Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What's Feminism Got to do with Rihanna?

The Huffington Post has an interesting article today by Patrick Souer. Apparently a notable majority of teens and reporters blame Rihanna to some degree for the abuse she experienced at the hands of Chris Brown.

How could this be? Isn't Barack Obama a sign of the times? A time where progressive mentalities dominate the racist and sexist ideologies of past generations? Perhaps feminism took a wrong turn somewhere down the line, or the movement still has much further to go, evident by our young women's attitudes about Rihanna.

Souer conjures that some people could construe feminism as the culprit for the misconceptions by teens about whose at fault for Chris Brown beating Rihanna because feminism has confused the established gender roles and made women believe that they are equal to men -- included in that is taking equal responsibility for abuse that happens to them at the hands of men.

Mocking those who could believe this, he writes, " . . . when teenage girls are unclear as to whether a man punching, biting and choking a woman so badly that she lands in a hospital is inhuman? Is it because women are too often cast as victims, which their male counterparts don't accept...because they have been taught the genders are 100% equal?"

I was highly disturbed when I began hearing more and more about the support and personal defense Chris Brown was receiving from his fan base and teenagers, specifically. Did the work of my grandmothers, my aunts, my mother, and my own 25 years of activism not affect any change?

Women's rights and issues like domestic violence and sexual assault are receiving more public attention and legal protection than ever before, but there is a still a long way to go before our society changes the gender stereotypes and learned faslehoods which can lead a notable majority of Americans to stand in ignorant support of a man who abused his girlfriend. I believe feminism is not the culprit of these misconceptions, but the answer to healing them.

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