laudable and necessary a goal as it is, may not deter men who are convinced they’re entitled to any actions they take. Witness the number of men who kill their wives and kids, then kill themselves, or set up a “suicide by cop” standoff situation.

    Now if a guy knew he was going to face a big ole Magnum and would die without getting the chance to accomplish his sick intent, that might deter him. At least it would keep the woman safe.

    Love that strap-on march! For practical reasons (money and health) I probably wouldn’t make it, but I’d be cheering you all the way!

  43. Anna Belle says:

    LMAO@ deactivating the penis filter. That’s a euphemism–and not for sex. Sometimes I have found that you have to be just that brutally visual AND honest to get a lot of men to understand stuff. Many have a dense fog that takes some work to penetrate.

  44. Anna Belle says:

    Awesome Sis and Lisa!! (Shoulda read through)

  45. Anna Belle says:

    Crap! Forgot, Vi…I don’t know if they found the weapon in the Hassan case. I was using artistic license.

  46. Lori says:

    Anna Belle,

    I think some men have a blind spot about understanding that women are threatened by men. We grow up knowing that pretty much any man can kill any of us at any time he wants. A man getting physical with a woman is a threat to her in a way that most men never, ever experience in their life. I think men who have been victimized by other men are frequently more outraged by women standing up to them. They see our resolution as a further threat to their manhood in a way that men who haven’t been victimized frequently don’t. Perhaps Rhianna busting Chris’s chops over his ex-girlfriend returned him to the emotional chaos that he so deplored as a child. He wants order, and emotionally speaking, shutting Rhianna up is the key to restoration.

    Here is Los Angeles there was a very sad case of a young woman put on trial for murder II. She was eight months pregnant and had a toddler when she left her abusive husband. He came back with a gun, drunk out of his mind and backed her in the bedroom threatening to kill her and the child. Something distracted him and he dropped the gun and started to walk out of the room. She grabbed the gun and shot him in the back killing him. Even though she was eight months pregnant with a toddler clinging to her leg, and a long documented history of being physically assaulted by this man, the prosecutors felt that she had no business shooting him in the back. He wasn’t a threat to her in the moment so she should have waited until he returned. I don’t remember what happened in that trial – it was just terrible that the trial even happened. I lost all respect for Garcetti when he argued against modifying the law to include evidence of spousal abuse in trial.

  47. odysseus says:

    A few observations: first, when a man or woman commits a crime, we as a society and we as a family (in all its glorious forms), and we the people have failed.

    Second, Lori’s statement is problematic: “Single mothers don’t raise sons to become violent. Absentee fathers fail to prevent it.” Someone absent cannot be a prescriptive solution. This is not the same thing as blaming the only parent present during the adolescence of the troubled/abusive adult. What it is doing is saying that responsibility to prevent abusive behavior rests almost entirely upon mothers who are overwhelmed, but the last best hope.

    Third, by the time we turn to a criminal justice system to “stop the problem” we are too late. Any possible intervention occurs by the courts after the fact by definition. Education, love and determination to not let biology and violent cultural norms be what defines us is paramount and a slow process. Still, it is our legal system that most defines our American genius because it allows for the rule of law and order. Calls for revenge and the like are, I hope, blind rage and not considered thought. I am made uneasy by the level of implied violence and bullying in some comments on this thread.

    Fourth, the level of violent discourse on blogs in general, and this thread in particular, is a problem. I wish we would do a better job at being civil. Disagree vehemently with each other, but let’s not lose sight of our common cause. Let’s, as feminists, realize that results AND means matter. Divorcing one from the other does us all harm and this harm gets played out in society and in the concrete particulars of this case.

    Fifth, as a feminist but a man, I too would march with a strap on phallus. But that might muddle the message! We, women and men, have a stake in feminism. We, women and men, have a stake in ending violence. We, women and men, have a stake in being protective and loving parents, aunts and uncles, grandmas and grandpas, sisters and brothers, friends and strangers.

  48. donna darko says:

    Whether one was raised with both parents or not, it goes back to the thread about the ideology of male supremacy and domestic violence. Absence of males does not mean single mothers do not teach patriarchal values to their sons especially if they become the man of the house.

  49. Toonces says:

    Do men who are superstars really feel powerless? Or do they feel so powerful that they can tell themselves they are Godlike and therefore allowed to treat other human beings as though they are punching bags? How DARE she check his phone. That was a huge affront to his ego — I mean she was acting like he wasn’t in complete control of her or something. She needed to be (re-)taught that she is not in charge here, not of herself and definitely not of him, being that he is so far above her.

    I’m just having a hard time buying the line that he was just a scared little boy here, trying to control his world. I imagine he likes being in control of his world, but I do not believe fear was what was driving him.

