Last year I went off on Chris Brown a lot, in this blog, on twitter, on facebook, no mercy for him. And why not? He beat the crap out of Rihanna to the point where she nearly died and was given 180hrs community service and 500 days probation. Hardly a sentencing worthy of the crime. He then went on to every show and pretended like he was sorry, but his actions off television showed that he doing these interviews to get some publicity for his album (which luckily did not sell well at all).
I kind of dropped the ball later in 2009 with two big abuse cases and I’d hate for people to think I’m not an equal opportunity hater.
Let’s get this straight, 1 in 4 women experiences abuse in her life. When I’ve mentioned this to people in the past they’ve said they believe this number is too high, on the contrary I believe it’s too low. 1 in 4 women report the abuse that they receive, others simply deal with it on their own, put up with it, leave the person doing the abusing or worse kill themselves. Why don’t women report it? A lot of it has to do with shame, worries that their partner will just become more abusive if she tells or often they don’t realize it’s wrong. Another reason is that abuse isn’t always apparent by the bruises on your face or body. Emotional, psychological and mental abuse are another huge problem in society that often gets left untreated and unreported since the scars aren’t visible for all to see.
Abuse isn’t always in the conventional “love” (use that term ever so loosely) relationship, but also between family members, friends and acquaintances. When you look at all these conditions I’d almost venture to say that 50-75% of women experience some form of abuse in their lives.
On Christmas we saw another famous person, Charlie Sheen, decide that violence was the answer. He pulled a knife on his wife, physically attacked her and threatened her. Both were apparently over the legal limit of alcohol at the time (before noon) and allegedly both have had substance abuse problems in the past, but none of this should take away from the fact that he pulled a knife on her and threatened her…. with their two sons in the house. Sheen was arrested and released later on Christmas Day. His wife is now trying to soak up some of the blame, most likely a PR stunt orchestrated by his team because he can’t really handle any more scandal on his record.
Now cut to this week when he returned to his brilliant TV show Two and a Half Men (which by the way, can they please cancel? I feel it’s abusive to make the viewing public have to suffer through such terrible television) and cast and crew were discussing their holiday’s, when it was Charlie’s turn and someone asked him “what did you do for the holidays?” he reportedly answered “I met Kobe Bryant’s bail bondsman” (via RadarOnline). Oh that Charlie Sheen, such a funny guy, abusing your wife and threatening her with a knife is hilarious. Try and incorporate it into an episode, you may actually someone laugh for once.
The next recent incidence of celebrity domestic violence is going to be met with some groans…. Elin and Tiger Woods. This whole Tiger Woods scandal started on the evening of the US Thanksgiving. Tiger was apparently backing out of his driveway at 2am when he hit a tree and Elin supposedly saved him but smashing the back window of his SUV and dragging him out. It doesn’t take an idiot to see that this is so far from the truth. Tiger apparently suffered facial lacerations, but further reports show that he most likely had his front teeth knocked out, and a broken facial bone, all which he was treated for in a Phoenix hospital immediately afterwards, which is why he wasn’t available to talk to the highway patrolman (via The Province).
This all brings up the important question, what about when the abuse is the less common, woman towards man, is that still abuse?
Yes. She took a golf club to his face! Granted, people will argue she had good reason to be mad, I mean he has cheated on her with at least 14 women. But violence isn’t the answer. You cannot say it’s ok for some but not for others, and you cannot argue that she had better reason that whatever motivates any man to beat a woman, in his mind it may just be enough of a reason.
Unfortunately after the incident Saturday Night Live took the same route as Charlie Sheen and decided to make a joke of it. They ran a sketch in which Tiger (played by Keenan Thompson) held a press conference explaining what happened, his wife (guest host Blake Lively) stood in the background as Tiger held up signs that said “help me” and used classic abused woman excuses like “I fell down the stairs” when explaining his injuries. All this was used for laughs, because once again, abuse, especially women on men, is hilarious. (Jezebel ran a great article on the SNL Skit)
The point is, violence is not funny. Famous people, whether they like it or not, are in the spotlight, they can’t just sweep their actions away with a joke or by ignoring the facts. They need to realize that while they’re role models for some they also screw up, but it’s their actions proceeding their mistakes that are the important lesson to their fans and viewing public.