So this actually makes sense.

Photo of Chris Brown

Chris Brown, notable for his R&B career and for beating the hell out of his girlfriend and suffering almost no professional consequences for being a violent misogynist criminal, will appear in the movie version of Steve Harvey’s misogynist best-seller Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.

About Jill

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
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31 Responses to So this actually makes sense.

  1. Sienna says:

    I hope this flops so fucking hard, it makes Gigli’s head spin six ways to Sunday.

  2. Azalea says:

    His fans have forgiven him and the movie is probably going to do well with it’s target audience (the people who bought the boo and/or the people who are still Chris Brown fans).

    His career was going downhill until there was an interview with Rihanna where she said “even IF I hit him first, he’s still wrong,” there were a lot of people who took that as her admitting to hitting him. Then he kind of went on his rounds saying or insinuating that she DID hit him, repeatedly and that he just snapped after a while. People, for one reason or another ate that up.

    Silver lining? I think there qute a few CB fans who loathe teve Harvey enough to not go see this movie on GP.

  3. andy says:

    Som nuance, FWIW:
    Chris Brown was a childhood victim of and witness to physical abuse (which he talked about publicly long before he assaulted Rihanna).
    It’s something that anyone in a relationship with him would have known. So IF did hit him (repeatedly) as alleged and it triggered an abuse response, yeah he’s a scumbag, but he’s also a victim.
    One shouldn’t cancel the other.

    • Jill says:

      Andy, lots of people are victims of childhood abuse. Not all of them bash their partner’s heads into a car window and leave them for dead. But it’s interesting to see the lengths people will go to defend violent abusers. “He’s a victim too” doesn’t excuse the actions that he took.

      It’s totally possible that Rihanna did hit Chris, and then he beat the shit out of her. None of us are saying hitting is ok. But hitting back isn’t ok either (unless it’s proportionate self-defense, which this clearly was not), and culpability should increase with the amount of damage done. That’s why we prosecute attempted murder more aggressively than slapping.

    • Jill says:

      Also, that’s not “nuance.” That’s apologism.

  4. thisstillsucks says:

    I’m not a Chris Brown fan, and I abhor violence, but I’m not discounting the idea that Rihanna may have gone ape-shit on him – and she looks like she could wield some mighty hard smacks too. Still, they both suck and need to go away.

  5. andy says:

    Jill: Andy, lots of people are victims of childhood abuse. Not all of them bash their partner’s heads into a car window and leave them for dead. But it’s interesting to see the lengths people will go to defend violent abusers. “He’s a victim too” doesn’t excuse the actions that he took. It’s totally possible that Rihanna did hit Chris, and then he beat the shit out of her. None of us are saying hitting is ok. But hitting back isn’t ok either (unless it’s proportionate self-defense, which this clearly was not), and culpability should increase with the amount of damage done. That’s why we prosecute attempted murder more aggressively than slapping.

    I agree. And I can say without any doubt that I would never hit a woman, not matter what she did and would only hit another man in self-defense.
    But I was never a victim of abuse and so I can’t know what happens to a person in that situation.

    I hate to sound like I’m excusing it, because I’m not (though I can see that it reads that way). I guess I’m just saying that the case was adjudicated and his having been a victim as a child (and possibly during their relationship), he’s not the person i would choose as the poster boy for abusers.

  6. Sheelzebub says:

    Rhianna actually has been adamant that she never hit Chris Brown.

    She was making the same type of rhetorical point that has been made in police brutality cases, rape cases, and other cases of egregious abuses and crimes. I mean, come on, a rape survivor disputing accusations that she “asked for it” and pointing out that even if she was passed out drunk, it was still not okay to rape her isn’t her saying “HEY! I WAS PASSED OUT DRUNK.”

    I think some people are looking for a reason to justify battering.

  7. Sheelzebub says:

    But I was never a victim of abuse and so I can’t know what happens to a person in that situation.

    Most abusers have no problems with their self-control. It’s not an anger problem, it’s an entitlement and control problem on their part.

    And really, there are a lot of women who are survivors of abuse–either childhood abuse or abuse by their partners. And yet they aren’t beating their partners and killing them or getting them hospitalized.

  8. Kristen J. says:

    andy: I agree. And I can say without any doubt that I would never hit a woman, not matter what she did and would only hit another man in self-defense.
    But I was never a victim of abuse and so I can’t know what happens to a person in that situation.

    I hate to sound like I’m excusing it, because I’m not (though I can see that it reads that way). I guess I’m just saying that the case was adjudicated and his having been a victim as a child (and possibly during their relationship), he’s not the person i would choose as the poster boy for abusers.

    Its most often a cycle. Doesn’t matter. On some level we have to accept responsibility when we harm others even if that harm is a product of harm we suffered. More importantly, he like a gazillion other dudes will avoid any culpability for hitting a partner because lot’s of people think that its a feature of domestic relationships rather than a bug.

