Mostly, it became clear to me that I am no longer the target demographic for the show. (There were points where I looked at the screen and said, “I can’t read that font! How are we supposed to understand who to text our vote for if we can’t even read the FONT!” Boom. Age, betrayed.) And when Chris Brown came onto the stage to roaring applause and cheers from his peers, it also became clear that many folks have a much shorter memory than I do, despite my advanced years.
Seeing the response to CB (and after having a late night analysis of it with CF Susana) made me realize that most folks seem to have moved on from the Rhianna fiasco, particularly in regards to Chris Brown and his music. As he took the stage it was clear that folks had put the incident behind them, and I felt disgusted by the power of the patriarchy. It is, in fact, a function of the patriarchy to conveniently allow narratives to shift discreetly and irrevocably. Holding on to such things is, clearly, “so last year.” Calling for accountability is blasé and tedious, it seems.
Anyhow, what struck me rather strongly was the support Brown was getting from his peers in the audience (with a notable exception, it seems). This made me think about just how valuable it could be to have accountability amongst men, among artists of all genders– this tacit and not-so-tacit shrugging off seems like such a grave loss of opportunity. The opportunity for men to speak out; those men who have thought about what it means to end the cycle of violence and are willing and able to serve as models and leaders. There are many such men and great organizations dedicated to ending the seemingly interminable cycle of violence, but last night I wished there were more. And that we wouldn’t let opportunities like this one, keep passing us by.
Maybe I’m just a cranky, not-as-young-as-i-used-to-be crunk feminist, a distinct possibility.
Share your thoughts on the VMA’s in the comments, please.