Chris Brown’s Disturbing Story Of Sexual Abuse Doesn’t Excuse His Actions, But It’s Still Really Sad

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shutterstock_122223769__1381065934_142.196.156.251Chris Brown sat down with journalist Decca Aitkenhead of the Guardian and revealed a pretty disturbing story from his past; he lost his virginity when he was 8-years-old to a 15-year-old neighbor. Most people would label that sexual abuse.

I dislike Chris Brown as much as the next feminist. Well, actually – probably more. I don’t like men who beat their girlfriends to a bloody pulp and then basically say Fuck you world. Stop giving me a hard time about this! Still, this is a disturbing and sad revelation – no matter how fondly he remembers it.

Here’s what Brown has to say about it:

He lost his virginity when he was eight years old, to a local girl who was 14 or 15. Seriously? “Yeah, really. Uh-huh.” He grins and chuckles. “It’s different in the country.” Brown grew up with a great gang of boy cousins, and they watched so much porn that he was raring to go. “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.”

The experience doesn’t excuse the fact that he went on to be violently abusive. There are plenty of people who witness or experience abuse in their childhoods and do not go on to be abusers themselves. In fact, the statistic is 70 percent. 70 percent of people who witness abuse do not go on to abuse others. It’s still very awful that this happened to the young Brown. The story is riddled with quotes that make him even less likable than he already is. I understand not wanting to sympathize with someone like him. All I’m saying is, can we not make the 8-year-old Brown – who was clearly raped – out to be some braggart child? Can we recognize that something horrible happened to this child? Can we not refer to the abuse of an 8-year-old boy as “a vaguely traumatic incident from his childhood?”

An 8-year-old can’t consent to sex; I don’t care how fondly his adult self remembers it. Chris Brown was abused. He’s making light of the sexual abuse of a child. Yes, I understand that he’s talking about himself, but his adult brain should comprehend the message his statements about his past are sending. And media outlets like Jezebel should understand their messages, too. Calling the sexual abuse of a child a “vaguely traumatic incident” is really inexcusable. I don’t care how unlikeable an adult that child turned out to be.

(photo: Jaguar PS/ Shutterstock)