Ransom Notes: Avoiding the violent can help avoid the violence

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I was walking through a downtown clothing store and couldn’t help but overhear a loud conversation between two young female store clerks. They were discussing the situation of singers Chris Brown and Rihanna, where Brown is charged with physically a

I was walking through a downtown clothing store and couldn’t help but overhear a loud conversation between two young female store clerks. They were discussing the situation of singers Chris Brown and Rihanna, where Brown is charged with physically abusing her during a domestic altercation.

One of the women said, “See, I know how to deal with that, and if he tried that with me, I’d bust his head down to the white meat.”

Court records have disclosed the extent of the physical abuse to Rihanna. There is still only speculation as to why this happened, or even how. Almost immediately, Brown was roundly criticized and pilloried for hitting a woman. He apologized, but to many, it is not enough. He is now a domestic abuser and should go to jail, they say. Some of his many endorsements have been put on hold while the case winds its way through court. Even Rihanna is being criticized because, despite the allegations, she has taken Brown back and they are again a couple.

I am not one of those who preaches that a man should never hit a woman. I don’t think anyone should be putting his or her hands on anyone in a relationship. If you are coming to blows, you probably need a new mate.

I would rather that no man ever hit a woman, but it is not an absolute. I would instead say that a man should not hit a woman, but a man should protect himself. Sometimes the best defense is to make the attacker cease the attack. There is no glory in being rendered blind in one eye by a woman and then say, “Well, I didn’t hit her.”

One of the other problems with the statement that a man should never hit a woman is that increasingly, there are no men and women involved. In the case of Brown and Rihanna, Brown is 19.

At that age, he and Rihanna were on their way “home,” and the incident is characterized as “domestic violence.” As events have evidenced, neither of them may be ready to constitute a household.

The violence is not surprising, even though Brown enjoyed a reputation as one of the good guys, a baby face who rarely employed the misogynistic lyrics that many of the other contemporary musical stars use. When I look at the lyrics of some of the hit songs, I see a pervasive atmosphere of “pimps, hos and thugs.” Rarely are there any lyrics that show any respect for women – girlfriends, sisters or mothers.

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