And every day I wake up celebrating shit (Why?)
Naya Rivera was just arrested for domestic violence against her husband. Previously, Rivera was romantically linked to Big Sean, but the couple split and many believe Big Sean's anthem "IDFWU" was an open letter to his ex, who he was set to marry, but there were complications. Fast-forward to today, Big Sean is living his life and Rivera is currently dealing with a domestic battery charge. There have been mixed reactions elicited from social media, AKA millennial news. Big Sean seemingly responded in this shady tweet.
These allegations spark a conversation. Usually when discussing domestic violence, the focus is on women, since women are more affected by domestic violence. Following the revelation about Naya Rivera, some women laughed about it and said that her husband overreacted. This bothered some men because, had a man "laughed" about Chris Brown and Rihanna, the man would likely be crucified. Some go as far as to say there's a double standard when it comes to dealing with oppression.
The same type of argument is used when one thinks of "reverse racism." Here's my stance on it: just like we recognize that discrimination is morally wrong, domestic violence is morally wrong. There is no logical way to justify either. So, there should be no "praise" given when Black people perpetuate the same thing we have been so long fighting against and the same goes for Women. At the same time, it's saddening to think about the number of women who have died for saying no or who have been in a domestically violent relationship but were scared to go to the police or there wasn't enough evidence to convict, so their abuser was able to roam free.
When considering these painful histories, we must come to grips with uncomfortable truths. While recognizing that Naya Rivera is wrong for beating her husband, just as a man would be wrong for beating his wife or a woman would be wrong for beating her wife or a man wrong for beating his husband, the history must be acknowledged. It's a sadistic form of "justice," but some women may feel like it's payback against years of male dominance and an abusive rape culture that's been normalized in order to be accepted.
Some men argue that this is the limitation of feminism (or Black feminism, womanism, or intersectionalism). They feel that it puts extreme focus on women's issues and marginalizes how these issues impact men or glorifies women who do the same things. One social media user even brought Chris Brown into it and said that we should drag Naya like we dragged Chris Brown. Others chimed in agreement and even brought up that Rihanna was abusive toward Chris too, so the whole story is not being shown.
That said, Chris Brown is not a good point of reference. I take issue with him because he continued to act on the same behavior he begged forgiveness for. After Rihanna, he was accused of stalking Karrueche. At that point, it becomes a dangerous pattern. This is why I've distanced myself from him and his music. A once avid-fan, I'm now mostly indifferent to Chris Brown because it just seems to me like he hasn't learned his lesson. Even still, I wasn't criticizing Chris Brown at first. I actually blamed Rihanna for it all, saying that she provoked him.
I was younger then and did not understand how this attitude can perpetuate this rape/abuse culture. I've said all that to say that Naya Rivera is not innocent and I'm not justifying what she did, but her case should not be used as a reason for people to love Chris Brown again.
As always, it seems that men are trying to deflect. They are trying to use the "women can be abusive too" argument to justify the atrocities men inflict upon women and I disagree with that. Yes, women can be abusive too, but men are not socialized to think of themselves as second to woman; men are not asked to take their wives' last names; men are not told to "let a woman handle it"; men are not stereotyped for the way they dress. Men, as a whole, are not victims. On a case by case basis, however, men can be victimized by the same issues that affect women.
I will acknowledge that and acknowledge that this glorification of domestic violence needs to be stopped. However, I will too acknowledge this alleged "double standard." In high school, the most that I learned about feminism is that women wanted equal rights until they found out that cases of rape would be treated equally. After that, the topic of feminism was seldom addressed in the classroom. Upon studying feminism then eventually branching out to womanism, I've learned that that's a limited scope on what the concept is about at its core.
Womanism is not about making women "right" all the time or turning a blind eye to problematic women but instead affirming women's personhood while simultaneously creating an equitable judgment. I say "equitable" judgment and not "equal" because there are many factors to take into account when making these judgments. Instead of trying to prove who's "wronger" when it comes to abuse, we should be trying to correct atrocities of the past and present and, upon acknowledging those, moving towards organic equality in the future.
So, did Big Sean warn us? Possibly. But are we going to use one example to discredit Black women the same way white people use select examples to discredit Black people? Let's not.
The "Rebellious Woman" blog is a periodic scoop on hair, love, race, politics, and everything in between. Stay tuned for reflections the life of a rebel with a cause!