Stay Classy, Tufts Daily

19 02 2009

A week ago the Tufts Daily staff wrote a little blurb in their newspaper; presumably they were bored and wanted to do something “fun” while filling up some space in the paper. It was a letter to Chris Brown, in response to the recent charges of domestic violence and the rumours that have been flying around related to it. It’s pretty short, so I’ll post it here. The bold emphasis is my own.

Dear Chris Brown,

There’s little we can say to a music celebrity who beats his girlfriend up right before the Grammys. Chris, your temper and your childish use of violence has deprived millions of viewers of the chance to boogie to your music. Your songs are forever tainted, and we simply can’t listen to them.

That’s right, we at the Daily Arts department have imposed a moratorium on any Chris Brown music. Not longer will we host dance parties in the basement of Curtis Hall to the tune of “Kiss Kiss.” Some might say that Rihanna “deserved it” or that “it was just a stupid mistake.” Newsflash: Picking on girls isn’t allowed as soon as you hit puberty, and this isn’t the elementary school playground, Chris.

We know you think Rihanna was flirting with other men at the pre-Grammys party. But there was also supposedly a sordid text sent from some short-skirted skank to your phone on the way home, so you aren’t exactly innocent. Whatever happened, violence is not the answer.

We want you to know that we fully support Wrigley’s decision to suspend your commercial. It was stupid anyway, with your pseudo break dancing and spin on the lyrics to your overplayed song “Forever.” And although you’re out on bail for now, you’re probably going to spend some well-deserved time behind bars for messing with your former girlfriend’s gorgeous face.

Maybe this experience will change you; maybe you’ll come out a new man and actually make some original music, but probably not. The real crime is that Rihanna let you get near her in the first place.

Next time, pick on someone your own size and, oh yeah, gender. Leave the petty catfights to the ladies.

Sincerely,
The Daily Arts Department

source: http://www.tuftsdaily.com/from_the_office_of_the_tufts_daily-1.1373503

I was honestly shocked and appalled at the last sentence of this letter. At first I was pleased to read that there was some sort of public voice on campus speaking against an instance of domestic violence. The third paragraph that I highlighted I was something with which I was not too pleased. The term “short-shirted skank” is totally an unnecessary name to call a woman. With all the rumours going around, we may not even know if she existed and even if she did, why is she a “skank” ? Why is she wearing a short skirt? Are all women who wear short skirts skanks?

The last paragraph really did it for me, though. “Leave the petty catfights to the ladies”–really? That last sentence basically took away all the meaning from the letter. Why would they have to end it with such a SEXIST sentence? Catfights? really? It really is demeaning to women to suggest that a “man” should know better than to start a fight and such a foolish thing is only left for women. Suggesting to stick to same sex violence isn’t the answer, either.

What do you think? What are you feelings about the Daily posting that in the first place?


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3 responses

19 02 2009
feminist3

There are other parts of this letter that are offensive, for instance, “you’re probably going to spend some well-deserved time behind bars for messing with your former girlfriend’s gorgeous face.” If she wasn’t gorgeous, would messing with it be okay? Are people still defining a woman’s worth solely based on her looks? That’s probably not what the Daily meant, but the tongue-in-cheek tone makes light out of a very serious and terrible situation.

And then: “The real crime is that Rihanna let you get near her in the first place.” Wow, way to implicitly blame the victim.

I also think that domestic violence is a tad more serious than picking on a girl on an elementary school playground.

All of this forces me to believe that the Daily was more interested in making “clever” jokes about Chris Brown and what he did than actually speaking out about domestic violence.

20 02 2009
feminist2

I agree with feminist3. Also to say, “Chris, your temper and your childish use of violence has deprived millions of viewers of the chance to boogie to your music” belittles domestic violence. Domestic violence does not = having a temper and “childish use of violence.” It is a form of control, a way to exert power over another through physical force, emotional abuse, or psychological abuse. The way The Daily phrased it seems to dismiss domestic violence as petty.

Also Wrigleys did suspend Brown’s commercial, but they sort of kept it on the DL. When they suspended Michael Phelps, a bigger deal was made. But of course no one wants to talk about domestic violence, so they’ll hush it up.

One last note, check out this post I found on The Pursuit of Harpyness blog. It’s called “How to Fauxpologize in 4 E-Z Steps (guest post by Chris Brown)”:
http://www.harpyness.com/2009/02/18/how-to-fauxpologize-in-4-e-z-steps-guest-post-by-chris-brown/

20 02 2009
angryblkfeminist

All of this forces me to believe that the Daily was more interested in making “clever” jokes about Chris Brown and what he did than actually speaking out about domestic violence.

That’s the sad thing. That whole article was just one big joke that really did more harm than good. It just shows what kind of environment we live in at Tufts that people can basically make a joke out of domestic violence.

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