PopCulturalist

Hot Topics: The Grammys, Chris Brown and Rihanna

In Hot Topics today the convo of choice is about singers Chris Brown and Rihanna and Brown, 19, allegedly beating up his 20-year-old, R&B superstar girlfriend. I know nothing about these two characters other than I don’t care for Brown’s music and don’t see what’s remotely attractive about him (as he looks like he’s 12) and Rihanna is almost as ubiquitous as Beyonce at this point in visibility.

I’ve heard that Chris apparently came from a rough household. That’s messed up and all, but what does that have to do with using your girlfriend as a punching bag? And I can pretty much predict what will happen here based on what always happens in the real world when some guy beats up his girlfriend.

Nothing.

She probably won’t press charges. Maybe they’ll quietly break up. Since they’re famous, someone will go on Oprah (or Tyra or somewhere) and cry. Brown will probably lose his deal with Wrigley’s if the publicity gets too ugly. No one will get help. Brown will probably never deal with his issues because it’s hard for men to reach out of help regarding anything, let alone woman-beating issues as most women abusers don’t think they have a problem. And being a celebrity means never having to admit you need intense psychologically therapy to deal with whatever messed up shit happened to you to make you think it was ever cool to hit your girlfriend.

And Rihanna probably won’t take the time to figure out how she ended up in a relationship where she would be on the receiving end to a punch in the first place. Maybe she’ll figure it out sooner than Halle Berry who had to go through a few messed up marriages and decades of depression before she switched over to a new brand of (less) crazy.

The sad thing is that Brown and Rihanna are both incredibly young and can learn from this horrible incident, but their fame and money will probably mean nothing will really change because who is going to tell the breadwinner, the star, the person holding all the checks that they need to check themselves? Who’s going to risk getting kicked off the gravy train by telling the truth? Who’s going to say “No. Stop. Don’t?”

Nobody.

Hope those kids get some help if the story is true. Because that’s what they are. Kids.

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34 thoughts on “Hot Topics: The Grammys, Chris Brown and Rihanna

  1. JJ says:

    Actually Rihanna is almost 21 and Chris is 19. I couldn’t believe he did that to her. Seems out of his character, but we all know abusers come in all different packages. He deserves all his endorsements taken away for now.

  2. Clark says:

    Snob,I strongly suggest that in any follow-up item you post on this topic, the abuser be referred to as Chris ‘Bobby’ Brown.’Cause…you know.

  3. Ethereal says:

    Ms Belton. You speak the truth. Both Chris and Rihanna need to get help ASAP. Rihanna is a victim and Chris has a problem- a serious problem. They both need help! I’ve been on other blogs concerning this topic and the comments people have left make me feel sick. They think this is a laughing matter…why? because he never seemed like the "type"? she was "asking for it"? The most scary of all…it could never happen to me. Society needs to accept that this is a HUGE problem in the world. Women are being abused left right and centre yet nothing is done about it. The women’s refuges have hardly any funding for accomondation and raising awareness and promoting their centres. Women are not taught (in school) that NO should be explict without negotiation. I could go on about this…

  4. Paula says:

    Brown clearly needs help. But I’m a little perturbed by your characterization of Rihanna, who "probably won’t take the time to figure out how she ended up in a relationship where she would be on the receiving end to a punch in the first place." I may have a little bit of that reaction when confronted with older women who are at the other end of emotionally and/or physically abusive relationships. But the truth is that many women who consider appear confident and successful in other aspects of their lives can fall into these traps simply because the male/female dynamic often takes turns like that depending on what kind of experiences the two people in a relationship have. Chris Brown may not necessarily have acted like a "mean" bf until this very moment. That experience of abuse in the home might become an atavistic trait that is triggered at rare, specific moments.Also, she’s young, as you pointed out. She probably hasn’t thought a whole lot about her sense of self in relationship to her man as an abstract, existential concept. Which can leave any woman vulnerable when that man changes behavior suddenly [or leave her blind to subtle warning signs].All in all, this episode, if true, makes me sad. You want them to come out of it better simply because they are both very young.

  5. This whole thing makes me sick. Some of the more scandalous blogs are going after Rihanna with a nasty little rumor. I hope its not true, but if it is, it still doesn’t mean a man can put his hands on a women. It’s time to stop this kinda s*#t.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Wrigley Gum has ‘suspended’ AD campaign with Chris Brown.I was sad to hear this news about Brown and Rihanna. But, I don’t know if they both will get the help they need.

