Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Yo (Excuse Me Chris)

So you've seen this, right?

Ugh. The interwebz. It gives us such an opportunity to make fools of ourselves, doesn't it? And I do it every day. I shudder at the temptations I know my daughter will face in front of that warm, inviting screen. You know, in 30 years or so when she gets her first computer.

She, who is 7, asked me the other day, "Mom, when can I have a cell phone?"

Me, in that mmmm I'm thinking voice said, "when you're thirty."

"Mom-uh! I'm serious-uh! When did you get your first cell phone?"

"Let's see...I think I'd already graduated from college by the time I got my first cell phone, so maybe 22 or 23?" I said, not adding that cell phones as she knew them hadn't even yet been invented.

"Well, can we at least talk about it again when I turn 18?"

"Sure, honey." Of course we can.

We will have this exact same conversation next week.

I'm a skeptic (and I clearly have too much time on my hands. #onlinepokerisstillonhiatuswhat). At any rate, I pulled up the above-linked list of names because I was curious as to whether these tweeters were real people. The laundry can wait. Please don't judge me.

Here's what I found:

Three of the screencaps were from Facebook and so I didn't bother following that trail.

Out of the twenty-two tweeters captured as having said they'd let Chris Brown beat them, six were no longer active. As in, "Sorry, that page doesn't exist!" Or as in (one can hope), "Sorry, my mom (or dad) saw what I tweeted and took my computer away for life after talking with me about what it actually means to be a victim of domestic violence!"

At least one appeared to regret what she'd tweeted:

A couple did not:

And at least one, er...clarified?

All of the girls seem really young (this last one, for example, is 18) and most appear to still be living at home with their parents. One thing was clear: they got a lot of grief for what they tweeted. And some of it was really vitriolic. That makes absolutely no sense to me. You're going to cyber-ly abuse someone for a tweet they made...about abuse?


I'm trying to tread very carefully here because I'm old and what I think is funny and what you think is funny is often just not going to be the same thing. What we might be able to agree on, though, is that there really just aren't very many brilliant 18 year old comics or hilarious jokes about domestic violence.

I would also wager that none of the screencapped tweeters have had their face smashed in and bloodied at the hands of a boyfriend or their head slammed into the jamb of a door so hard that both it and their head cracks wide open like a watermelon dropped on pavement.

Because that's not funny.

What Chris Brown actually did is not funny. Someone's face looking like this because of domestic violence is not funny.

We know that men can be victims of domestic violence. On average, though, more women than men suffer domestic abuse, and younger women in particular (those between the ages of 20-24) are at highest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence. In fact, 85% of domestic violence victims are women.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
  • Females are most often victimized by someone they know.
  • Nearly 1/3 of female homicide victims are killed by an intimate partner.
  • In nearly 80% of intimate partner homicides, no matter which partner is killed, the man physically abused the woman before the murder.

This abuse occurs every day and likely to a woman you know. And it exacts a toll. Monetarily (exceeding $5.8 billion each year (as of 2003)) and in so many other, immeasurable, ways. 

I didn't set out writing this post in an effort to jump on the "crucify Chris Brown" train (or any of these young ladies! They're young, cut them some slack?). I recognize we all make mistakes and I believe we can all grow and learn from them (or not, as the case may be). 

But I really don't want to see this guy on my television anymore, and I really don't care to hear his music ever again, and I really, really, really hope my daughter never falls in love with a boy (or girl) who'd physically, mentally, or verbally abuse her in any way. She deserves so much better.

We all do.

Contact information for the National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233.

Their website is here.


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