  50. donna darko says:

    There is absolutely no excuse for what he did.

    Slate must feel stupid now for their ridiculous statement.

  51. Kiuku says:

    I don’t know why we are focusing on the mothers or the “families”. Anything but actually holding a man or men responsible, I guess.

  52. orlando says:

    Under the circumstances, referring to Rhianna as “busting his chops” is a really clumsy and idiotic expression to use. We need to be more careful about falling into the pattern of wider society that casually equates a woman’s verbal abuse of a man with a man’s physical abuse of a woman.

  53. Lori says:

    Odysseus,

    There is nothing problematic in my statement other than the fact that doesn’t let men off the hook. Single mothers, as a group, do not raise their sons to become violent. Speaking as a single mother, I’ve never known who didn’t work hard at trying to prevent her son from turning down that road. But without a father present to provide reasonable role models, she has little ability to deter that journey should her son elect to choose that path.

    I’m not taking this shit. Preventing boys from becoming violent is men’s responsibility. If they don’t take their job seriously, well, that’s a very sad thing for her, the boy and the rest of the family. But that doesn’t mean that it is the mother’s failure in the least if her son becomes violent. ßhe isn’t the one who failed. The father is.

    Let’s put it all on the dads for a while and see how they feel about it. Then we’ll talk about moderation.

  54. m Andrea says:

    Odysseus, I’m really sorry we’re not doing feminism with as much lady-like decorum as you would prefer. I also apologize for any comments which may have inadvertently referred to men or masculinity in a manner which implies that they deserve anything less than the utmost respect and reverence. Thank you for showing us the error of our ways, as I’m sure you frequently and often castigate men in an identical fashion when they engage in their sexist fun at our expense.

    Here is another blog which is also in dire need of your critical analysis:
    http://finallyfeminism101.blogspot.com/

    I think men who have been victimized by other men are frequently more outraged by women standing up to them. They see our resolution as a further threat to their manhood in a way that men who haven’t been victimized frequently don’t.

    Any particular reason for that assessment? I’d guess that men who are victimized by other men frequently look for someone even lower on the heirarchy for them to vent their frustrations on.

  55. m Andrea says:

    Oh, suppose you mean they become even more angry when a woman refuses to to accept his version of “kick the dog”?

    (just in case that makes no sense, I have one in moderation)

  56. anne says:

    Who is this odysseus who thinks he can dictate how “we” feminists conduct ourselves?

    Odysseus, Violet’s suggest was for a million woman march with strap-ons. You’re not a woman therefore you wouldn’t be part of it. That’s taking your male privilege to some extremes when you a man think you get to march on a woman’s march just because you’ve unilaterally declared yourself a feminist.

    If you really do feel the need to police violent and uncivil discourse on the internet, there’s probably no better place for it than Fark.com. Of course they are mostly men there so unfortunately you won’t be able to achieve the cheap thrill you are getting here from trying to tell women what to do.

  57. yttik says:

    “Someone absent cannot be a prescriptive solution.”

    First, there’s no doubt in my mind that the best thing for some families is if the man makes himself absent. For example, Chris Brown’s stepfather did more harm them good by sticking around. His absence would have led to a healthier family.

    But I think just the act of being absent sends a message that the woman and the children have no value. I believe the fact that women are left alone financially and emotionally to raise children is a misogynistic act all by itself. So an absent father does send a message, he does contribute to the problem. It is his responsibility, his fault, even if he is absent. Chris Brown learned from two men, his absent father and his abusive stepfather. And the patriarchy, and the media, and all the other violent role models.

    But none of that, absolutely none of it is an excuse for his behavior. Women also grow up with violence, with powerlessness, with horrendous childhoods, but they don’t go around beating up men every time they feel threatened.

    This is an interesting discussion, but the bottom line is that men abuse women simply because they believe it is acceptable and they think they can get away with it.

  58. Lisa says:

    Wow, what’s going on with the bullying these days? Isn’t that considered male dominance behavior?

    I don’t comment on most sites because I don’t see the point of getting in cursing and name calling arguments with people. I have always enjoyed commenting here because it gave me the feeling of being back in college, arguing in classes with my peers, where there was a level of respect for each other and a safe atmosphere to work through ideas together. This site has always drawn such intelligent and intellectually stimulating commentary. I have had my opinions challenged and changed more times than I can count here, and I value that.

    I won’t come here if it turns into just one more site with massive bullying and opinionated attacks. I am sure I will get attacked for saying so, but I have a right to an opinion too, and this is one hateful thread.

