Author: has written 89 posts for this blog.

Return to: Homepage | Blog Index

21 Responses

  1. gretel
    gretel March 22, 2011 at 11:43 am |

    As far as I’m concerned there is no statue of limitations on when reporters should stop asking questions about the fact that you are an abuser. For instance, if I had the chance to interview Roman Polanski, my first question would be about rape. I don’t like the way the media has treated Charlie Sheen (like he’s some sort of charmingly eccentric genius) compared to Chris Brown, but that doesn’t mean Chris Brown shouldn’t be criticized for trying to dismiss his acts of violence as ancient history. If you are a public figure with a history of egregious violations of the law, you have to know that your conduct will be examined along with your art, no matter how many albums, films, books, you may create after the fact. If Christ Brown doesn’t want to be asked about domestic violence, he should never again agree to an interview. He should realize that by now.

  2. Elyn
    Elyn March 22, 2011 at 12:00 pm |

    An abuser acting abusive. Can’t say I’m shocked.

  3. Comrade Kevin
    Comrade Kevin March 22, 2011 at 12:14 pm |

    Miles to go. The first thing is a little something called self-awareness.

  4. Skye
    Skye March 22, 2011 at 12:19 pm |

    If Chris Brown wants to prove he really IS a changed man, then he needs to accept that his abuse conviction is going to shadow him for the rest of his life.

    A changed man would face the question directly and admit it was a horrible thing he’s done. And he would repeat this EVERY SINGLE TIME he’s asked.

    Chris Brown , on the other hand, seems to think that taking anger management classess (which clearly did no good) means that the question gets to be buried forever. Poor widdle baby.

  5. alynn
    alynn March 22, 2011 at 2:04 pm |

    Skye–you took the words right out of my mouth! This is not changed behavior…this is same ole same ole.

  6. Caity
    Caity March 22, 2011 at 3:55 pm |

    Yup, those anger management classes sure did help.

    Seriously, you can’t do something really shitty (like beat the crap out of your partner) and then expect that everyone will magically forget about it unless you really show that you’ve changed. Whining about your community service or talking about having gone to classes and then flipping out anyway are not ways to go about showing change.

  7. GallingGalla
    GallingGalla March 22, 2011 at 4:11 pm |

    I’d like to know (1) *why* the restraining order was lifted; (2) if authorities are aware of or care about Chris Brown’s behavior; (3) what those authorities plan to do, if anything, to protect Rihanna. Because it seems to me that her safety is now very much at risk.

  8. Jadey
    Jadey March 22, 2011 at 4:36 pm |

    I’m not a Chris Brown fan and am I not remotely interested in being his apologist or champion, but I am invested in behaviour modification treatment in general, and from a treatment perspective, yelling and trashing a dressing room /= beating up a person. It’s possible that treatment hasn’t worked for him at all, but it’s not possible to determine that from the behaviour that’s been described. Anger management and self-regulation training is not a magical cure, and frustration and long-standing behavioural patterns don’t dissolve in water, they have to be unlearned. It’s just as likely that unleashing on furniture was an alternative to unleashing on another person, which would actually indicate successful treatment progress. Ideal? No. Treatment: mission accomplished? Not at all. But anyone who has undergone some kind of behavioural/cognitive intervention (like, say, for substance abuse or depression management) knows that it’s an on-going process, and some lapses are better than others.

    I do think it’s important that the people with the capacity to supervise and monitor his behaviour as well as assess his risk to re-offend generally and against Rihanna in particular (although she’s possibly less vulnerable than other possible targets given the public awareness and attention on them – I’m not sure though) are taking all of this seriously and with due consideration.

  9. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan March 22, 2011 at 6:51 pm |

    what those authorities plan to do, if anything, to protect Rihanna. Because it seems to me that her safety is now very much at risk.

    I’m not really seeing that. Like Jadey said, it would be very public — unless Brown completely abandons all hope of having a life and throws all his rationality out the window (like a Disney-villain-esque moment) I don’t imagine he’d go after someone who can easily defend herself/be defended. It’s not like they still live together or he could get away with doing anything quietly to her. He seem like a whiny sneaky abuser, obsessed with preserving his image, not a total psychopath who would launch himself across a red carpet to attack someone. But I dunno.

