It all depends on how you analyze the three incidences. Charlie Sheen is protected by a lot of privilege. He did a lot of things and it took an immense amount of bad behavior before he was even taken off TV - but was then roasted on Comedy Central as a legend.
R. Kelly abused a girl, but most people didn’t register that his victim was worth outrage.
Chris Brown not only abused someone famous, but it is also very easy for our culture to become obsessed with the angry/scary black man narrative - because, like you said, many white celebrities beat/shoot their wives and there wasn’t the same type of outrage/concern trolling. There were lots of POC, who were rightfully holding Chris Brown accoutnable to his actions but wondered why society only focuses on angry black men but throws the “boys will be boys” narrative on white dudes.
There are lots of intersecting dynamics going on. Who are valuable victims? Who are typical perpetrators. Who has the privilege of protection? Each incident you listed has its own conversation surrounding it that can’t be addressed in this one post.
marchoftigers said:Also people have been MORE than happy to paint Rih as a ‘bad victim’ make jokes about her body, and reduce her to a metaphysical concept rather than a human being. She got a shit end of the stick in an abusive situation of a relationship. Dont forget
This quote has been in my head for a long time (I think it’s from a movie or something), and I’m sure it wasn’t meant in this context, but it reminds me of internalized abuse.
Especially now with mega church pastor Creflo Dollar in the news for chocking and beating his daughter - an many of his parishanors speaking out against her calling the police on him… Its really telling to how women, especially black women, are just expected to remain in a certain place or risk physical and emotional abuse. Even with the quote I posted earlier with Beyonce’s praised motherhood vs Erykah Badu’s vilified motherhood - black women get degraded to unspeakable levels for stepping out of such narrowly drawn lines.
Imagine growing up in that life. With controlling fathers and mothers who co-sign that ideology. It’s hard to develop a legitimate belief that you DON’T deserve to be treated that way, or accept that treatment from lovers, friends, society. It’s hard to say “how dare you treat me that way” when that how you’ve always been treated. and its hard to feel safe when you’re used to those you care about hurting you. What does love even mean when abuse is almost always a part of the package anyway? These are things that need to be unlearned - but our society only reinforces these ideas everywhere you turn anyway.
It takes a village to raise a child but if that entire village promotes toxic relationships, abuse and the emotional manipulation of you girls… She’s better off on her own.
I see what you mean - definitely did not know that aspect was a part of the book. it actually makes SO MUCH MORE sense now to why this book is so popular in mainstream America. Let me explain why I feel this way:
- I think its funny (read: pretty predictably fucked up) that any sexual “deviancy” (in this situation bondage, but its applied to sex workers, non cis & non-heterosexual people) is explained away with “oh, they must have been broken & abused.” As if “oh, you’re not normal and crave deviant acts because someone abused you and now you’re too fucked up and broken to engage in society properly.” or “only a sick, abused shell of a woman would enjoy doing that to herself” and people even use knowledge of abuse to manipulate and take advantage of people because “that’s all you’re good for now” as if sexual deviancy robs you of some purity that also means you no longer know what respect and agency means. Porn stars and sex workers are just dirty abuse victims who’s purity is tarnished.
- Also, think about many movies about WOC women DON’T revolve around some narrative of abuse and pain? So people like Drake can rap sick lines like “yeah, you can call ME Daddy, i’ll give you someone to look up to” because that is so sexy, because all WOC are abused by the men in their lives and their desperately seeking a new man to replace him and give themselves to sexually. Yes, thanks. We’re all just broken and abused bodies just waiting for someone to use us for sex while so we can feel good about ourselves. awesome. My body is already ruined so why should I care about consent now? We were born unpure so…
- Why am I not surprised that this book is flooding America now that I know makes abusive backgrounds a fetish? As if the sweet innocent American housewives that are finding sexual outlet through this book can only do so through living vicariously through some sexual deviant abuse victim. As if abuse itself is some sexy kink that they day dream about to escape their dull lives as boring housewives?
I acknowledge that you went through bad things. I really do. I am very sorry you went through that. You didn’t deserve it in any way.
But you DID NOT go through those bad things because you’re male/white/able-bodied/middle-class/cis/straight/etc.
But people have gone through horrible shit, and horrible shit was made worse because they were female/PoC/a person with disabilities/poor/trans*/same-sex loving/etc.
That’s all people are saying when they rant about oppression, privilege, and social justice issues. This, in no way, negates what you went through. If you think so, then your thinking is severely warped.
However, you ARE negating what marginalized people go through when you rant on and on about all the terrible shit you went through and talk down to marginalized people for focusing on their problems or for needing to have trigger warnings on certain things. And it’s a pretty emotionally manipulative move, to be blunt.
Not to say you can never talk about what happened to you (actually, you should, and you have spaces to do so), but if you use it to shut marginalized people down, then there is something seriously wrong with YOU, and YOU need to “go to therapy if you can afford it.” Because all you’re doing is being a straight-up bully. Not to mention oppressive.
hold on, gotta post this on my fridge
Michele A. Paludi Victims of Sexual Assault & Abuse
a metaphor of the historical subordination of women and systemic violence & abuse