  59. Sis says:

    “Someone absent cannot be a prescriptive solution”

    I think yes, absent men can be a prescriptive solution. Remove the individual man who is the abuser and negigent, and remove the abuse of the patriarchy. We deny that men are the source of abuse and violence in families, to their wives, children and family pets, to other women and children in the extended family. When women abuse childrent, I think it’s because she was or is being abused by a man who had or has control. Society, we, give him control, and excuse his violent, abusive and negligent behaviour when he’s caught, or one of the kids does something wrong. But I think it is the father’s fault. Whether he is there or not, because he benefits by the rule of the patriarchy which allows him to do these things, while blaming her.

  60. Lisa says:

    “Women also grow up with violence, with powerlessness, with horrendous childhoods, but they don’t go around beating up men every time they feel threatened.”

    No, not physically, but I hear much verbal beating up of anyone that disagrees with
    certain people here. Verbal abuse doesn’t make you a better person.

    All you have to do is turn on the TV or open a magazine or listen to the radio to observe the level of violence in our patriarchal society. But to make women into saints is a dangerous road as well. We really don’t know what society would be like without the influence of patriarchy- it’s never been done. But to assume that life would be perfectly peaceful and women have no propensity for anger or violence in them is unknown. THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE POST- this has to do with the extreme levels of blame going on in this thread.

  61. Sis says:

    Sorry yttik I opened my posting window then went ot make coffee, so I kind of posted on top of you. You said it so much better.

  62. Sis says:

    Well said Anne. I know some boards tolerate this, under the delusion there’s some benefit to them to be here. That we need the male voice or we’re prejudiced. Feh. They don’t need to post to learn. And yes, go where there’s flak odysseus. Don’t bother coming here expecting us to fawn over you because you think announcing you’re a feminist makes you one. You are a feminist by your behaviours and actions and you don’t cut it.

    I think there are men who are listening and learning. About four, maybe, that I’ve seen on the boards. One here, rarely, simp shows up, one at Twisty’s, and a couple who have blogs and do it there; Rich at Adonis Mirror, and Stan Goff. You don’t see them here telling us how it’s done.

  63. anne says:

    “THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE POST- this has to do with the extreme levels of blame going on in this thread.”

    Would you care to provide some examples Lisa and explain why you are objecting to them. I’m guessing you’re not referring to either this:

    “Calls for revenge and the like are, I hope, blind rage and not considered thought. I am made uneasy by the level of implied violence and bullying in some comments on this thread.

    Fourth, the level of violent discourse on blogs in general, and this thread in particular, is a problem. I wish we would do a better job at being civil. Disagree vehemently with each other, but let’s not lose sight of our common cause. Let’s, as feminists, realize that results AND means matter. Divorcing one from the other does us all harm and this harm gets played out in society and in the concrete particulars of this case.”

    or this:

    “The woman also must have a lot of violence in her family background. She understands it, calls it love. Needs the passion like a junkie. They are both victims and neither is appropriate. They are dancers in a waltz of their own choosing. I learned this after working with BW for many years. There is no victim/abuser split – they are both active participants in the dance.”

    They of course are both men blaming and policing women which will always be A-OK in the patriarchy and regarded as civil discourse rather than bigotry and abuse of male power.

  64. Violet says:

    Actually GreenConsciousness isn’t a man. As for Odyseuss, his anxiety about a few women verbally venting their frustration in an obscure blog thread (while all over the world men are raping/mutilating/torturing/murdering/beheading women and have been doing so for thousands of years) has been duly noted.

    That said, please knock off the brawling in this thread. A few people have said things in this thread with which I passionately disagree and even find offensive. But I’ll live.

  65. Lisa says:

    so the “they did it first” rule is in effect here Anne?

  66. anne says:

    I don’t know what you’re talking about Lisa. Please explain what you mean.

    My point is that women’s so-called bad behaviour is always criticised, whilst men’s much worse stuff gets a free pass. As sexism is part of a much wider system of male supremacy it’s important to point it out and object to it. I don’t really see why the women at Slate can get hugely criticised for their idiocy about Chris Brown but someone who is blaming women for men’s criminal actions against them, but is doing it on a blog thread, should get a free pass. If one person is allowed to make a comment about abused women not being victims, surely those of us who have been victims of male violence or have had women close to us victimised are allowed to have an opinion about that.

    The point is that there is always an open door to criticise women and be sexist about us, even when we are being victimised. It’s why people like Odysseus and Green Consciousness feel so free to indulge in it. When we object to it we are accused of being verbally abusive or bullying. That’s messed up.

    I don’t think I said anything offensive to Odysseus, I just pointed out his male privilege and how much it had skewed his viewpoint – enough to think that he a man should go on a million woman march. I am also giving him the benefit of the doubt that he is sincere and wants to do feminist work, thus policing the sexism and violent hatred against women at Fark.com would be useful to women, much more useful than telling feminists how to do feminism.

