Last week while casually procrastinating on the internet I discovered that Chris Brown was number 1 in the UK album charts, and in the top 5 of the singles chart. This is just so unbelievably depressing.
Three years ago Chris brown violently beat his then girlfriend Rihanna and threatened to kill her. Three years ago Radio 1 (and many other radio stations) stopped playing Chris Brown’s music because of his attack on her. Two years ago the UK refused to give Chris Brown a working visa and therefore entry into the country due to a “serious criminal offence” so he had to postpone his UK tour. Two years ago Chris Brown posted a video message begging his fans to buy his music still. I’m just confused to how we got to the point where the UK forgot all of this, and started buying his music again.
It’s almost like the UK is sending out the message that as a country it condemns domestic violence, but only directly afterward it happens, and then it’s all forgive and forget. It is wrong to ‘move on’ from Chris Brown’s domestic violence as this sends a message out to society, and to young girls particularly, that domestic violence is socially acceptable. Sure, you’ll get a slap round the wrist, have to apologise, but then everyone will forget and you’ll be popular again. This is so completely wrong. 1 in 4 women will be a victim of domestic violence in their lifetime and on average 2 women a week are killed by a current or former partner, killed. Nothing should ever suggest this is socially acceptable, even if it is indirectly suggesting this.
What if a teenage girl is hit by her boyfriend, and then he says he’s sorry, that he’ll never do it again and that he’s changed (like Chris Brown) and then she accepts the apology? Then he hits her again, this time harder. He apologises, she accepts. This is the beginning of the cycle of abuse. The music industry, and society as a whole, had the chance to take a stand against domestic abuse. They could have potentially prevented others falling into the same cycle of abuse by suggesting to these women and girls it is okay to forgive an abuser if they say they are sorry. They could have taken steps towards this by condemning Chris Brown. His current chart position shows that they failed miserably.
Then again, these tweets show that as a society on the whole, we are failing pretty miserably. Violence is not a compliment. We’ve got an incredibly long and complicated way to go to stop tweets (or thoughts) like this happening, but boycotting Chris Brown’s music would be a good place to start.