Boycott Chris Brown

March 14, 2009

To mark International Women's Day in 2009, socialist youth organisation Resistance has launched a call on all Australian radio stations to boycott the music of US R&B singer Chris Brown.

Brown was arrested on February 8 under suspicion of making criminal threats, following his alleged assault of a woman, believed to be his partner, singer Robin Rihanna Fenty (aka Rihanna).

Police photos of Rihanna's face, heavily bruised and scratched, were leaked to the media on February 19.

Brown released a statement on February 15 expressing his regret about the incident, and has since been dropped from a number of promotional campaigns.

Brown has now been charged with assault likely to cause bodily injury and making criminal threats.

Resistance unequivocally condemns all domestic violence, and calls on Australian radio stations to cease playing Brown's music in condemnation of domestic violence, and in support of women who have suffered it.

Regardless of Brown's popularity as an artist, it is unacceptable for radio stations to give airtime to someone who beats women.

We need to send a message that this kind of behaviour shows a deep-seated lack of respect for women. Further, by taking a public stand against domestic violence, radio stations would be helping to counter the social stigma around this issue, which contributes to the false idea that domestic violence is a private matter.

Brown's assault shows that domestic violence remains an insidious and insistent social problem. Our society is still divided along gender lines — under capitalism, women still occupy an inferior social status.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics National Crime and Safety Surveys in 2005 available at <>, an estimated 44,100 adults were victims of at least one sexual assault in the 12 months prior to the survey.

Rihanna's experience is not an isolated case — young women suffer from a higher rate of violence and the majority of women know their attackers.

The decline of the women's liberation movement since it speak in the 1970s means that unhealthy attitudes to women and violence often go unchallenged.

The 2008 Sexual Harassment report by the Sex Discrimination Office found that one in five women who reported they had not experienced sexual harassment went on to describe behaviour they had experienced that did in fact constitute harassment.

In short, violence against women is a symptom of a system that oppresses women. Resistance is committed to challenging violence against women, alongside fighting for a socialist transformation of our society that places women's liberation at the forefront.

Women have the right to safety, independence and dignity in their lives and relationships, and the right to freedom from sexist harassment and discrimination.

Rather than feeling like victims, women can live without violence. It's up to men, not just women, to ensure that these rights, and ultimately, full equality, are achieved, and to challenge violence and sexist ideas wherever they emerge. The safety of women depends on it.

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