Monday, February 27, 2012

Chrihanna Gate 2012

If you haven't heard the Birthday Cake remix by now, you must be living under a rock; hell, even my mom has heard it. It's the lighter fluid that ignited the Chris Brown and Rihanna assault incident all over again. I kept telling myself I wasn't going to write about this topic. But the more I heard people talk about it, the more I began to feel like I needed to state my piece.

My opinion is an unpopular one. One that doesn't automatically vilify Chris Brown nor victimize Rihanna. I'm not going to sit and hash out what I think happened that night before the Grammys 3 years ago. I have no clue how things escalated to the point that Rihanna ended up with a bruised face and busted nose and neither do any of you. But what I do know for sure is that Chris committed a crime and thusly was made to pay for it. Whether or not Chris's punishment was harsh enough or not is also not for me to decide.

But what I did come to pass judgement on is, 1. why any of us felt that Rihanna would have turned out to be a role model in this situation and 2. why is it that we want Chris to pay for the sins of men who physically assault women everywhere? I've read articles such as this one from the Chicago Tribune focusing on the waste of a teachable moment and have been poised to ask another question. Why are we relying on celebrities to teach our children anything?

When the assault on Rihanna occurred, she was 20 and Chris was 19; what I refer to as kids. Both at the height of their young careers, surrounded by yes-men, the world was their oyster. That night changed both of their lives. Instantly the world turned Rihanna into a battered victim, who should use the event as a moment to become a spokeswoman for abused teenage girls everywhere and Chris, well, he became the 21st century Ike Turner. Literally overnight society wanted these two to be bigger than themselves; not just celebrities anymore but poster children for a cause.

My theory is that after people saw the photo of Rihanna's battered face, Chris immediately became the face for every abuser that ever walked the planet. Unlike many male celebrities before him who had been accused of abuse/assault(Brian McKnight, Terrence Howard, BeBe Winans, just to name a few) his victim had a face we recognized and adored. It was also impossible for him to deny that he did it. This wasn't some nameless woman who people generally could care less about, this was Rihanna; "when the sun shines we shine together" Rihanna. That fact alone turned Chris into Ike Turner. We may not have been able to burn Ike at the stakes since Tina did her best to cover up the abuse at the time, but this time "Ike" wouldn't be able to run from his crime. Chris Brown isn't the first man to put his hands on a woman and he won't be the last but how dare he abuse someone we "know"?

And the fact that so many of us feel like he hurt someone we know and identify with, makes it that much harder to forgive him. I would never condone what Chris Brown did to Rihanna. The punching, biting or the choking. I don't condone violence period; whether the aggressor is a man or woman, child, adult or elderly. But with that said, I will also ask at what point are people who inflict physical assault on another human being able to b forgiven for their crimes? After apologizing? After pleading guilty to a felony before the court of law? After the victim has forgiven them? After... never?

I've got a little religion in me these days, and with that said, I've adopted the theory that it isn't my job to forgive. That's between the perpetrator and God. I've also adopted the theory that no sin is greater than another. So if you forgive a liar, cheater or fornicator, so should an abuser who has repented also be forgiven.  For humans when we feel we've been done wrong, an apology is rarely enough. And recognizing that, for many Chris Brown will never be forgiven no matter what he does.

It's an undeniable fact that following the assault, Brown lost endorsements, airtime and respect. Celebs with questionable character(ie. Diddy) seemed to be the only ones who reached out to him for reasons other than wanting to cause him bodily harm.  What needed to happen following that fateful night before the Grammys wasn't a public stoning of Chris, but credible sources needed to reach out to him to help him. At the time he was a teenager, coming from a home where abuse was prevalent and as much as he spoke about not liking what went on in his own home, he no doubt became a product of his environment. What he needed wasn't grown men threatening to beat him up, but instead grown men who know the importance of respect to reach out to him and take him under their wing. I guess it's easier to vilify and turn him into some out of control monster than to be concerned about his rehabilitation.

Fast forward to 2012, Rihanna is as rebellious as ever, Chris is obviously still angry and both of them are attention seeking whores. Why again are we still expecting them to be a teachable moment and role models? I, for one, expected this reunion. I'm just surprised it took this long. Has Rihanna forgiven him? Looks like it. So what exactly do we want to happen now? If we shouldn't forgive Chris and allow him to produce popular music, worthy of awards and sold out concerts, what should happen? Should Rihanna be a spokeswoman for abused women even if she doesn't want to be?

I believe this all says something about society as a whole. It's the 21st century and we're still expecting celebrities to teach our children life lessons. How many cases of abuse, alcoholism, drug abuse, overall misconduct does it take for us to wake up and realize that it isn't a celeb's job to teach our children anything but how to turn a talent into a tool to make money?

As usual, so many questions, so few answers. But I'd love to hear some opinions.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Uh, Hello, Men Have Issues Too!

Somebody talk to me about men and their daddy issues. Or maybe men and their mommy issues. Because they've got them. And I for one, am tired of pretending like they don't. Ladies are you all tired too? 

