girls will be girls

*this post is inspired by the expressed thoughts of Zidonia, Linda, Genine, Dumi and Dr. Goddess*

I don’t ever want to hear “boys will be boys” ever again… If I must hear this pitiful excuse for coddling, then let us please adapt the adage that GIRLS will be GIRLS the next time your teenage cousin gets pregnant…

Whenever Chris “Breezy” Brown makes an appearance anywhere on television, a discussion on forgiveness versus punishment mushrooms in my social networking feeds (facebook, twitter). Last year, Brown plead guilty to assaulting his then girlfriend, Rihanna. Since the incident, people have been outspoken over what amount of punishment is appropriate and whether Brown could ever be forgiven. These conversations were resurrected when Brown performed at a BET awards show that aired Sunday June 27th. While some complained about Chris Brown being shunned too aggressively by too many for too long, others lampooned on the difficulty of breaking cycles of abuse and encouraged further punishment for him. Ultimately, the stories of similarly situated men in entertainment joined the discussion. Many “abusers” are not subject to the public outcry Chris Brown has experienced. In fact, I’ll take a leap of faith & assume MOST incidents of abuse are not subject to public outcry, ridicule, and shame. What about Charlie Sheen? – one friend asked… And Bebe Winans? – a married man, an elder, a spiritual leader to many… Should they be subject to greater public shaming than Chris Brown? (It should be noted, charges against Bebe Winans were dismissed, and Charlie Sheen is finalizing a reduced misdemeanor plea… unlike Chris Brown, who has a felony conviction for assaulting Rihanna)

I personally believe in equal accountability, punishment, reform and restoration for every abuser.  And I’m not so sure I see the value in public shaming – this, I believe leads people struggling with overcoming their abusive ways, into a defensive stance without specifically addressing their disease. But I digress…

The idea that we should have greater expectations of a 49 year old gospel star than a 20 year old pop star sounds logical. But the more I think about it, a littany of caveats are necessary when it comes to abuse.  Expecting more from Bebe Winans makes sense because he supposedly leads people not only as an entertainer, but also as a spiritual leader.  But to have lower expectations of Chris Brown is ludicrous!  At the age of 20, he has enough sense to know that he shouldn’t beat on cops, nor his boss.  So while I see no need to further drag him through the mud, let us not fool ourselves into thinking we are doing him any favors by coddling him.  Enough with the BOYS WILL BE BOYS attitude.  No.  Boys will be what we nurture and raise them to be.  Boys have enough sense not to abuse others.  Enough with the coddling.  If you wouldn’t have said the same for a girl, then drop this phrase, this double standard, and this attitude altogether.