I still feel uncomfortable addressing that Chris Brown attack on Rihanna, despite its instructive aspects. It still has that aura of pure voyeurism, that tabloid-y will-she, won't-she take him back thing.
That said, over the past few day, a few related items hit my screen so I thought I should share.
First up, this video, a supposed verbatim reenactment according to police reports, which puts what happened into a very real context. It's by DoSomething.org which, among its many campaigns aimed at getting kids to advocate for causes they care about, runs its 1 in 3 Dating Abuse program.
Some people may be upset by this, so be warned:
Is the video exploitative of Rihanna's celebrity? Does it violate her privacy? Yes. It makes her the unwilling poster child for an all-too-common problem. But, at this point, with her situation splashed all over the place for nearly two months now, something good might as well come of it.
Trouble is, as Salon's Broadsheet notes:
Most importantly, though, the video is quite disturbing; just imagine the leverage this campaign could have with teens, especially those excusing the R&B star's behavior.
Only, if the photo of Rihanna's battered face didn't convert Brown's apologizers, why would this?
Indeed, why is Chris Brown still scoring?
You see, feminists have beaten to death "natural gender roles" and "remade woman in man's image," thereby confusing "everyone," she argues. It's at this point that Lopez takes a detour down Crazy Lane and argues that feminism has led to a rise in lesbianism, because men have been so emasculated that women are now desperately searching for masculinity "anywhere they can get it, even if that's in the arms of another woman." (Her evidence: A recent O Magazine feature about women leaving men for other women.) This faux-lesbianism reveals the essential truth that "femininity and masculinity mix well together," that "there is an attraction to, if not a need for, some hierarchy" and that there is "good in nature and tradition," she says.
We've lost the expectation that men will "protect women" and that "women [will] expect some level of physical protection," Lopez explains, by breaking from gendered tradition and doing away with the sexual hierarchy. (Yeah, 'cuz that's totally taken care of.) Here's where she connects back up with the traditionalist thoroughfare (and drives me over the edge): Teens blame Rihanna, she says, because they see her as Brown's equal. Put another way, we feminists have effectively excused violence against women by revoking women's special status and men's identity as protectors of the weaker sex.
So, if women return to their weak, dependent state, they'll be safer from men? If Rihanna weren't so big a star, as big if not bigger than Brown, she'd get more sympathy? If women hadn't gone off in search of equal rights, O Magazine would have to find something else to write about, like casserole recipes, or tips on how to make hubby more relaxed at the end of the his day?
Hey, I am old enough to remember when that's what most lady mags were about.
Finally, and on a much lighter but just-as-serious note, these comic strips, stolen directly from Mad Magazine. Here's one.
Click here for the rest: