Filed Under:  OpEd, Opinion

The Bounce Back: It all starts with how we treat our boys and girls

14th October 2013   ·   0 Comments

By David Dennis
Contributing Writer

Anyone familiar with my writing would know how I feel about Chris Brown. “Breezy,” as his adoring and misguided fans call him, has done nothing but commit despicable act after self-gratifying, entitled, spoiled brat act. He notoriously beat up his girlfriend, slapped on a fat bow tie to talk about “haters” on Larry King Live, called said ex-girlfriend a “hoe” on a rap song, told a comedian he’d defecate in her ear after she made fun of him, showed up to court for said assault on ex-girlfriend high on “medical marijuana,” dressed as Bin Laden for Halloween and…I think you get the point.

As a celebrity figure, Chris Brown has no redeeming quality whatsoever. He’s been out of control with nobody close to him checking him for it. For years, I’ve been disgusted by him. However, after this interview with The Guardian, I just feel bad for a young man who clearly needs help. Per the Guardian article:

“He lost his virginity when he was eight years old, to a local girl who was 14 or 15. Seriously? “Yeah, really. Uh-huh.” He grins and chuckles. “It’s different in the country.” Brown grew up with a great gang of boy cousins, and they watched so much porn that he was raring to go. “By that point, we were already kind of like hot to trot, you know what I’m saying? Like, girls, we weren’t afraid to talk to them; I wasn’t afraid. So, at eight, being able to do it, it kind of preps you for the long run, so you can be a beast at it. You can be the best at it.”

Chris Brown did not have sex at eight years old. He was raped at eight years old. He had — by definition — sex without consent with someone when he was eight years old. However, Brown wears his sexual experience like a badge, as if having sex at eight somehow prepared him to be better at sex when he became of age. Actually, the facts are the opposite: it could be argued that every issue Chris Brown has had with women has stemmed from the fact he was molested as a child (To wit: Lil Wayne told a similar story in his The Carter documentary of how his mentor told a woman to perform oral sex on him on the couch in front of people when Wayne was just a preteen).

These men should know that they weren’t conquerers or early bloomers. They were victims, sexually abused by older men and women. But since we’re taught to believe that men can’t be victims of sexual assault, Wayne and Brown believe they did something amazing to be celebrated — when they need help.

Chris Brown’s actions are nothing more than cries from a young man who never coped with a traumatic event that he doesn’t even recognize as tragic.

It’s time to take sex education beyond its superficial teachings. It’s difficult enough to explain to young girls all of the ways they get objectified, taken advantage of and treated like less than what they are. Boys as victims are just as nuanced and complicated, plus they have to deal with centuries of myths that it’s impossible for them to be sexual victims.

Misogyny and mistreatment of women is rampant, as personified by so many images of women in pop culture and lyrics about them in so many rap songs. We have a generation of young men who grew up in a cul­ture where they were al­lowed to be molested and sexually abused without any sort of re­course to help them heal.

What we have here is a tumultuous cycle where young men are molested, grow up to lash out at women for reasons they don’t fully understand, put out objectifying images of women that contribute to oversexed young ladies who go on to interact with younger boys. It all starts with how we treat our boys and girls.

Just take it from Chris Brown. He’s always good for a cautionary tale.

This article originally published in the October 14, 2013 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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