Dear Chris Brown Poster Vigilante, I love you.

September 23, 2015

 

BY MADDY THOMAS

Dear Anonymous-Chris Brown-Poster-Defacer,

I think I love you.

This year has been a pretty gross one when it comes to violence towards women. As of last night, there have been 63 women murdered in Australia this year. Most of these women met their tragic fate at the hands of their domestic partner, or in many cases, their ex-partner.

In the last fortnight Tara Brown, the mother of a three year girl, had her car run off the road. Her former partner, Lionel Patea, then beat her to death with a cast iron fire hydrant cover while she was pinned inside her vehicle. In the same week Karina Lock, a mother of four, was murdered by her former partner, Stephen, inside a crowded McDonalds restaurant. Stephen then turned the gun on himself.

There has been plenty of outcry within the media, and within our community, but so far there has not been anything close to an answer as to how we can stop these disgusting acts of violence. I apologise for taking the long way to get to my point, but I felt it important to explain why your action moved me so deeply.

While looking through Facebook tonight, I came across a Junkee article praising your addition of an “I Beat Women” sticker to a poster promoting Chris Brown’s Australian tour. The fact that Chris Brown still has a career after beating Rihanna so badly that she ended up in hospital makes me so incandescent with rage that whenever I think about it my hair almost catches on fire. When I saw that some idiot promoter was bringing the embodiment of everything that is wrong with men to Australia in the middle of what can only be described as a war on women, I felt ill. When I noticed that Nova FM and Channel V were co-presenting the tour I felt further dismayed, and pretty damn pissed off. The message they were sending seemed to be “if you’ve got the money, we will ignore your foul history. If we make some cash too, all the better”.

There are those out there who are firmly camped in Team Breezy, and I know that they will use the old “but that was so long ago, he’s changed- he’s a father now” argument. As you many have noticed that the deceased women mentioned above were mothers, and that their murderers were fathers. The act of becoming a father does not automatically make you a good person, or a non-violent one. It does not wipe your blood-spattered slate clean, and it does not give you a free pass. In the cases above, these fathers brutally claimed their women as though they were pieces of property, or some sort of escaped livestock. The other camp of Chris Brown supporters that decide to wade into the provocation swamp and cry “Rihanna made him do it, she was going through his phone, she shouldn’t have made him angry” can either go and educate themselves properly, or should that fail, seriously consider sterilization.

The bodies of women are piling up, and the desperately needed support and resources for women experiencing violence or trying to leave violent situations have been slashed, yet here we are throwing cash at a man (and I use that term very, very loosely) who is a known perpetrator of violence towards women. The difference between Chris Brown and your standard violent man? Chris Brown is a multi-millionaire singer, and that for some reason negates his odious history of domestic violence. Don’t forget his penchant for homophobic slurs and trashing dressing rooms when his past is brought up, they guy really is a piece of… work.

While I felt passionately about the subject, I had no idea what I could do to share my outrage. Sure, when I have had the misfortune of being in a club when a Chris Brown song comes on I will leave the dancefloor, but all that does is leave room for some dude-bro to squeeze into my spot. I’ll change the channel if he pops up on TV, or I’ll tune into a different station if I hear him on the radio, but making a dent with these actions is akin to a spoon to save a sinking ship. I think that you feel the same as I do, Defacer; I think that you’re sick of this shit too.

Whether you realized it at the time or not, when you slapped down that sticker you not only expressed what so many of us were thinking, you opened the floodgates of anger, disgust, and frustration, and inspired us to do something about it. In that one sticker, you shone a light on exactly what Breezy’s fans, his support acts for the tour, the promoter, and his major touring partners and sponsors have tried to look away from- Chris Brown is a man who beats women.

By the end of this week I anticipate that many, many more of these posters will have been altered to more accurately label the rancid product that is Chris Brown. I, for one, have a date with one of the posters and a marker tomorrow afternoon. Get your stickers, girls and boys; it’s time to make your mark. So, while I don’t know who you are, mystery anti-violence hero, there is a beer with your name on it should we ever cross paths. A beer, and a hug, and a thank you- Hell, should this tour get canned I’ll petition to have a public holiday created in your name.

I thank you for inspiring not just me, but so many others to act to bring this tour down. Maybe this will be a wakeup call for the presenting partners, Channel V and Nova, a lesson in investing in a rotten product. In a perfect world, both outlets would pull their support for the tour, and give the cash they would have spent on the tour to some of struggling organisations that help so many victims of violence. I know that that is a dream, but it’s a dream that you have inspired me to have, and with a little bit of pressure, maybe it is a dream that will come true.

For that alone, you’re both the hero that Australia deserves, and the one it needs right now. Tonight, you are certainly mine.

Thank you and I love you.

Maddy Thomas

*From our friends at @GetUp! 

“We have an opportunity to hijack Chris Brown’s huge media presence to shine the media spotlight on men’s violence against women – an epidemic that has already claimed the lives of 62 Australian women this year.

We can only do this if we create a huge community backlash against the singers’ plans to tour Australia. Will you share with your friends now to help grow this petition big enough to take on someone of Brown’s celebrity?”

SIGN HERE:

https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/surge/australians-say-no-to-violence/let-s-make-this-big

 

See Maddy’s other posts here and share your thoughts below.

 

 

 

One Comment

  1. Maree Sullivan

    September 23, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    Excellent Madison.

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