  7. RainaHavock says:

    I head it all. They are saying Rhianna hit him first and that he hit her back in self-defense. I heard he beat her up because she gave him herpes. This drama though tragic was more interesting than the actual grammys. I don’t know what is going on.

  8. Shelby says:

    I really don’t think Rihanna did anything or has any major character flaws that could’ve predicted her getting beat up by Chris Brown. The problem is Chris Brown. And a society that encourages MANY, MANY men to abuse women. Abusers don’t wear signs on their backs that warn, "I’ll be nice to you at first, but stay involved with me long enough and I might knock the sh*t out of you." Honestly, it’s probably more rare for a woman (especially a Black one) to NEVER be abused by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Rihanna certainly deserves to heal from what happened to her, but sadly there isn’t much she can do to "prevent" anyone from abusing her again.

  9. Danielle Belton says:

    While it is true that even the most confident of women can find themselves in a relationship with an abuser, often times both women and men are simply acting out the pathologies they have lived with, been around or seen most of their lives. It would be naive to not acknowledge that most abusive men do play on a woman’s insecurities in order to gain control in the relationship. Many women wind up with abusers because they are looking for something they did not get previous relationships, often involving some father issues. There are usually signs that a man could become controlling or abusive, but women sometimes ignore them because they want to be loved, enjoy the attention and think that it’s harmless or cute that "he wants me all to himself," "we spend nearly every waking minute together," "he gets jealous because he loves me so much," "he’s only trying to help me be a better person," "I’m the only person he says who is there for him and he has no one else," etc., etc. For instance, I, in the past, have attracted controlling narcissists who had good sad sack stories. The first one I thought maybe it was a fluke, but by the time I was with the third wackadoodle it dawned on me that maybe I was ignoring some major issues within myself as well as some signs they were giving. Once I did enough introspection I realized that I was overlooking a lot of things in pursuit of the love that I craved.So for women, oft times, this is a psychological issue and even the most confident of women struggle with being insecure in male/female relationships. But often it takes a while for women to realize they are really just dating the same jerk over and over, thinking they just have bad luck when in reality an abuser or narcissist can smell your weakness from miles away.This isn’t about blaming. It’s more about how we sometimes make really bad choices and we bring our own set of issues to a relationship as well. If you know what your issues are you have a better shot at recovering and not winding up in another abusive relationship.I don’t know whether or not this is Rihanna’s first jerk. She’s only 20. He might be. But then he could be part of a larger pattern. That happens to a lot of women. All I’m saying is that you have to control what you have the ability to control and if you study the subject of abusive men there are some pretty tell-tale signs to let you know if a guy might be heading towards a controlling, violent direction.Love just makes you ignore them.

  10. Winn says:

    I don’t know what the laws are in the jurisdiction where the alleged incident took place, but here in Texas, it is not the victim of an assault, domestic or otherwise, who determines whether or not to press charges. That decision is made by the district attorney’s office. This law was changed for the very common sense reason that many incidents of intimate partner violence went unreported and unprosecuted because a victimized person, who may be injured, psychologically traumatized, or just still in love with their partner, was forced to make a decision they were clearly in no position to make, and shouldn’t have had to. Fear, love, loyalty, and any number of emotions impact the response of both victims and perpetrators in cases like this, and the attitude that it was a "family" issue or a "private" affair is what kept this crime in the closet and allowed too many people to be seriously injured and even killed because of the minefields present in this emotionally complex situation. Now, the law has taken this weight from the shoulders of victims and stepped up to the plate to protect victims of crime, whether they are involved with the person who assaulted them or not. Hopefully, the same prevails in Los Angeles.

  11. greer says:

    As a survivor of 15 yrs of abuse please remember that unless you walk in the shoes of the victim you can’t begin to understand nor are you qualified to judge. Danielle made one of the most valid statements IMHO "Love just makes you ignore them." Sadly, Chris Brown will probably continue to be an abuser for most of the reasons commented on. Rihanna _is_ young enough to change what could be a lifetime pattern, the question will be if she recognizes it as one. Unfortunately it may be too late before she’s mature enough to reach that on her own. This is so sad.

