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19 March 2009 @ 10:49 am
Your daily dose of distressing  
Regardless on anyone's feelings on whether the Chris Brown/Rihanna incident has been blown out of proportion, the newspaper reports that have discovered that 46% of teenagers blame Rihanna showcases a societal trend that can only be described as disturbing as fuck. Among girls, that percentage was much higher.

I know, both from studies I can't find right now and anecdotally, that women are typically much more likely to blame the woman in any abuse or rape situation. (My theory on this is that women feel safer if they look at an abused woman and can think I can prevent this for myself by not doing certain things.) But isn't this supposed to be getting better? In the media, there have been articles about Chris Brown's well being and career future, as well as questions about what "set him off," but it seems like the media has still been very decisive in blaming Chris Brown for what happened and hasn't shied away from calling it a 'brutal beating.' So, it's not like we can excuse these teens by saying "the media tells them it's probably Rihanna's fault." (Unless there have been lots of articles I've missed -- please tell me if that's the case.) I can only imagine the backlash against Rihanna if she had been the one to call the police and report this incident, because even though it wasn't her who got the information out, teens are quoted as saying the beating probably never happened and she's just lying about it to get him in trouble.

So if all the magazine covers don't help -- how can we change this deeply rooted societal belief that women are responsible for the abusive behaviour of men and are even responsible for protecting men by covering it up?
 
 
feel: distresseddistressed
 
 
 
Rafiki, the crazy baboon: feministirony_rocks on March 19th, 2009 06:20 pm (UTC)
This is such a disturbing trend. Yikes. 46% of teenagers blame Rihanna? That's just... holy crap. Terrifying.
Little Red: trek - t'pol hoshi wtf - afterglowssmylittleredgirl on March 19th, 2009 06:40 pm (UTC)
I mean, I imagine it would have been much more than that a generation ago. But I'd like my progress a heck of a lot faster, please. I'm acutely aware of how often in my history I have bought into this mentality when it's been actually dangerous for me to do so, and I'm the child of educated parents with a relatively enlightened worldview. This disturbing trend seems to run quite deep. *horrified*
stealth_rosestealth_rose on March 20th, 2009 07:08 pm (UTC)
Most people blame the victim. It's why most rapes go unreported.
miera_cmiera_c on March 19th, 2009 06:25 pm (UTC)
I don't know. All the media coverage I've seen has been other men apologizing for him or trying to say "But he's really a good guy" and so forth. All their worry is about protecting his career. Forget her life or well-being, because that's what's not important. He's the important part of the story. Why did he do it, what did she do to provoke him, he must have a good side if she hasn't left him, etc. Same old same old.

And I saw some cable newscaster talking about how she'll have to "live with the stigma of being an abuse victim" which nearly made my head explode.
Little Red: trek - mirror!hoshi kill youmylittleredgirl on March 19th, 2009 06:38 pm (UTC)
What's even more head-explody, really, is that said newscaster is not wrong. She really will be "Rihanna that got beaten."

I didn't realize that the majority of the coverage was like that. I was aware of it, but I was reading it in places that made it seem like "So-and-so's being a total tool for not backing Rihanna, Chris Brown isn't nearly contrite enough, etc."

Though in the past few minutes I found this random photo of Rihanna laughing at a club last night or something, and people were saying "This doesn't look like a woman who was actually beaten." LIKE WHAT, PEOPLE?? She's never allowed to have fun again without negating what happened??
Ravennoradannan on March 19th, 2009 07:28 pm (UTC)
Salon.com's broadsheet section had some excellent articles about this. One mentioned the horrifying trend of media people to say things like, "How could he beat her? She's so pretty!" Like her looks had anything to do with it.

The media coverage has been fucked up. For every Opera telling her to leave, there's a lot of people saying she shouldn't press charges and ruin him like that. Lord.
Lisa Yaeger: macturkeybaster: hwcarnagelisayaeger on March 19th, 2009 08:16 pm (UTC)
I think this is why she released a statement today saying she and Brown are "taking a break." I think now her career is starting to suffer (assbackwards, anyone?), and she knows that if she doesn't keep her distance, more of the blame will fall her way. Unbelievable for the 21st century. And yet, not as suprising as it should be.
anranr on March 19th, 2009 08:48 pm (UTC)
That is... really fucked up, yo.
entertaining in a disturbing waylyssie on March 20th, 2009 01:11 am (UTC)
Kill all the humans?
ornithoptercatornithoptercat on March 20th, 2009 01:35 am (UTC)
That's so fucked up. It's not your fault if you get beaten. The only thing I would call a victim (either gender) at fault for in an abuse situation is not leaving as soon as they realized they were in danger.
stealth_rosestealth_rose on March 20th, 2009 07:05 pm (UTC)
An article I read (and linked to, I think - if not in this journal then the main one) said that in the police report, Rihanna admitted that it wasn't the first time Brown has hit her.

So much for his "nice guy/anti-abuser" image.
stealth_rosestealth_rose on March 20th, 2009 07:08 pm (UTC)