  10. saurus
    saurus March 23, 2011 at 7:45 am |

    I feel like this post and thread might tip into some ableist places. Let’s try not to go there…

  11. Skye
    Skye March 23, 2011 at 9:48 am |

    I’d heard that the restraining order was modified, not lifted: something like he only has to stay 100 feet away from Rihanna, not 250, and that they’re allowed to communicate by phone.

  12. Rachel
    Rachel March 23, 2011 at 10:19 am |

    As a domestic violence advocate we are taught that anger management is not the same as classes catered directly towards domestic violence abusers. Abuse is not about losing control it’s about gaing control over someone. Sending someone to anger management (whatever that means since there are so many different kinds) hardly addresses controlling behavior of an abuser. I’m not saying Brown can’t be helped with anger management (he obviously needs it) but someone can easily “control” their anger until they feel it’s time to lash out and attack their partner. They attack their partner not because they can’t (again) “control” their anger but because they want to control their partner; a whole different ball game.

    Jadey: I’m not a Chris Brown fan and am I not remotely interested in being his apologist or champion, but I am invested in behaviour modification treatment in general, and from a treatment perspective, yelling and trashing a dressing room /= beating up a person. It’s possible that treatment hasn’t worked for him at all, but it’s not possible to determine that from the behaviour that’s been described. Anger management and self-regulation training is not a magical cure, and frustration and long-standing behavioural patterns don’t dissolve in water, they have to be unlearned. It’s just as likely that unleashing on furniture was an alternative to unleashing on another person, which would actually indicate successful treatment progress.

    With all due respect, in my line of work, when someone destroys property that is a HUGE red flag that the person can and will be violent towards their partner. It appears that we are coming from two different viewpoints, but I find that violence in that manner (in addition to the seemingly unapologetic and dismissive manner in which he treats the attack) clearly shows that the anger management is not working. And, as I stated before, perhaps it’s not working because the TRUE issue is not being addressed. Again, “self-regulation” as you stated is not the true factor in domestic abuse cases. An abuser needs to relearn more than just how not to get mad at someone.

    Sorry to keep repeating myself but this issue is HUGE for me becuase so many of my clients dismiss their abuser’s behavior because they think that “it’s not his fault. He just can’t ‘control’ it”

  13. auditorydamage
    auditorydamage March 23, 2011 at 10:47 am |

    Well, there’s a man who clearly has learned to take responsibility for his actions.

    *snark off*

    The only possible way I would ever give more than a shit about him, or Charlie Sheen, or any other abusive individual again is if that individual came out and said, “I am an abuser. I’ve hurt people physically and emotionally to exert control over them. It was wrong, and I will probably spend the rest of my life learning to act appropriately toward others.” Frankly, these guys shouldn’t have continuing celebrity careers, never mind sold-out self-congratulating rant fests, until they take full responsibility for what they’ve done, but I guess that would be too much to expect from an industry, and a society, that still gives Roman Polanski a pass.

    Shorter version: More Patrick Stewarts, plz.

  14. Q Grrl
    Q Grrl March 23, 2011 at 11:32 am |

    With all due respect, in my line of work, when someone destroys property that is a HUGE red flag that the person can and will be violent towards their partner.

    No one other than my mother, brother, and I had any clue that my father wasn’t a kind and rational preacher. He had his anger management down to a T. And he only had to punch me in the stomach once (when I was 6) in order to get the point across. After that, he just threw things (dishes, toys, pets) or broke them. Usually little things that didn’t make much noise or create too much of an external disturbance. He was a master of psychotic emotional abuse.

    I cannot guess to Chris Browns psychological make-up, but I know that the deliberate trashing of the room, the half-nude public appearance (highlighting his muscles, FWIW), and his tweeting to his fanbase about how he “loves” them are all tactics meant to intimidate, manipulate, and obfuscate. I would hate to see what he is trying to distract us from.

  15. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub March 23, 2011 at 11:44 am |

    @Jadey: I’m not a Chris Brown fan and am I not remotely interested in being his apologist or champion, but I am invested in behaviour modification treatment in general, and from a treatment perspective, yelling and trashing a dressing room /= beating up a person.