Let's just clear the air for a second. Women are not the only sex effected by their childhood experiences with their parents. The man whose father left him when he was a kid is just as marred by that occurrence as a woman is! The difference is just that women are brought up to know that it's okay to be emotional and talk about your emotions while men essentially get taught the complete opposite.

"Be a man!" "Toughen up!" "Men don't cry!" 

Sound familiar? The truth however, is that sure, men may not cry but they sure as hell act out and operate out of fear due to their upbringings.

I've met the men who are afraid their relationships & marriages are destined to end in failure/divorce so they only offer up half-ass tries. Those who don't believe they'll ever have healthy relationships. Who think womanizing is the way to go because that's what their fathers, who probably acted more like boys in adult bodies than beacons of positive leadership, taught them & showed them through their own actions. I've seriously heard some things from men about their pasts that made me cringe. But what I heard also made me have "ah ha" moments about the way they act and treat the women they deal with.

If there's one thing I have learned, it's that experiences from your past are not excuses for your current actions, but they are reasons. We can deny, deny, deny until we die that our pasts heavily influence who we are, but at the end of the day, they do. And in order to harness those experiences, we have to face and deal with them. No more sweeping the past under the rug in hopes that no one will notice that your flaws are showing. 

How do men get to a point where they are able to open up and be real about negative emotional occurrences in their pasts, so that they can properly address them? 

I truly think that's the only way we can start to heal the current state of love. But then again, what do I know? I'm just a chic with a laptop and a head full of thoughts. 


Monday, February 20, 2012

Tell Me About Your Love

Seems like everybody I know has dating & love horror stories.
Men are triflin, women are needy. Nobody knows what they really want and it seems like we'd all have more luck winning the lotto than striking it rich in love.

Even though this is what I hear day after day, from the mouths of strangers and friends, I refuse to believe it. Love lives and I want you to tell me all about it.

If you've got love in your life, I ask that you share that story here. Don't be shy, tell me how it happened. Feel free to post anonymously, we don't have to know who you are to know your story :0)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Happy Valentine's Day Folks!!!!!!!

I'm single and currently dating God, but dammit I'm not bitter today!! Did I just curse and put God in the same sentence? Yikes. Y'all get what I'm saying though. No?

It's February 14th, a day that for many single folks often brings about a day full of scowls, devoured pints of ice cream, man bashing sessions and feelings of hate towards everything red, floral or heart shaped. But c'mon folks, married/engaged/single or otherwise, today is a day to celebrate love!

I've had a Valentine only once and I still love the day. Yes, it's commercialized. Yes, you should celebrate love everyday. But think of it this way, you're alive everyday and you still want people to make a big deal out of your birthday and pop bottles in celebration right? Exactly!

So what if you're not in a relationship. Celebrate the love that you do have around you. Your family members, your friends... shower them all with love! When's the last time you told yourself, "I Love You"? If you have to think about the answer to that, it's been too long. Don't get depressed because cupid has yet to shoot his arrow your way(corny huh?) and definitely don't turn into The Grinch Who Stole Valentine's Day. With that said, I leave you all with this, a little love below :0)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Dangers of Blogging

My very first post on this blog, which was back in January 2010, ended by saying:

"*For my friends/associates/ex lovers and the like who may read my memoirs and see yourselves in these stories, don't be mad! It only means you were on my mind"

Even with that warning, I knew there could possibly be people who may still get offended, upset or hurt by things that I write here. However it never fails to catch me off guard when someone tells me they didn't like something that I wrote about them. Why you ask?

1. I rarely get comments on here, so I assume the number of people who actually read this blog is preeeetty small. It isn't until someone quotes something I said or brings up a topic I wrote about that it really does hit me that there are more eyes on this blog than I thought. So making people upset but what I put here, definitely is not something I would intentionally set out to do, but when I'm blogging and purging my thoughts on a certain topic or experience, the last thing I'm honestly thinking about is how the subject of the post might feel if they were to read it. That may sound callous but it's MY blog. 

2. I never, not ever, use people's real names if I'm writing about an intimate experience. By intimate, I'm not referring to sex so don't try and scroll back through the posts to see if you missed something juicy, nasties :-) I don't even use physical descriptions of people!

3. I never thought that the men I know could actually feel some type of way about the things I write here. 

Wow, that sounded a bit insensitive... but it's true. I know men with some pretty big egos. They have confident auras and often seem like nothing ever phases them, so if/when I get called out for something I wrote here, it shocks me; and it's happened more than once. 

Having come to the reality that, look chic, folks read your blog and may actually pick up on context clues and piece puzzles together and find themselves staring back at them on the computer screen, I'm forced to ask myself the question whether some situations are too personal to write about? I completely understand that that's what people want to read, the gritty interesting stuff, and honestly that's what I want to write about, but do I want to make people upset in the process?  Should there be a filter?

I'm no Carrie and this isn't Sex in The City. There are real people in this blog and real emotions behind them. In the midst of purging my soul here and in return getting free therapy, could I potentially be scaring(for a lack of a better word) guys off because they don't want to end up as my next blog topic?

Food for thought.