Styles Section Enlightenment: “Teenage Girls Stand By Their Man”

March 19, 2009 § Leave a comment

Once again, NY Times Styles section, thank you for providing the fodder for intense feminist criticism. Today, the front page of the Styles section featured an article that detailed how teenage girls are dealing with their first bout of extreme violence against women in the media.

Even after they saw a photo of Rihanna’s bloodied, bruised face, which had raced across the Internet, they still defended Mr. Brown. “She probably made him mad for him to react like that,” the other ninth grader said. “You know, like, bring it on?”

Should he be punished? No, said the girls, whose names were withheld at the request of the school. After all, they said, Rihanna seemed to have reconciled with Mr. Brown.

“So he shouldn’t get into trouble if she doesn’t feel that way,” one girl said. “She probably feels bad that it was her fault, so she took him back.”

Her friend nodded. “I don’t think he’ll hit her like that again,” she said.

Wow. This is basically gross. Who are these girls? Where do they come from? Because my faith in humanity is not great enough to denounce Jan Hoffman, who wrote the article, as a fabricator of evidence, I believe that there are teenage girls like us out there who genuinely pity Chris Brown. But how? How can they justify violence? How can they pass off the pictured bruises as mistakes? And how can they blame the victim, knowing nothing about her situation except for what is featured in the tabloids?

I’ve got news for you, featured teenagers and NYT: not all teenagers think like you. I, for one, am fiercely against violence, especially when it results from patriarchal inequality that ubiquitously shows up in bruises, broken necks, and, for too many, death. I am not alone in this opinion. For every Chris Brown sympathizer you give me, I’ll give you a protector of women’s — of human’s — rights who is not willing to let this injustice be dealt with through the pens of tabloid reporters.


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