When in Doubt, Go for Sexual Abuse

WARNING: This post contains explicit, offensive, and sexual language.

The past week, a lot of people were talking about Chris Brown and his Twitter fight with comedian Jenny Johnson. Brown apparently deleted his Twitter account after sending of a series of sexually implicit and very vulgar tweets to Johnson when she posted a response to one of his tweets.

Brown posted a picture of himself and commented on his Twitter account that he looked old, despite only being 23. Johnson answered (with the assault of Rihanna in mind), “I know! Being a worthless piece of shit can really age a person.” Instead of ignoring her comment or providing a clever answer, Brown went straight for a sexual abuse approach: Take them teeth out when u sucking my dick HOE.” Brown also tweeted that “Mom says hello … she told me not to shart in ur mouth, wanted me to shit right on your retina” and “Don’t run for support now … Lol. Ur a comedic writer!!! If u can take a dick, u can take a joke.”

Brown does not seem to be the most articulate person out there, but it is both offensive and rude (and upsettingly common) to try to shut a woman up by referring to sexual abuse or sexual activity and by making crude sexual comments. It also appears typical to put a woman down by using masculine power and sexual dominance. For example, we know that most men are much physically stronger than most women and therefore the threat of sexual assault is often a real concern to women. Perhaps this is why Brown attempted to scare Johnson with violent and sexual behavior. Since Brown has obviously been violent before the threat becomes more genuine than if he had not.

Photo of Chris Brown shared by flickr user Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer under a creative commons license.

Has Chris Brown Really Changed?

On Sunday, Chris Brown performed at a tribute to Michael Jackson during the 2010 BET Awards. Chris Brown broke down in tears during the song, and many are speculating that the performance was simply a publicity move to jump start Chris Brown’s faltering career. You can see a video clip of Chris Brown’s performance, as well as some of the media commentary on it, over at Newsy.

Feminists For Choice reader Kat e-mailed me earlier this week to express her opinion about Chris Brown’s tears. In Kat’s opinion, once a beater, always a beater. I tend to agree.

For those who don’t know the back story, Chris Brown fell from grace when he savagely beat up his girlfriend, singer Rihanna, in the Fall of 2008. Rihanna was beaten to the point that her face was unrecognizable, but she took Brown back after he apologized. Rihanna ultimately decided to leave Chris Brown, and she has spoken up about domestic violence during an interview with Diane Sawyer, as well as in an interview with Glamour. Chris Brown has given his own contrite media interviews on Good Morning America and Larry King Live.

The whole Chris Brown/Rihanna situation makes me wonder if domestic abusers can honestly ever change. [Read more...]

More Celeb Domestic Violence Scandals

Last week’s news that Charlie Sheen threatened to kill his wife, and then the astounding news that Brooke Mueller wants to work things out is eerily reminiscent of the Rihanna/Chris Brown situation. Lots of people might be wondering why Brooke Mueller doesn’t just leave Charlie Sheen, but the fact is that she did try. And that’s when Charlie Sheen pulled a knife on her.

The sad truth is that this is exactly what happens to a lot of women in abusive relationships. Women are at the highest risk of being killed when they actually try to leave the abusive partner. It’s fairly easy to tell ourselves that “I would never let myself get in that situation,” or “I would leave someone who treated me like that.” I think that we all want to believe that about ourselves. But the reality is that life is complicated, and leaving an abusive relationship can present many challenges.

For example, many domestic violence shelters do not allow women to keep their children with them, especially if the children are boys. I recently heard a news story about a church in Flagstaff, AZ that has set up an emergency homeless shelter for children because there has been an enormous increase in the number of people living on the streets. Two of the residents in the story said that their mom is in a domestic violence shelter, but that they had to live somewhere else because they weren’t allowed to stay with her. When forced to choose between their children or leaving a domestic partner, many women might choose to stay. [Read more...]

Wednesday News Roundup

mouse_click_270x270Blair Says Catholic Church Should Be More Flexible on Birth Control – Christian Today
What Obligation Do Physicians Have to Care for Unborn Children? – Advice Scene
Shotgun Adoptions at Crisis Pregnancy Centers – The Nation
The Five Biggest Lies About Health Care Reform – Newsweek
Is Roe v. Wade to Blame for Crazy Death Panel Claims? – LA Times
Chris Brown Says He Still Loves Rihanna, Doesn’t Remember Hitting Her – CNN