On Loving F***Boys At The Expense of Women: Thoughts on Bobby Brown...


So, I think it's time someone finally said it: Bobby Brown is trash. Not was....IS...as in currently. And I, for one, don't understand the reframing of him as some sort of musical legend when his most popular career decision was marrying Whitney Houston and running her life into the ground. I mean, he wasn't even in New Edition for "Can You Stand The Rain". 


Last night, BET aired part 1 of the miniseries The Bobby Brown Story. Now, when I first heard he was getting a spinoff of the New Edition movie (which was actually really good!), my first response was WHY?! I mean, what more could we possibly need to know about Boston's king of bad decisions? Plus, I already knew this would be yet another chance for Bobby to tell his side of a part of Whitney's life story and, honestly, it's so tired. But, as any good Black woman, I decided to give the brother a chance. Maybe, just maybe, I could learn something new that may change my mind about him. Hell, I could possibly become a fan. 



I'm not. And here's why: I am tired of f***boys being heralded in our communities and being armed with the opportunity to tell their stories which usually include, in explicit detail, the personal lives of women. It's gross. And cheap. Scene after scene of women being willing to do "whatever it takes" to get close to rich and famous men who throw them out of hotel rooms half-dressed or leave them with babies to feed as they move on to the next best conquest are tired. And including stories about famous women (like Janet Jackson) that they themselves haven't told as your own personal circle jerk is...prepubescent, to say the least. Robert Barisford Brown...really? We need to see a scene of you banging an engaged Janet because it adds to your legacy how? What is your legacy? Getting women who are way out of your league to jump in bed with you? Nice. And Whitney...whew...how many times are we going to be subjected to seeing how terribly you treated her with the caveat of her being a drug addict? You're trying to clear your name at the expense of a woman who is not here to defend herself...the mother of your daughter who is also not here under devastating circumstances. And for what? To sell New Edition tour tickets? Negro, please.

And what's worse? The way we all eat it up. The fact that Bobby has any room at all to even be given the opportunity to make a self aggrandizing, multi night biopic series is problematic as hell. HE SPIT ON WHITNEY HOUSTON. Spit on her, y'all. After cheating on her. Repeatedly. Having babies on her. Not protecting her. Not getting help for her or himself. Being mentally, emotionally and physically abusive to her. Allowing the mess that was Being Bobby Brown to be seen on TV. I mean...we could go on and on. And this is the guy we give platform to? This is the guy we are letting reframe his career and image as a "rockstar bad boy" who was just young, rich and dumb? His actions. His "prerogative". Had lasting ramifications that people had to die to escape completely. The amount of children he has sprawled around whose lives he was not present for should mean more than a few "Damn Bobby was a wild boy" posts and a payday. Badly behaved men who do real damage to the women, men and children in their lives don't deserve to hold pens and tell their redemption tales. They don't deserve to be called "the king" of a damn thing. If we're cancelling abusers---why is Bobby's abuse on show for consumption like a soap opera? I think of Whitney's friend (and rumored lover), Robin, and how it must hurt to see herself reduced to nothing but a jealous, squawking bird as the man who caused severe heartbreak to someone she loves gets flowers for defecating on her grave. I hurt for her. And I hurt for all of the women who become afterthoughts in the stories of men who will never, really, have to atone for their sins. 

Hey, it's only entertainment. Right? But ask yourself, if we claim to be a people focused on digging up the firmly planted seeds of misogyny/abuse/lack of accountability to the Black family structure---what message does it send when men like Bobby are allowed to prosper? What does it tell our sons about how to engage with women they are in intimate relationships with? What does it tell our daughters to accept or expect? Or is it only the artists whose work we have less of a connection to who deserve to be silenced? I don't have the answers but I know, as a woman, especially a Black woman, I have grown weary of seeing problematic Black male figures gloss over their wrongs like they're little stumbling blocks instead of boulders of destruction. I am tired of them making light of their deep-seeded insecurities that strangle the light out of the women in their lives. I am FURIOUS at the thought of women suffering silently and dying in hotel bathtubs heartbroken from the disappointment of giving love to broken vessels who are never forced into wholeness. I am disgusted at the memory of a little girl not having her father to help her mourn the tragic loss of her mother in the public eye. I am disappointed that so few people see the wrong in abusive men unless there is visual evidence and even then we "need to hear the whole story". I am hoping for better....

but i know better.

Iman Milner5 Comments