On Abuse of the Day: Many different thoughts were shared in the notes of the post about Rihanna’s attempt to reconnect with Chris Brown despite their troubled — and troubling — history.
Victims of abuse came forward to share their stories and talk about what it means to get past the pain and the trauma of an experience that often requires a complete rebuilding of one’s life.
People with entrenched opinions on the matter expressed emotions that ran the gamut of every shade on the grayscale.
Responding to each remark individually would be an impossible task, and an unnecessary one. However, there was one recurring theme that does deserve addressing: The idea that the post was in any way an attempt to blame Rihanna for what happened.
Anyone who has read The Daily What for any length of time knows precisely where the site stands on issues of sexism, bullying, and victim blaming. It has taken vehement, unequivocal stands in the past against slut shaming, fat shaming, misogyny, and other social ills that do harm to women.
That a post published on the site is being perceived as insinuating that the victim of abuse is in any way at fault for that abuse is extremely upsetting. However, there is no doubt many did perceive it as such, and for that an apology is most certainly due.
In denouncing disagreeable language, however, it is important not to lose sight of what is being said: Something indescribably horrible took place that night, and the person who did that horrible thing has shown not one shred of unrehearsed remorse.
And why should he? He is being welcomed back into fame and fortune by his fans, and his famous friends, and yes — even the victim of that horrible thing.
However Rihanna chooses to deal with her abuse is her choice and hers alone. But looking back at the comments made by many in objection to the post, it’s hard to overlook another recurring theme: Rihanna is over it, so we should all get over it as well.
That, at the end, is the message: Chris Brown beats a woman to within an inch of her life, does nothing to apologize for it, tells critics of his Grammy appearance to “f*ck off,” and gets a free pass for all of it because the woman he beat up forgives him.
But does that mean the rest of us must? Does that mean nothing can ever be said or written about the terrible lesson being taught to impressionable young fans — that all abusers should ultimately be forgiven, even if they show no contrition whatsoever?
I will absolutely apologize to anyone who felt the tone of the post was disrespectful to the victim, or in any way reminiscent of victim-blaming, but I will not apologize for hating Chris Brown, for hating domestic abuse, and for hating forgiveness that has not been earned.
(P.S. As I was writing this, the Chris Brown remix of Rihanna’s “Birthday Cake” leaked. In it, Brown croons “Girl I wanna f*ck you right now. Been a long time, I’ve been missing your body.”
You tell me: Is it all right to hate this?)