  12. Noelani says:

    I just don’t know what to say to this. I wish Rhianna the best and hope she can move on with her life and find someone that will cherish her and treat her with the respect she deserves.

  13. Knoxus says:

    I’m probably stepping out on a limb here but I’m not ready to label him an abuser…especially based off what little information we currently have in front of us. Its easy to label an altercation between and man and woman as abuse when in reality there could me multiple factors at play. Nothing is that black and white.I grew up in a family of men and well…the stories girls will tell aren’t worth being repeating. I’ve always told my brothers/cousins that at the first sign of drama…stop calling or picking up. You never want to be in a relationship with someone who lets situations escalate or who you find yourself letting situations escalate. Its not cute when a woman/man is possessive…it doesn’t mean they love you more….or make you a better lover.I know women don’t like to admit this because they somehow believe that people won’t take abuse seriously if they do, but women will say anything and do anything…if/when they feel they have a special dispensation. I’ve known girl’s who reported rape when a guy didn’t call back or told men they had a baby and miscarried to try to get a guy back. I’ve had to look a mother in the eye at her son’s funeral after her son was stabbed in the back five times while walking away from a fight with his girlfriend because she thought he was cheating.The only thing we do know is…bad decisions were made.Whether it was deciding to get in the car with someone you are having an argument with…always a bad decision…or just letting the argument go that far….I repeat bad decisions were made.

  14. I keep thinking that my goodness these two are so young. So young with so much money and fame. And an intense relationship no doubt – isn’t everything intense at that age. I pray someone speaks out so these two get some counseling.

  15. Spinster says:

    On point as usual Snob. I hope that your predictions aren’t true though (not seeking help), but I won’t hold my breath either.

  16. Joy says:

    I am surprised by your lack of grace around this situation…Your rant would have been more interesting had you expounded on what you would like to see happen. You do want to see something good right?I may as well read Media Take Out or some other ghetto blog.

  17. Lili says:

    I hope noone is making excuses for any man who hits a woman – no matter what provocation. Where I come from only the lowest of the low think it is ever okay to raise your hand to a woman. Chris Brown should get the punishment he deserves and hopefully she will press charges. Just like rape, there is NO excuse. A normal man faced with evne the most extreme temptation should WALK AWAY, period. No if’s. ands or buts. Anyone who hits or preys on those who have little defence is the scum of the earth. I never thought much of Brown and now…I despise him. Even if reports come out next week that she hit him first/insulted him/whatever – he still has NO EXCUSE to act that way. Too many men are so angry with women and lash out at the barest provocation when instead they need to ask themselves why they are so damaged or feel so powerless.

  18. Domino49 says:

    Dear Snobs,In our "rush" to judge this "boy", is there any possibility that this "grown woman" may have :A) Told him, on the way to the Grammy Awards, that she gave him an STD? B) Or, in the heat of an argument, suggested that his mother was an underpaid, unwashed member of the world’s oldest profession? C) Or, gave him a fist to the eye..while driving? While there is never any possible excuse for physical abuse, GET REAL..!!The truth is we don’t know the REAL circumstances of this particular situation.If all else fails, I think this GROWN WOMAN / CORPORATE PROPERTY should be able to afford to hire a NINJA to protect her in the future and possibly seek revenge. I have a daughter and 2 female grandchildren. "IF" I ever suspected they were victims of a beat-down, I "KNOW" she would tell me and that I would go "prehistoric" on the poor lad. His "remains" would then be encouraged to seek counseling…..Kindest "Daddy’s Girl" Regards,Domino49

