I’m not one to keep up to date on the lives of celebrities, it genuinely doesn’t interest me. However, now and again, something will happen within the world of celebrity that explodes on social media or makes its way into mainstream news.
The most recent one is that of Solange (a sister of Beyonce) and Jay Z (Beyonce’s husband). I’m sure you all know what I’m talking about. Solange physically attacked Jay Z in an elevator and it was all caught on security camera.
I have no real interest in the lives of these people, but what does interest me, is the tone of the response to this story. If you go on twitter or other social media, the main recurring comment in regards to this story is ‘what did Jay Z do to piss her off?’ Yes, there are comments condemning the actions of Solange, but more often than not, it’s insinuated that this is somehow Jay Z’s fault.
Let’s turn it around. I suppose everyone remembers when Chris Brown physically attacked Rhianna. The response to this, of course, was quite different. And rightly so. Did anyone ask, what did Rhianna do to piss Chris off? I doubt it. Were there ‘funny’ memes making their way across the internet making light of seriousness of that situation? I think not. Unlike the current situation where there are a multitude of them.
Now, I am just using these two cases as examples. I think they are good ones to use because within the media, social and normal, they were popular stories and the tone it sets is what troubles me. It is not ok for a man to assault a woman, but it is somehow the mans fault if he is assaulted by a woman and it is open to gentle mocking.
I’m not claiming that this is the only double standard in the world, nor am I claiming that it is only men who suffer from it. It’s just this story has caught my attention. It seems that physical violence against men is something to be laughed about and mocked and not taken seriously.
One other example is the story of a man who, after telling his wife he wanted a divorce, she cut of his penis while he was asleep. Sharon Osbourne was on a talk show called The Talk (watch the clip here) and went on to laugh and joke about how funny it was and how fabulous it was. Not only that, but the entire female audience of the show, laughed right along with it. One of the panelists brought up the point that if this was a story about a man who cut off a woman’s breast, it wouldn’t be funny at all.
And she is right. It wouldn’t be funny. Too often, stories of physical attacks on males, by females, are treated as lighthearted and the insinuation is that somehow it was his fault. That he must have done something to deserve it. Would a woman who was beaten or had her genitals mutilated by a man be open to the same questions? Of course not. Because regardless of gender, race, creed or sexual orientation, any attack on a human being by another, is a crime and something we should all treat seriously.
I have often heard the phrase ‘A real man never hits a woman.’ I agree with that (unless in self defense). But would the phrase ‘A real person would never hit ANYONE’ (unless in self defense) be a better phrase? I think so.