    Jadey, with all due respect, while yelling and trashing a room isn’t the same as beating up a person, it exists on the same continuum. It is manipulative behavior, it’s bullying, and it’s employed to intimidate and cow people into submission. And I’d rather not get into my personal experience being on the receiving end of this–but let me just say that when your partner starts punching walls or throwing things supposedly because of something you said/did, it is abusive. Full stop. You walk on eggshells to prevent another outburst/tantrum, and it’s often dismissed by others as not that bad, or just a blow up, because after all, he didn’t hit you or anything. He just punched a wall/threw stuff/destroyed your property (never his! Oh, no. Yours or someone else’s.)

    This is abuser 101 stuff right here. The only thing that raises another red flag for me–an non-abus

  16. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub March 23, 2011 at 11:51 am |

    Oy. Sorry about the fragment at the end.

    I’ll just say this: Anger management is BS as far as abusers go. They can and do manage their anger just fine. They use it to intimidate, control and dominate the people in their circles. Saying that someone’s making progress because they are “just” trashing their dressing room or punching walls at home is really dismissive of the people they’re targeting with this manipulative and violent behavior. This behavior has far-reaching effects on the people who have to witness it/put up with it/clean up after it (oh, and go ahead and try to make an abuser clean up his mess-you’ll get another tantrum).

    Shorter me: Seconding everything Rachel said.

  17. Jadey
    Jadey March 23, 2011 at 1:12 pm |

    @ Rachel and Sheelzebub

    I may not have been as clear as I tried to be in my first comment, but I’m really not trying to give a definitive opinion on Chris Brown’s behaviour in specific. My main point was that there isn’t enough information in a news report to know one way or the other, and armchair quarter-backing on someone’s mental state based on the kind and quality of information disseminated by news media is a serious pet peeve of mine. I offered an alternative explanation (that trashing a room might have been a less-than-ideal coping response) not because I believe that that alternative is true, but because so many people in the thread were already taking another explanation (that it’s a definitive sign that he is a bad awful person who’s incapable of change) as given when nobody here is in a position to know. I don’t disagree with you and Rachel about the reality of abusive behaviour patterns and I tried not to dismiss the importance of Brown being monitored by people in a position to do so effectively and with access to sufficiently detailed information on where he’s at and what risk he poses.

    (As an aside, if there’s additional information in the video, I haven’t and probably won’t watch it as I generally rely on transcripts.)

    It is also very true that anger management alone is not the key to addressing violence, although it was very popular at one point. The programs I’m (roughly) familiar with do *not* centralize anger management but incorporate other strategies that focus on cognitive distortions, issues with control, etc. I have no idea on exactly what program Brown was involved with and how it was structured and given the colloquial familiarity with the idea of “anger management”, it wouldn’t surprise me if that weren’t actually an accurate depiction of the treatment he’s received and just the term most familiar to the public and the media. It’s kind of hard to say without access to his private treatment information, unless someone happens to know if they made that public (I’ve noticed that the US criminal justice system tends to be super open about personal details of people involved with their system compared to what I’m used to in Canada).

  18. Skye
    Skye March 23, 2011 at 3:49 pm |

    Rachel: Abuse is not about losing control it’s about gaing control over someone. Sending someone to anger management (whatever that means since there are so many different kinds) hardly addresses controlling behavior of an abuser.

    THANK YOU.

  19. Azalea
    Azalea March 23, 2011 at 11:54 pm |

    Honestly I was shocked she asked him the questions about Rihanna. What more is there to know or for that matter what mroe about what happened does the public need to knwo before it jsut becomes a orgyfest of domestic violence? How many times do we WANT to hear about the same instance of abuse before we fele like it no logner needsto be repeated ad nauseum?

    He was wrong for trashing the dresser room. If he didnt like the interview he should have simply gotten up and left. His reformation seems like its over before it ever really got started but I really hope he gets a hold of his temper before he starts throwing things at people or end up hurting someone or himself.

Comments are closed.

The commenting period has expired for this post. If you wish to re-open the discussion, please do so in the latest Open Thread.