  9. Jadey says:

    andy: I guess I’m just saying that the case was adjudicated and his having been a victim as a child (and possibly during their relationship), he’s not the person i would choose as the poster boy for abusers.

    No? It’s not uncommon for abusers to have experienced abuse – although most abused people do *NOT* become abusers, so this neither explains nor absolves his actions. A realistic portrayal of an abuser is not as the epitome of vileness and evil. (And of course nor is it the tragic victim of circumstance beloved of apologists.)

  10. Kirsten Nicole says:

    I think that on ALL levels must we accept responsibility for the harm we bring upon others- particularly the outright physical abuse that endangers a life. Something Chris Brown needs to realize, but perhaps is privileged enough to be exempt from realizing due to the rape culture in which we reside, violence/abuser apologists and the millions of records he continues to sell:

    You are responsible for the space you take up in this world.
    You are responsible for the thoughts and actions that occur within and without this space, as a consequence of your being in this world.

    You are responsible. In a culture that is not a rape culture brimming with famous misogynists who are not penalized appropriately, in an ideal world, Mr. Brown would be held accountable owing to the level of responsibility he would be brought to own. In court, and on the streets.

  11. I’m tired of the conditional condemnation. Lots of people say they’re against abuse. It’s an easy word to be against, but it turns out that many people are only against the word. They’re not really against the abusers. They’re full of invented narratives that make the abuser less culpable. Maybe. What if. But she …

    I’m tired of that. Chris Brown abused Rihanna and he didn’t even lose his job. He’s still rich and he’s still famous. If you don’t hate him for that, fuck you.

  12. THIS. I agree with you, Thomas.

    I’ll enjoy watching this trash flop at the box office. I’ll do my part by ignoring it.

  13. The eagerness with which movie studios and sports teams will sign men like Chris Brown is perverse and the message it sends is awful. And what’s more, it isn’t as though there’s a *shortage* of talented men who would like to be on a sports team or act in a film.
    I wonder if studios and sports franchises are motivated purely by anticipated financial gain, and that’s the reason they sign perps like Brown.

  14. Emily says:

    It makes me sick how much people don’t care about what he did, or discount it altogether. I was talking to two girls at a party the other week who suggested that Rihanna either deserved to be beaten, or that she somehow faked the injuries and made it up. Why is everyone so scared to label anyone as a ‘bad person’ when they do bad things?!

  15. rae says:

    Miguel: “I wonder if studios and sports franchises are motivated purely by anticipated financial gain, and that’s the reason they sign perps like Brown.”

    Um, obviously they are. Welcome to capitalism.

  16. lyn says:

    Andy: “I agree. And I can say without any doubt that I would never hit a woman, not matter what she did and would only hit another man in self-defense.”

    That sounds a lot like paternalism. You can certainly defend yourself, appropriately, from violence whether it is visited on you by a man, a woman or a genderqueer person. It is not ok to respond disproportionately to violence – if someone punches you once in the arm it is not ok to knife them to death. If (and there is absolutely no evidence she did) Rihanna hit Chris Brown, he is still unequivocally an abuser for threatening to kill her and battering her.

  17. rae: Obviously, a big part of the motivation is financial gain, but there may be other motivations as well. For example, maybe a studio executive feels like hot shit when he signs a “bad ass” like Chris Brown. So it’s possible that there’s a “machismo / feeling-like-hot-shit” motivation and the hiring of abusive perps like Brown isn’t *purely* motivated by money.
    In any event, it’d be helpful to understand why studio execs and sports teams owners are motivated to hire these jerks.

  18. AtheistChick says:

    Thomas MacAulay Millar:
    I’m tired of the conditional condemnation.Lots of people say they’re against abuse.It’s an easy word to be against, but it turns out that many people are only against the word.They’re not really against the abusers.They’re full of invented narratives that make the abuser less culpable.Maybe.What if.But she …

    I’m tired of that.Chris Brown abused Rihanna and he didn’t even lose his job.He’s still rich and he’s still famous.If you don’t hate him for that, fuck you.

    Repeated for emphasis. Seriously, what a fuckstick (CB, not Thomas).

  19. silentegalitarian says:

    Kirsten Nicole:
    In a culture that is not a rape culture brimming with famous misogynists who are not penalized appropriately, in an ideal world, Mr. Brown would be held accountable owing to the level of responsibility he would be brought to own. In court, and on the streets.

    I thought punishment beyond the rule of law was considered a bad thing?

    He definitely got off amazingly light considering if he would have done what he did to Rihanna to a random man off the street he would probably have been locked up for assault (at least before he used magical celebrity powers and got out of it) and should have! But id call that a failure in the justice system that needs to get fixed, not a record company failure.

