This ho ain’t loyal

2015-04-05 15:00

I was shocked and confused at the same time when the young woman next to me at the Chris Brown concert this week uttered the words: “Chris Brown is an exceptional singer. And actually sings well live. The woman-beater jokes are old and tired now, guys.”

Surely she wasn’t being serious? We must just pretend it didn’t happen? Or is it that it’s time to move on and give the man a break?

Many countries have refused to welcome Brown. The UK denied him entry in 2010. In February this year, he was denied access to Canada due to “immigration issues”.

Announcements of his concerts have been met with protests.

After all, this is the same Brown who was jailed last year for violating his probation after getting into an altercation outside a Washington, DC, hotel the year before.

And remember how he served time after he attacked his then girlfriend, Rihanna, in 2009 before the Grammy Awards? And he was arrested for felony assault in 2013.

Yet South Africa welcomes him with open arms every time. We still support him and his music.

Perhaps we are a more accepting and forgiving society. Perhaps we find it easier to brush off the ugliness of someone’s crimes and move on?

Or perhaps, as a society, we’ve become accustomed to watching celebrities getting away with murder.

We are fairly outspoken about the abuse of women. We have a plethora of feelings and commentaries about it. We have to be, given the scale of the problem in South Africa.

But the same independent young women who are vocal about their equality and call for an end to gender-based violence in South Africa are buying tickets to Brown’s shows and singing along to lyrics such as “these hoes ain’t loyal”.

What does that say about us?

I know by now you’re thinking we should forgive him, let the past be the past and move on. He’s been punished enough.

But if we continue to idolise Brown despite his “indiscretions”, we’re saying to boys and girls it’s all right to beat a woman because money and fame can provide a clean slate.

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