    Objecting vehemently to sexism isn’t some kind of personal thing because it’s bad to be offended, it’s a political action. Whilst sexism goes unchallenged women continue to get hurt and we also continue to get blamed for what is done to us. Unchallenged sexism maintains a space for woman-haters and for that sort of bigotry to be acceptable discourse.

  67. yttik says:

    “..this has to do with the extreme levels of blame going on in this thread.”

    We’re standing around looking at yet another battered woman and people are concerned that some women may be expressing to much blaming, anger, and frustration??

    Is there some ladylike, non violent, politically correct way to respond to the description of the torture and abuse of Rihanna? I mean, we don’t want to make any uncomfortable or anything.

  68. Lisa says:

    Look, I understand challenging comments and behaviour, I think this is absolutely a great place for that.

    I just am from the school of thought (and I know that not everyone is) that sarcasm and attacks are counterproductive if your goal really is to challenge and learn. I am not defending him or anyone. I just really love participating here, and I can’t stand it when it turns ugly and abusive. I am certainly not singling you out.

    I’m done. Promise. (: no more comments.

  69. anne says:

    I didn’t think you were singling me out Lisa. I was just asking you to provide some examples of what you were objecting to.

    I also very much enjoy reading this blog and the comments section. I can’t bear it when people who espouse blatant sexism feel so comfortable expressing it in the comments here. I don’t actually understand why this should be so, given the unapologetic feminist stance of the the blog writer.

    I’m totally churned up reading a thread about a woman who was savagely beaten, and who is now facing a second beating in the media, which turns into a space for people to blame women for men’s crimes against us or to blame us for objecting to being blamed. When does it stop? When are we finally allowed to defend ourselves?

  70. m Andrea says:

    Step one: Complain about something vaguely. Provide zero examples.

    Step two: When challenged, cry how mean everyone is and promise to sulk in silence.

    Step three: Rinse and repeat every single time somebody starts being mean to teh poor widdle menz.

    “A few people have said things in this thread with which I passionately disagree and even find offensive.”

    Spill! It’ll probably fascinate us all… and apologies if I caused any of it. *hastily looks for posting rules*

  71. Sis says:

    I’d love to correct my error, but like a life I once had that I remember too easily, I’m now wondering; was it me, what did I say, if I ask will s(he) get even more angry, I’ll try harder tomorrow. Maybe I overcooked the roast.

  72. Sis says:

    That would be “maybe I overcooked the roast?????” Because the classic behaviour in homes where one partner is never predictable but always abusive is not to say, but to ask. Of course, none of that applies here? I’m too sensitive?

  73. Carmonn says:

    “No, not physically, but I hear much verbal beating up of anyone that disagrees with
    certain people here. Verbal abuse doesn’t make you a better person”

    You know, I don’t want to start anything here, but honestly? Verbal abuse is not a joke. If you honestly think anything on this thread constitutes verbal abuse, beating up, hate, ugly, abusive, bullying etc, then I would just like to respectfully suggest you consider whether you’re endulging in extreme hyperbole. Not showing extreme levels of deference does not consitute verbal abuse, nor does being blunt (or snarky–or rude, even).

  74. Carmonn says:

    That’s supposed to be in, not en, I know how to spell ;)

  75. Lisa says:

    examples:

    “you are nothing to me”
    “I won’t stand for this shit”
    “fuck you”

    and of course “when challenged, cry how mean everyone is to you and sulk in silence” I was trying to respect Violet’s request.

    Bullying is bullying. It is patriarchal behaviour and hypocritical. Civility means being able to deal with emotional and intellectual issues with maturity and respect for the rights and opinions of others. WTF is with the “sorry we aren’t ladylike enough” crap? Is this how you deal with the other people in your life? Or just how you treat other feminists interested in the same issues that you care about?

    I don’t fucking care how mean you obviously are, I just don’t want to care for your steamer trunk of baggage while I thought this was supposed to be an intellectual discussion.

    You want to play “who can be the most intimidating” go right ahead. This thread is ridiculous and no longer interests me since I am not looking for some kind of emotional brawl.

    I am sure you will reply with some kind of post written in prose so you feel more special. It doesn’t improve your lack of message but knock yourself out.

    Sorry Violet, ban me if you must.

  76. donna darko says:

    I just noticed from my link on the other thread that 41-60% of Asian American women experience domestic violence (Asian Pacific Islander American Health Forum, 2005) which is much higher than the national average, 31% (Commonwealth Fund, 1999), and higher than African-American women who experience domestic violence at rates 35% higher than white women (U.S. Department of Justice, 2000).