Why What Happened To Chris Brown Was Sexual Abuse

October 7, 2013  |  

Source: Annex Man

In an interview with the UK paper The Guardian, Chris Brown speaks with writer Decca Aitkenhead about the time he was sexually assaulted by a teenage girl, but it’s all good, because boys “can’t” get raped:

 It’s different in the country. 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.” (…he doesn’t want to say how many women he’s slept with: “But you know how Prince had a lot of girls back in the day? Prince was, like, the guy. I’m just that, today. But most women won’t have any complaints if they’ve been with me. They can’t really complain. It’s all good.”)

A friend and I were having a conversation recently, which was sparked by the story of the Montana school teacher who received 30 days in prison for the sexual assault of a 14-year-old student. The girl killed herself as a result of the sexual assault and the attention that surrounded it. During our conversation, my friend, who is the daughter of a former sex crime detective, remarked very poignantly on what her father used to tell her about how some sexual abuse victims can come to perceive their victimization. Basically, if you live in a particular environment long enough, no matter what kind of sick and depraved things happen in that environment, it all becomes sort of normal. In that spirit, it puts attention on understanding how patriarchal norms also help to normalize the sexual abuse of boys in our society.

Brown is not the only Southern boy to have been sexually abused as a prepubescent kid. R&B singer Ne-Yo told the story once of “losing” his virginity at 9 years old to a teenager. A couple of years ago, NOLA native and rapper Lil’ Wayne admitted to Jimmy Kimmel in an interview that he was “seduced” by a grown woman at the age of 11 years old. However, I don’t know if we can blame this on country folks – or by default the black community in general (because generally that’s how these things go whenever the person in question is African-American). Why? Because in popular culture, particularly in film and in television, it has pretty much been perpetuated that manhood and an active sexuality go hand in hand. One of the biggest movie troupes in teen flicks is the awkward and nerdy high school guy, who has one summer to finally lose his virginity so he can enter college, or adulthood, as “a man.” Once he gets the punany, he is suddenly transformed from awkward nerd into cool stud. And if he fails, well, he ends up as the 40-year-old electronic store employee with an abnormally large action figure collection and still on the hunt for his manhood.

Outside of the realm of entertainment and on to the more personal, I have heard similar stories from men I know who claimed to have had their first sexual experience at prepubescent ages, and at the hands of a much older woman. In the majority of instances, their “sex partners” were women well into their middle ages and they weren’t looking for it, nor were they the initiators. Their first experience, just sort of happened; like an ex-boyfriend, who told me of his first sexual encounter happening at 12 years old and being at the hands of a 42-year-old former neighbor and friend of his mother. When I raised the point that what happened to him verged on, if not surpassed, sexual abuse, he just kind of shrugged it off and said, “It’s different for girls and boys. All my friends were already f**king and I was the last one. So when she came along, I was like, yeah…”

However, the thought never occurred to him that perhaps his friends were lying to impress him and others. And perhaps, the pressure he felt to measure up to his friends motivated him more than his desire to actually be with this woman. What if my ex-boyfriend would have resisted the advances of his mother’s friend and instead told his homies that he opted for chastity instead? In our society, a man, who has never “engaged” in sexual intercourse is looked upon as socially awkward or worse, “not man enough.”

In this respect, the expectation to be hyper-masculine can be just as oppressive to boys, who in actuality, might have more thoughtful and gentle spirits. In fact, there is research that suggests that one in three boys feel pressured into sex and are more likely to think that waiting is a myth. However, that is not the general message we see. What we see and hear is that men are supposed to do it and do it regularly. Not only that, but they are supposed to do it with a variety of partners: older, younger, man, woman, fat, slim, one-legged, bucked teeth, Spanish, Asian, etc…the more conquests, the bigger his badge of masculinity. It is this constant pressure to hold up to the ideas of what male sexuality is supposed to be, which probably keeps boys from admitting to weakness and vulnerability, including being pressured and forced into a sexual relationship they didn’t want or feel that they were ready for.

I can’t say if this is what Chris Brown feels emotionally about the incident being sexual assault or molestation. I would say that a 15-year-old engaging in sexual activity with an 8-year-old is definitely sexual abuse. And I would also say that his continued reliance on his sexual prowess with the opposite sex as a testimony to what kind of partner he is with the ladies – even years removed from that “country” upbringing – says lots about how we rear boys to view themselves and their roles in society.