  19. WTH? In the case of A, B, or C, above, the proper response would be to pull over and leave the woman on the sidewalk calling a taxi, not to go upside her head with a closed fist. Some women are crazy enough to provoke a man and try to get him angry. But even so, anyone with an above-junior-high-school mindset is supposed to have enough restraint to walk away and not catch a case. First, the rumor about the STD is a RUMOR. Second, if it was truthful it STILL wouldn’t be an excuse for violence.This is killing me. A woman gets her nose bloodied and her lip busted by someone with martial arts training, and some people’s first response is to say, "Well what did she do wrong to cause someone to beat her up?" That is DYSFUNCTIONAL and scary. This aspect of our culture is what makes people ignore women when they have been raped or molested. And it’s not just men, it’s women being contemptuous against other women, teaching their sons not to trust women, taking their sons’ side when they disrespect women by hitting them or abandoning their fatherly responsibilities. To justify it, they jump on the bandwagon saying dumb stuff like, "That fill-in-the-blank was messing with my son," without trying to be objective, just ’cause they’re working with the stereotype of the conniving Jezebel. These things perpetuate the stereotype that women are untrustworthy, deceitful, and deserving of violent treatment. And then when something pops off, people want to look the other way, saying it’s none of their business, or claiming "Well, we don’t know what really happened." Funny how the same people saying we don’t know what happened are the first ones to insinuate that it was the woman’s fault – I thought we didn’t know what happened!We have to do better. I have to wonder if our communal focus on racial equality sometimes distracts us from working on achieving gender equality as well.

  20. oci says:

    @ glory: well said. i would not have been so kind to domino49 as you were. she said she wasn’t condoning chris brown’s action’s, but she sure tried to find some loopholes. nothing makes me angrier than women who try to make excuses for men who hit women.@ knoxus: i have similar stories to the ones you shared, but the reality is, those stories are the exceptions to the rule. all of those stories are horrible and should not have happened, but when you compare them to the thousands of women across the world who are victimized for real, they absolutely pale in comparison.this whole story is sad. i sincerely hope the two of them get the help that they need and stay the hell away from one another until they have done serious work on themselves.

  21. Lili says:

    Umm, a woman becomes a victim of violence and suddenly she needs to "work on herself"!!! Implication being that she brought the violence on herself or provoked it in some manner. What information do people have that suggests Rihanna "needs help"? Hang on, she does need help alright – to get as far away as possible from that scum she was involved with. What a sad, sick world we live in where people are so twisted they fail to see the facts – hitting a woman is unacceptable under ANY circumstance. NOBODY asks to be beaten up either openly or inadvertently; making excuses that somehow justify bad behavior is inexcusable. All the poor woman needs is prompt medical assistance and GENUINE sympathy from people who understand that violence against others should never be explained, condoned or ignored. Jeez!

  22. greer says:

    @Domino49 you’re right. And when it was MY FAULT HE forgot he drank the beer that was no longer in the fridge and he put my head through the wall because it was gone, that was right. And when I told him I was tired from taking care of our newborn all day and really didn’t want to have sex and he RAPED me with the baby laying right there on the bed, that was right. And when we were out with friends and his buddy offered to show me where the restrooms were he beat me so badly the cops came, well that was right too I guess. Or the time we were walking down the street and I disagreed with his opinion and got beat in public, that was ok. Better yet, the time my MOTHER sent me flowers for Mother’s Day and HE didn’t believe they were from her and I got beat so bad in front of our 3 kids the cops had to come AGAIN was ok, right? I brought ALL THAT ON MYSELF because you know, I’m just a stupid woman who should know better than to do anything HE might not agree with and I DESERVED what I got, right? Yeah, I thought so.

  23. starrie says:

    don’t know what set chris brown off nor do i care…he needs help immediately….i have no sympathy whatsoever for abusers of amy kind….

  24. Knoxus says:

    I was by no means condoning violence against women.However, I hope that you can realize the difference between a man fighting off a physical assault by an emotional woman and a man who beats his wife and/or children on a regular basis.I think you can ahore the later option while being somewhat understanding…especially if the man involved was your son/brother…concering the former.My response was how I felt when my step brother’s fiancee attacked him with a knife because she was jealous.Luckily he was able to get away with only minor wounds.Two months later he mysteriously disappeared and his body was later found washed up in a river bank. The perps were his fiancee’s family members.My SB was NOT an abuser…he was a victim.Obviously, his choice to stay with the mother of his children despite her emotional difficulties is a choice his children and mother will have to live with.I am glad that Brown and Rihanna are both still alive to learn from the this situation.

