Shout Your Assault - Chris Brown Gets a Movie

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Trigger warning: violence against women, abuse


Scrolling through the trailers on iTunes last night, I came across a trailer for a new documentary on none other than Chris Brown. The doc is called "Chris Brown: Welcome to My Life" and the tag line is "His Triumphs, His Struggles, His Journey."

I actually stopped breathing for a minute.  His struggles? Welcome to his life?

It's disgusting to me how quickly we forget that Chris Brown beat Rhianna so badly that her face was unrecognizable.  It's fact.  It's not speculation.  There is a police report that was filed with photographs of what he did to her.  Rhianna struggled...while he beat her head against the door of his car.  Chris Brown is a monster, and we are rewarding him with a movie about his life.

See Chris, I don't need a movie about your life, because I've lived it.  I've been Rhianna.  A lot of women I know have been.  I have been humiliated and hit while the world stood back and did nothing.  While throngs of girls on social media threw themselves at my attacker...while people told me I probably deserved it.

If you know me well at all, you know that I lived in Kansas for 4 years while in my early 20s.  From 20 to 24 I lived in a town in a state far away from my friends and family with a man I thought cared for me.  I have talked about what happened there, but not in great detail and I still don't think many people "get" what happened or how it affected me.  I think people don't like to think about things like that, and they would rather make excuses for the abuser than face the abuse.  It's easier to say "you probably provoked him" than "how does this still affect you, and how can I help?"

Six months after I moved in with said man in Kansas, he changed completely.  It's a common story, unfortunately.  I was 6 years younger than him, and naive and thought I was in love.  He used that to his advantage and lured me away from everything that was familiar to me.  Once he got me away, he let the curtain come down.  I remember things like asking him for a cigarette in front of his friends and him taking one out of the box and throwing it across the room and saying "bitches smoke last" while his friends looked at each other and then at the ground....never at me.  It's easier to ignore it than to stop it.

I remember a friend asking about the bruises on my arm and me laughing it off as "playing around."

I remember him punching me in the stomach in front of his grandmother, and her saying "oh, you!" While he laughed.

I remember on my birthday him punching me in the face because I went to a New Year's party the night before. I had asked him to come, he said no. I guess that meant I couldn't go too.

I remember leaving and never going back, and sending his grandmother money to send my things to me.  I remember not getting all of it back, and seeing someone else on social media wearing my clothes and sleeping on my sheets.

I remember after I left, his new girlfriend telling me that I made everything up, and also that if he did anything to me that I deserved it. Telling me that everyone laughs at me. Telling me that I don't have "battered woman syndrome."

So tell me again how you struggle, Mr. Brown.  Tell me again how you will welcome me to your life when I've lived your life, only on the other side.  It makes my physically ill to think if someone gave my abuser a documentary about his life, where  in it he talks about what he did to me and that he's sorry and how hard it's been for him to deal with it.  It makes me sick to think that Rhianna has to deal with the things that I still deal with and women who are Chris Brown fans excuse away his evil.  If Rhianna is anything like me, then she still has to ask whatever man she's with 8 times a day if he's mad at her.  She still has to deal with feelings of not being worthy of being treated well.  She still has to deal with being embarrassed to talk about her likes and interests for fear that someone will tell her they're "stupid" or that she's stupid for liking certain things.

Because in America, we have Brock Turner, and Chris Brown, and Donald Trump, and Johnny Depp, and we make excuses for them and write off their accusers as attention whores, gold diggers, cry-babies, and social justice warriors (like that's a bad thing).  Because when a man abuses a woman he gets sympathy, and when a woman is abused she gets questioned and has to live with it her whole life.

Because it's been years, and it's still with you, but they get a movie deal.

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