I don’t make a habit of venturing off my safe Internet island of feminist and otherwise progressive political blogs. I have good reason for that, for if a site is not explicitly pro-woman, pro-gay, and/or anti-racist, you can guarantee it’s a playground for knuckledraggers and hatemongers.
The story regarding alleged domestic violence perpetrated by Chris Brown against his girlfriend Rihanna has turned the usual online cesspool into a catastrophic flood. I have not read much first-hand, but have heard all I need to hear from friends and acquaintances who’ve seen it. I am not linking to any sites but you can guess where it’s coming from: TMZ, E!, Concrete Loop, Yahoo!, and even Facebook: that virtual bulletin board for your long-lost cousin’s, co-worker’s, and sister’s ex-husband’s bigotry.
Half the people out there are falling all over themselves to defend Brown and denigrate Rihanna as someone who either lied or had it coming. Keep in mind that Rihanna is not reported to have said anything in particular about the issue; people are just expressing uninformed, sexist, knee-jerk reactions to a report about violence against a woman. Many of these people are fans of Brown, so they refuse to believe he could have done anything violent. But if he did, he probably had a good reason. Others aren’t even familiar with the two performers; they just know women are nothing but trouble. Especially island women!
Oh, you know Caribbean women.
Bitch gave him Herpes.
She looks like the type of girl who needs a smack upside the head.
She must have done something to provoke him.
Don’t let Rihanna get you down, Chris! We love you!
The other comments express their sympathy for Rihanna in a *bizarre* manner.
What a shame to hit such a pretty girl.
You know how gangsta wannabes are.
Not surprising when you’re dating a guy like that.
Urban thugs like him don’t know how to treat women.
So there you have it, folks. Victim-blaming is the default setting when it comes to intimate partner violence. In this case there’s some racism thrown into the mix, too. People (of all races) aren’t shy about expressing their contempt for a black woman from Barbados, simply because she’s a black woman from Barbados. If they’re not placing the blame on her, they’re claiming it’s no surprise because he’s black, after all. And black men are nothing but thugs.
A lot of the people rallying around Brown are women. It just makes me sad when women trash other women to “protect” men who’ve done wrong. Then there are the comments that it can’t be true because Brown doesn’t look like a woman-beater. Pray tell, what does a woman-beater look like? Does he wear a sign around his neck proclaiming his penchant for violence?
Now excuse me as I retreat back to my safe space.