Friday, 16 May 2014

The art of excuse

Chris Brown, woman-beater and sometime musician, got sentenced to a year in jail. Not for the offence he should have been jailed for, but I've no doubt we're all better off for him not being out in public.

There are an awful lot of "respected" men not being given the same treatment. Scotland's very own sex symbol Sean Connery, a man so deeply in love with this country that he doesn't live here, has consistently refused to explain or clarify his comment that women need a slap now and again to keep them in line. It's not too far a stretch that a man who believes that has beaten a woman.

Then there's Sean Penn, with his "Real Men Don't Buy Girls" sign. Yeah, "real men" tie their first wife to a chair and beat her senseless for days, then humiliate their second wife on national television by saying his idea of a great night is a bag of cocaine and two hookers. He might now be mature enough to understand why his wives keep leaving him, but the public at large doesn't seem to care. You carry on being a real man, Sean. Whatever you think that is.

Michael Fassbender, the current darling of indie cinema, is an alleged woman-beater too. As far as I know he's never made any statements about that, but that might be because the luvvie journalists aren't asking him, or because nobody knows his ex-girlfriend's name so who cares? Aesthetically I agree he's gorgeous, but I wouldn't want to be alone in a room with him.

Bob Dylan spent time in jail for beating his girlfriend. John Lennon was an all-round mysoginistic arsehole. Alec Baldwin made horrendous sexual slurs against his own daughter. Yet they're all cool, right? Great in their fields. Let's just brush over that.

All these men are disgusting arseholes. Chris Brown is getting what he deserves - jail time - but probably not for what he most deserves it for. I don't know if it's racism or the fact he seriously injured a woman we all know to be beautiful, as if beauty protects you from assault. Rihanna's beauty probably made her more of a target, because it would take a very secure man to be with her and not envy her looks and success. I know she went back to him, and that's totally depressing, but success and money don't equate to self-esteem, especially for a woman whose entire career is based on her looks. She's possibly even more insecure than your average woman, because she knows if she puts on weight or releases a bad record then the vultures are circling, and they'll be delighted to pick up over how badly she's "failed". And not being a songwriter herself she has very little control over that.

I do not excuse abuse of women, no matter who does it, and I don't buy their music or pay to see films they're in either. Neither do I excuse women abusing men, although I can't think of a prominent case of that. If you are being abused, please speak to someone. Even if you don't do anything about it right away. And don't let anyone talk you down by saying your abuser is this, that or the other. He might well be a gorgeous film star or insanely talented musician, but that doesn't and can't excuse his behaviour. Fight them all into the jail. As far as we have to.

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