  25. Domino49 says:

    Dear Glory & Greer,What-if’s are just that. I applaud your objectivity and self-control. But, if you were my daughter, I would counsel you to apply self-defense..Whatever that means to you…..Self-esteem runs quite high in the females in my family. Taking a beat-down just isn’t in the cards. They "ALL" have enough sense and self-respect to seek help from either family or the law. I’m truly sorry to have stirred up any feelings that may have come from your personal experiences with abuse. I would hope that both of you "NOW" have men…or women in your lives that love, honor and protect you. Sincerely,Domino49

  26. emma says:

    @Domino49I think this part of your comment is what Glory and Gree were responding to:"In our "rush" to judge this "boy", is there any possibility that this "grown woman" may have :A) Told him, on the way to the Grammy Awards, that she gave him an STD? B) Or, in the heat of an argument, suggested that his mother was an underpaid, unwashed member of the world’s oldest profession? C) Or, gave him a fist to the eye..while driving?"Hopefully, your daughters and grandaughters won’t make any of those three mistakes, because according to you they would deserve to be beaten like a dog. Oh and Chris Brown wasn’t driving the car, so C is very unlikely.

  27. Joy says:

    Domino49.. you need JESUS. Really? the women in your family have high self esteem?…they did not get it from you for you lack COMPASSION and compassion is embedded in high self esteem…or maybe it is EDUCATION that you lack.Your thoughts?

  28. greer says:

    @Domino49 — My family didn’t know. We lived away from them and I didn’t tell. When they did find out my mother cried and blamed herself for divorcing my father and not providing me with a positive male role model. My father cried and blamed himself for not teaching me that some men are animals. I cried but vowed to never submit to that again – and I haven’t. My 3 boys cried most of their childhood and now treat women with respect and decency — they have CHOSEN not to repeat their father’s behavior. I don’t see self-defense as abuse if a woman is attacking a man- and let’s face it, there are some sick chicks out there. If a man is being attacked by a woman then frankly he should defend himself, period. Anyone who is being threatened should. Nothing bad stirred up here. Just a gentle reminder of my promise to myself and that’s a good thing. But NO ONE deserves to be abused, for any reason.

  29. Domino49 says:

    Emma & Joy (?),Thanks for your "well reasoned" insight. I understand your stated position(s) and dis-respect your right to make off-color (violent?) remarks about my family. But, it only serves to underscore my point about somone (male or female) being pushed too far. Thanks for making my point. Someday, I hope you’ll realize that perhaps..just maybe…..IT’S THE COMPANY YOU KEEP…….Kindest Regards,Domino49

  30. Domino49 says:

    greer,I often wonder why "dating" isn’t used to ask a lot of questions about the childhood experiences and moral code of a prospective mate. For those (not you, greer) who don’t know the right questions, here are a few you won’t find in Essence:A) Did your mama or daddy spank you? A lot? Using a belt or electrical cord?B) Do you think children should be spanked…for any reason?C) Have you ever been in jail for a violent crime?D) Do you think pimps are cool?E) Define empathy?F) Do you own a gun?G) AND …wait for it….Have you ever hit a woman?Yeah, they could be lying..but…given enough time, the truth always comes out. And, it only takes 7 questions.Much Respect,Domino49

  31. Andrea says:

    @Domino49 and Anyone who shares her viewpoint: I believe women who feel the need to defend abusive men do so because they envy and resent the women who were victimized. It doesn’t just happen in these so-called "domestic abuse" cases, I’ve seen rapes and murders justified by women as well. And these women ALWAYS have a good reason why it was the victims fault.1. She dressed like a slut.2. She drank alcohol and/or smoked — only whores do those things, and doing both is a sure sign of whoredom.3. She probably cheated on him. Don’t KNOW that she did, but women who look like THAT (better than me) are usually loose.4. She probably hit him first and, even though he is at least twice her strength by virtue of being male, that warrants serious payback.5. Any woman who is younger, prettier, richer, more confident, etcetera, etcetera, than me must deserve to suffer.6. If she were worth saving, it wouldn’t have happened to her in the first place.The only thing scarier than male misogyny is female misogyny, because it makes the abuse of women harder to end by emboldening the abusers and justifying the apathetic.The best analogy I can think of on the fly: an AA taking the side of a Klan member who tried to kill an AA, saying they probably did something to deserve it. They don’t know what, but it must have been something. And, of course, "this could never happen to me, I’m one of the GOOD ones."And btw, Chris Brown threatened to kill Rihanna after she called her assistant/friend for help. The assistant gave a statement to the police to that effect. It’s public record, and unlike the STD rumor and such, not part of a character assassination campaign.

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