2/09/2009 03:21:00 PM

The world's an ugly, ugly place


For those who are not as 'culturally savvy' (or nosy in other terms), I've been following the story of Chris Brown and Rihanna since it unfolded last night around Grammys time. For those who you who don't know, these are both singers. Their relationship has been well documented by tabloid and other more 'reputable' media.

Apparently Chris Brown was arrested last night on charges of domestic violence toward an 'unnamed' female. So, although it may be obvious for some people to jump to conclusions, the name of the victim was never supposed to be released because the law protects the identity of domestic abuse victims. But surprise surprise, it didn't take long for tabloids to do some snooping around and identify the alleged victim as Rihanna.

Being a volunteer advocate on the SART (sexual assault response team) on campus, I have very heated thoughts about how there is apparently no respect for Rihanna's privacy, but as a Christian, I am even more deeply grieved at some of the comments people leave on sites that published the story. Here are some choice snippets:

'There is no way Chris Brown did any of this...if anything he was probably fighting her off. I have heard she super jealous and quite a drama queen...we'll see when the truth comes out!'
"He's a typical n_____."
"Um, bite marks....... sorry to say, but it sounds like Chris may have been defending himself. That is usually how someone is bitten. I think it is funny that we all assume that Chris is the offender here. Women go crazy and start fights ALL THE TIME! If she was trying to push at him and hit him and he was trying to defend himself, then she would be the one with all of the marks....not him."

Then there are the occasional crude umbrella jokes and some misogynistic remarks.

What is it about technology that allows people to be so mean to people they've never known? To make snap judgments? To feel that they have leeway (because of "anonymity") to write racist or sexist comments? I suppose the bigger question is, is there anything sacred anymore in this age where we are all technologically connected? Do we still respect a person's right to privacy or due process? I can either think of this as people just not being aware of how they act when they are not seen, or I can see this as an indicator of people's true nature. As much as I wish I could think it's just the former I keep assuming it's the latter.

What really saddened me the most is when issues of privacy come up then people engage in victim blaming. "Then she should have never pursued such a public career to begin with.' What? So Rihanna's choice of career path justifies others' insensitive, judgmental attitude on her current situation?

And by using Rihanna, don't think I'm making any statements about Chris Brown in any way. I feel for him too, and by how trapped and upset they must both be feeling.

Have you ever thought about how technology makes people lose their sense of propriety and decency?

2 comments:

ultimateringer said...

it's really quite sad how ppl can be so mean and make these judgmts on the spot when we know nothing about the two!!

Steve Yu said...

i agree.

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