Friday, November 30, 2012

Dear Chris Brown

This post contains discussion of misogyny, sexual violence, sexual humiliation, and death threats.

Dear Chris Brown,

Here's something a fan of yours said recently:
Rihanna forgave him, they made up if they can get over it so can everyone else who it does NOT concern!!!!!!!!
Here's something similar from you:
"Just ask Rihanna if she mad??????"
This idea appears to be popular among you and your fans.  It seems as if you and Team Breezy want to believe that the problem, if one exists, is between two people: Chris Brown and Rihanna.  Therefore, the argument seems to go, if Chris Brown and Rihanna say there's no problem, there's no problem, and everyone else should stay out of it.

No.  See, you're a felon.  In a court of law, you were deemed guilty of committing a felony.  It wasn't a civil case, Rihanna v. Chris Brown.  It was People v. Christopher Brown.  The people of the state of California are the ones legally involved here, but since California is a state in the larger country, I think that the entire nation has some interest in the situation.

You didn't break Rihanna's laws.  You broke California's laws.

It's okay for Californians to be upset with you.  They follow those laws.  They vote people into office to write those laws.  They pay taxes to fund the upholding and enforcing of those laws.  The rest of the country has a vested interest in how every state's justice system works.  You committed a felony.  It's normal and reasonable for people to be unhappy with you over it.

It's not as simple as you having a fight with your girlfriend.  It's more serious than that, and we're treating it as such.

Is Rihanna mad?  I have no idea how she feels about it, and it's really none of my business anyway.  Are the people of the state of California and the larger United States of America mad?  Well, they certainly have every right and reason to be.

Let's move on to the specific incident to which the tweets above relate.  Here's the conversation as I see it:
Chris Brown: I look old as fuck! I'm only 23... 
Jenny Johnson: I know! Being a worthless piece of shit can really age a person. 
Chris Brown: take them teeth out when u Sucking my dick HOE.
Jenny Johnson: It's "HO" not "HOE" you ignorant fuck.
Chris Brown: I should fart while ur giving me top. "Seize the day" #CarpeDiem
Jenny Johnson: Your mom must be so proud of you.
Chris Brown: see.. I don't even have to tell u what u already know. Thanks HO! #bushpig
Jenny Johnson: [link to this article] #SuckIt
Chris Brown: mom says hello... She told me not to shart in ur mouth, wanted me to shit right on the retina, ....#pinkeye
Jenny Johnson: YOU FLIRT!!!
Chris Brown: Let me leave this bitch alone... It's good to know my worth by listening to a bitch that is worthless! #iwin #bushpigswag
Jenny Johnson: Okay. I'm done. All I got from that exchange with Chris Brown is that he wants to shit and fart on me.
Chris Brown: Further proved my point of how immature society is. #CarpeDiem
Chris Brown: To teambreezy... Know that I'm not upset. Just felt like entertaining the ignorance. These bitches crazy..
Chris Brown: Back to life...
Jenny Johnson: I have zero respect for a person who seems unapologetic for the terrible crime he committed and shows no signs of changing.
Chris Brown: Just ask Rihanna if she mad??????
I hardly know where to begin.

Apparently Jenny Johnson is a professional comedian.  She's tweeted you before, but this is the first time that you've responded.

I expect that by now, you've realized that although you'd like to put your felonious behavior behind you, some people insist on bringing it up and acting as though it's relevant.  (It is.)  I imagine that sometimes you get frustrated at their comments, reminders, and digs.  How you respond when you become angry, and particularly how you respond to women when you become angry, is very relevant to the actual felony you committed.  Abuse and domestic violence are part of larger patterns of behavior.  While you'd like us to think that your violence with Rihanna was an isolated incident, that's simply not how human psychology works.

So, instead of following these handy steps or perhaps reporting harassment to Twitter, when someone called you a "worthless piece of shit," you replied with nasty sexual aggression and misogyny.

Here are the insults she threw at you:
worthless piece of shit
ignorant fuck
Your mom must be so proud of you.
You replied by talking about her sucking your dick, talking about her being toothless/removing her teeth in order to service you sexually, talking about her sucking your dick again, talking about shitting in her mouth, talking about shitting on her eye, calling her worthless, calling her immature, calling her ignorant, calling her a whore twice, and calling her a bitch three times.

Do you see the theme of woman-hating sexual violence here?

When a woman angers you, you use specifically misogynistic slurs.  You try to put her in her place by describing her servicing you sexually.  You try to shame and humiliate her by talking about voiding your bowels in her face.  Your replies hammer home the message: Your gender is all that matters.  You're a woman, therefore I'll use you for my sexual fulfillment.  I'll humiliate and degrade you while you pleasure me.  You're a whore and a bitch.  It's an outpouring of sexualized misogyny.

You said all of this knowing that you were in a public place.  Knowing that your words were easily recorded and spread.  Knowing that your fans were avidly listening.

You claim that you weren't upset.  No?  If this is you merely being entertaining, how do you respond to people when you're really angry?

The public has a vested interest in monitoring your behavior.  Society needs to know that your abusive violence is in the past.  The way you replied to Jenny Johnson tells me that you need help.

Please.  Get some help.

With love,
Frank Lee

P.S. To the media outlets asking which side we're on, this is not an issue of, "Ooohhh, mint or strawberry, which one do you prefer?"  This is an issue of someone insulting a celebrated felon and pointing out his criminal past, and being replied to with sexualized misogyny (from Chris Brown) and death threats (from his fans).  Am I on the side of "truth and insults" or "misogyny and death threats?"  That's the question you're asking?  Please take a long, hard look at yourself and shape up.

P.P.S. Team Breezy, I am trying my best not to get into it with you, but death threats go way too far.  Threats of any kind go way too far.  Please learn to express your anger more maturely, instead of jumping into threats of death and sexual violence.  Maybe your idol will learn something from you.

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