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  • Nya Jacobsen

    I don’t know what state Chris Brown is from, but where I’m from he was sexually assaulted. The law is genderless. And eight year old is not old enough to consent to sex. Maybe if he paid attention in therapy he could process these things. He was violated at a young age, and stop trying to put spin on it. You can’t be good at sex by the time you’re ten years old. He looks like a walking std anyway.

  • young afrique

    Lol…Another pseudo psychology article…Leave the kid alone..let him enjoy his life ,however he chooses.I don not condone violence either!

  • Hello

    This puts a lot things about Chris Brown into perspective. Before the domestic abuse incident, I always said Brown seemed uneasy around Rhianna. Like a little boy who still thinks girls are gross. It’s hard to explain. No shade to her at all. Did you see that leaked picture where Rhianna put her panties over his head? I always said he looked very uncomfortable and agitated in that photo. It was if the act put him in a negative space.

    As for little Wayne his whole childhood was really messed up. Although, I didn’t know he lost his virginity to a grown woman. I read the person was between the ages of 11 and 13.

  • Gabie Aldrich

    How sad! That’s why movies like Sweetback should be banned!

  • blogdiz

    So much about this dude now makes sense whether he comes to terms with it or not he is a victim of sexual abuse and it is still playing out in his life

  • Nia

    You got to be a special kind of phucked up to want to have s ex with a little boy!

  • cryssi

    My ex was 9 when he lost his virginity to a 17 year old… I’ve seen grown women hit on my nephew when he was 13, he looked 16 but that is still underage. I was ready to slap someone.

  • Guest

    My husband was raped at 12 by his aunt who was 33 (and MARRIED) at the time and she served time in jail for it. He told me that she introduced him to adult movies and wanted to see how it feels to have intercourse for the first time and then his younger brother caught them in the act and told his family and they called the police on her and yes her husband divorced her ASAP. My husband had to go through therapy and then we met in high school and he told me about the incident and I was grossed out by it because a family member did that to him but I accepted him because he was up front about it before we did it.

    • Kelli Schultz

      Why should it even matter whether he told u before or after marriage? He was a victim of a crime.

  • Tonyoardee

    I definitely relate to this article, especially entering my freshman year of college all of my uncles were urging me to just go out and sleep with as many women as possible even though i wasnt that type of guy. I felt ashamed every time i came home for Thanksgiving or Christmas and they’d ask “how many you put down?? 5.. 6…?” and i would just have to lie

    • guest

      This is so sad. I also think this mindset adds to the multiple baby mama/baby daddy and broken homes epidemic in America, especially in the black community.

  • Karmen

    So this is really what is meant by the term “rape culture”. It’s so sad. I feel as if I have an understanding of CB now that I was really trying to get to because he was just getting me mad and nothing he was doing or saying was adding up. I think because he is so beautiful physically, (face) he almost got away with covering up all the ugliness. He always looked so sharp, hair cut just so, skin smooth and clear, teeth bright and beautiful and then the veneer was broken with the beating of Rihanna. It didn’t make sense that he as the “nice, handsome, happy teen” from a nice family could do such a thing. It made even less sense that he basically didn’t see he had done anything wrong. Now it makes sense. He was violated, not just by the teen who abused him as a child, but by the community, the teen friends who made his little 8 year old mind believe it had any understanding of what was happening, let alone that he was okay with it. At 8. So sad. But we have to be responsible for what is ours and his responsibility to himself is to properly heal from his past. Who knows if he has the strength of mind to do so. If he doesn’t no amount of covering up with tattoos and clothing and hiding behind girlfriends and friends is going to do him any good.

    • Pretty girl

      Rape culture was apparent when there were women defending R Kelly for sleeping with the 14 year old because ” she looked grown” and “knew what she was doing.”

      Those comments will always burn me.

      • Kelli Schultz

        Truly u right.The fact that is was women is most disgusting. They wouldn’t be saying that if it was their daughter.

      • Hello

        That garbage made me mad too. But at the end of the R. Kelly got what he deserved. His career is gone.

  • Erica

    This is more common than many people think. My ex-husband lost his virginity at age 12 to a 38 year old friend of his mother. When he told me the story of how he lost his virginity, I pointed out to him that he didn’t lose his virginity; he was raped/molested. He never looked at it that way until I pointed out the obvious. It’s a sad, but true fact.

    • Pretty girl

      So many men say the “lost their virginity” to some way older woman or man. That is really said that they still view it as normal in adulthood. It’s rape.

      I am 30 and if I sleep with a 18 year old, I still see that as taking advantage. Sort of why I don’t see how older men sleep with and marry 16 and 17 and 18 year olds.

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