    I don’t know maybe I just see the world as a bit more black and white than most but I pay my tax guy to do my taxes, my barber to cut my hair, and buy music because it sounds good. I don’t hold those people to any higher moral standard just because I pay them for a service.

    That being said, the idea that some people have to do time for committing the crime while others can magic dust their way out of it is pretty insulting to any US citizen IMHO -_-.

  20. justine baily says:

    Kirsten Nicole:
    I think that on ALL levels must we accept responsibility for the harm we bring upon others- particularly the outright physical abuse that endangers a life. Something Chris Brown needs to realize, but perhaps is privileged enough to be exempt from realizing due to the rape culture in which we reside, violence/abuser apologists and the millions of records he continues to sell:

    You are responsible for the space you take up in this world.
    You are responsible for the thoughts and actions that occur within and without this space, as a consequence of your being in this world.

    You are responsible. In a culture that is not a rape culture brimming with famous misogynists who are not penalized appropriately, in an ideal world, Mr. Brown would be held accountable owing to the level of responsibility he would be brought to own. In court, and on the streets.

    Yeah, I’d love it if wealth and fame didn’t immunize abusers. In an ideal world, they’d be in jail. But accountability “in the streets” is a pretty short skip and a jump from America’s longstanding lynching tradition. I’m not saying that’s your sentiment, but it’s what comes next when we run with that kind of perspective.

  21. Raja says:

    Wait….where did the accusations of Rihanna hitting Chris Brown again? If she did hit him thats wrong but it was wrong of him to beat the shit out of her to the degree he did, thats no longer self defense at that point in time.

  22. Elsa says:

    Um…at least he will be playing out the part of a douche-bag that every non-sexist knows him to be.

    And seriously what is it with all of the abuse apologism? Being abused is not an excuse to abuse others EVER. It’s also insulting to abuse survivors, like myself, who don’t abuse and advocate against it. Fuck that noise. Chris Brown deserves every condemnation that can be heaped upon him.

  23. Andie says:

    Emily:
    It makes me sick how much people don’t care about what he did, or discount it altogether. I was talking to two girls at a party the other week who suggested that Rihanna either deserved to be beaten, or that she somehow faked the injuries and made it up. Why is everyone so scared to label anyone as a ‘bad person’ when they do bad things?!

    I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of this type of thing stems from a sort of cognitive dissonance.. I think people would rather believe that a woman would lie about being beaten (or circumstances surrounding being beaten, thus searching for justification) than believe a dude -esp a famous dude- would beat the hell out of his girlfriend without provocation because lying is douchey, but beating someone to within an inch of their life is just fucking horrifying. It’s possible that people search for justification in these terrible things to keep the shittiness of the world around them from becoming completely overwhelming.

    Which is pretty fucking sad, in and of itself.

  24. Sarah says:

    silentegalitarian:

    I don’t know maybe I just see the world as a bit more black and white than most but I pay my tax guy to do my taxes, my barber to cut my hair, and buy music because it sounds good.I don’t hold those people to any higher moral standard just because I pay them for a service.

    Yeah, but if I knew my tax guy or my barber was an abuser, I wouldn’t pay for their services either, just like I don’t buy Chris Brown’s music.

  25. gidget commando says:

    There IS a place for social justice between apologism and echoes of lynching (neither one of which we encourage, correct?). Shunning, for example. Refusing to do business or engage socially with someone whose behavior is reprehensible. Refusing to continue to shower social and financial rewards on those whose behavior we seek to discourage. It’s not rocket science, folks.

    Chris Brown does not appear to have paid a very high social price for beating the living crap out of Rihanna, and she continues to face a not-small amount of apologism blaming her and minimizing his actions. That people at large accept this situation as appropriate galls me.

  26. Emolee says:

    It makes me sick that people just tolerate this type of violence. The closer a man’s relationship is to a woman, the more society allows him to do violence to her. it is portrayed as a “fight” or an “incident” or a “private matter” and not as a serious crime.
    Couple this with celebrity justice, and the fact that he faced only minor consequences doesn’t surprise me (but does anger me).

    I think what Thomas MacAulay Millar said is spot on:
    “it turns out that many people are only against the word [abuse]. They’re not really against the abusers. They’re full of invented narratives that make the abuser less culpable. Maybe. What if. But she …

    Same analysis goes for rape, btw.

  27. Iris says:

    If only I had photo shopping skills.

    Because – that’s just such a perfect picture of Chris Brown for one of those uterus/fallopian tube pink hats.

    Can someone help me out?

    @Elsa:

    I agree. As an abuse survivor who manages to not abuse others, I find people who want to excuse his behavior on those grounds to be those who cannot or will not take responsibility for their own actions.

  28. Xtra says:

    The working title of the movie was What’s Love Got to Do With it 2:Electric BEATonYOU

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