Last night and this morning, I've been reading the Twitter/Facebook reactions to an abuser getting applauded for winning an award and the frightening comments young girls were making regarding him.
There have been several good articles written about this. I'd like to point to a few:
- From Kveller, Why Are We Applauding Chris Brown
- Shared by Cineboobs, readitordont Really, look at this one if you need a reminder of what he is capable of. The picture of Rihanna's face is sobering.
- From HelloGiggles, I'm Not Okay with Chris Brown Performing at the Grammys and I'm Not Sure Why You Are - And this is the best-written piece I have seen about what exactly was wrong with the whole situation. Really, if you only read one, read this one.
Want to know something I've noticed? It isn't just this incident. It isn't just this trend of sweeping domestic abuse under the rug, blaming the woman for "earning" the beating and forgiving the abuser.
Pop culture is actually lauding abusive relationships, showcasing them as romantic.
Yeah, I went overboard on drawing your attention to that statement, but that's because it's all too sadly true. It's scary, too, because too many young people are learning that this is acceptable behavior.
I mean, it's nothing new. In the 60s we had The Graduate, in which Dustin Hoffman's character is a stalker, but it isn't painted that way. The movie won several Oscars. In the 80s we had Every Breath You Take, a song which even Sting recognizes as a dark, stalker-y song. And it gets played at weddings with regularity. Yeah, and that song won a couple of Grammys too.
Those are just examples off the top of my head.
Nowadays we have Twilight, perhaps one of the worst examples of glorifying sick, twisted, stalker and abusive behavior. I know there are other examples, but this one is the juggernaut, with not just teens but grown women lusting after the characters.
Disclaimer: I enjoyed the books - well, the 1st three, anyway. I recognized the problems in them, and the terrible writing, but was able to enjoy the story. I'm also an adult in a healthy relationship who can separate fantasy from reality.
I've seen the way teens talk about these books, wishing for relationships like the ones portrayed there. And it frightens me that a whole generation is going to think sick relationships are normal.
Then I see the tweets during last night's Grammys, where girls actually claim to want to be beaten.
And I immediately think about Twilight. And this article from the Science of Relationships, or this analysis of Bella and Edward's abusive relationship from io9, or this commentary from Feministing on how Abusive is the New Sexy, or this post about how the Twilight vampires resemble sexual predators.
There are many, many more examples I could point to, but think about this trend. And then think about your reaction to the books and/or movies. And what message you want young men and women to take from them.
And then think about real life situations and whether you applauded Chris Brown last night or were disgusted. Do you know anyone who has been in an abusive relationship? Would you stand up for them? Or would you stand back, claiming to be impartial, but intimating that "she must have earned it"?