Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mary J Blige and Why She Is Not Like Chris Brown

Mary J Blige was at a party when she caught her husband looking at another woman

The singer slugged Isaacs, drawing blood, after she thought he was flirting with a waitress. "She turned to him and was screaming, 'You're not going to ruin my night,' " our witness says. "They got up in each other's faces before someone tried to separate them, at which point she shoved the guy aside, pulled back and popped [Isaacs] in the face." The source said Blige, Isaacs and their entourage were whisked through a door to the attached club Pink, which was closed. Our witness relates, "She was yelling at him, 'What are you gonna do, Chris Brown me?'

In following video at approx 1:08 Marys punch is caught on tape.

Blige has a history of abuse in her family and has worked as an advocate to end domestic violence.  There can be no excuse for this violence.  No matter how enraged she was at her husband she should not have hit him. (note: even though I have written the previous sentence in bold I wonder how many will ignore it?)  That being said I believe it is a big leap to question why the media is not attacking her in the same manner that it attacked Chris Brown.

Danny of Danny’s Corner of the Universe has suggested that this is a matter of excusing female violence.  Despite the fact that Blige drew blood with her assault, her attack was nothing like that engaged in by Chris Brown against Rihianna.  Issacs (Mary’s husband) was not covered in bruises and his life was not threatened.  To claim that there is any similarity between the two cases reduces the horror of what Rihianna went through.

Rihianna was alone in a car with her abuser and actually feared for her life. Though Issacs pride may have been damaged by being hit by his wife in public, the club was filled with more than enough witnesses to ensure that the attack did not escalate.  In the days that would follow, there were no media releases documenting his abuse for the world to see.

There are certainly male victims of domestic violence but to claim that this incident rises to that level or is representative of unacknowledged female violence is grasping at straws at best.  There will always be those who will seek to take occurrences like this to complain that male suffering is not recognized by society.  To be fair, female victims of domestic violence far out number men. Violence against women is normalized in every single social institution because women are devalued. 

I also think it is necessary to point out that even though Chris Brown did face some attack in media, there were those that firmly blamed Rihanna for her own abuse.  They justified what Chris did to her because she was looking through his phone calls.  In no way should a victim be blamed for the an attack and yet this is routinely what happens when women are raped, beaten and even murdered. 

All violence is wrong but if we are speaking about violence between genders, it cannot and should not be ignored that women are more often on the receiving end of it.  No matter how hard men’s activist try to dispute this fact, shelters serve as evidence of just how damaging male violence is to society.  Children who grow up in homes in which they routinely see their mother beaten carry the results for a lifetime.   Male violence toward women has never been the exception, it has always been the norm.