I enjoy entertaining Chris Brown's attitude problem about as much I fantasize about feeling the burn while urinating, but even I am somewhat bothered by the way in which the narrative surrounding his most recent social media panic attack is being shaped.
The singer, who has repeatedly shown himself to be far more ornery than your average man in his 20s, got into an intense back-and-forth with former news producer and comedy writer Jenny Johnson. Their rift started when Chris posted a photo of himself with the caption, “I look old as fuck! I’m only 23.” In response, Johnson wrote back, “I know! Being a worthless piece of shit can really age a person.”
A friendship was not born.
True enough, the insults hurled at Johnson were misogynistic and vile, but it is not lost on me how those who share Johnson’s hue and gender are framing this as if she is some damsel in distress. On The View, Elisabeth Hasselbeck said that Chris’ comments “seem like verbal rape.” Hasselbeck has long proven herself to be as sharp as a gummy bear, but it should go without saying that the issue of rape should never be used for the purpose of metaphor. If you want a strong reaction to a point you’re trying to make, intellectualize accordingly.
Should you be unable to do so, embrace silence.
Speaking of points, somewhere along the way, Jenny Johnson felt compelled to tweet: “I have zero respect for a person who seems unapologetic for the terrible crime he committed and shows no signs of changing.”
Also, Jenny doesn’t seem all that funny when you really look at it. One of Chris’ fans created an image depicting all of the tweets Jenny has sent Chris since 2011. There are many, many tweets – all one-sided until yesterday – in which a person who apparently feels so bad about what is rightly described as a “terrible crime” that she jokes about it all the time.
Jenny jokes about domestic violence, Elisabeth Hasselbeck downplays rape. Yes, misogyny is deeply embedded in society, but let’s not be so linear in our finger wagging. Instead of trying to solely write on this from the basis of “Chris Brown attacks a woman…again,” call it what it is: ignorance begets ignorance.
What Jenny and some of her defenders ought to acknowledge is that if a person constantly pokes at a dancing Rottweiler, they are going to ultimately bark back. I try to steer clear of the sentiment of someone “having it coming,” but really, she’s been cursing at and insulting Chris Brown for at least a year. What kind of response did you think you’d get from light skinned Bobby Brown?
Chris Brown behaves like a jerk with entitlement issues so big that they’re only outmatched by his temper. I don’t excuse his remarks. He needs to accept the reality that his mistakes come with a consequence that will follow him for the rest of his life in a new age of celebrity. Likewise, not every person who antagonizes you deserves your attention – especially one who appears to make a habit out of annoying celebrities on the Internet. Not to mention, as unfair as Chris Brown finds it to be that Sean Penn can hit Madonna with a bat and Charlie Sheen can repeatedly attack women and enjoy their careers in peace while he cannot, that has no bearing on his behavior.
He needs to grow up.
At this point, I don’t particularly care if Chris Brown allows his recklessness to do him in – but I do know behaving as equally stupid, bratty, and antagonizing as he does won’t convince him that there’s a better way.