CW: domestic violence, misogyny.
This week Chris Brown was handed a restraining order for threatening to kill his former partner, Karrueche Tran, he has previously pled guilty to domestic violence against another former partner, pop-singer Rihanna. Brown’s misogyny has received significant and widespread coverage, and any who are even vaguely familiar with the rapper are aware of this situation.
Edinburgh University Law Society issued a tweet reading: “@ChrisBrown our President is a huge fan, would you mind sneaking in a song or two at our annual Law Society Ball? #LB17 #WeAreLoyal”. Such a flagrant disregard for the performer’s violent misogyny begs belief, and the suggestion that “we are loyal” is deeply unsettling given it could be interpreted to infer that this is a forgiveness of Brown’s many deplorable transgressions.
The tweet has since been deleted, but the fact that it was published in the first place is indicative of a careless approach to a critical issue. Misogyny kills and those who fail to actively call out known abusers are complicit in a society which facilitates this violence. By glazing over Brown’s convictions, professing public admiration from a University society, or tweeting statements of loyalty despite probable and evident criminality, this society is contributing to a culture which minimises the crimes of abusers and gives them cultural carte blanche by indicating that their violence will always be overlooked as footnote. It is deeply ironic that a group of students who intend to pursue careers where they will be upholding the justice of the land should not be more sensitive in this situation.
This is not the first time the group has been at the heart of such controversy, in October 2013 Edinburgh University Law society students received widespread condemnation for sporting blackface at a social event. Whether this latest case, Delta Kappa Epsilon making threats of rape, or the Speculative Society’s historic exclusion of members for their gender or class, Edinburgh University has an ongoing and systemic problem with privileged students perpetuating structural violence as a nonchalant pastime. We need to be actively calling out these deplorable instances and holding these students to account, shying away from such criticism is tantamount to idle complicity.
If you are looking to express your dissatisfaction with the Edinburgh University Law Society, you can reach them on twitter @EdinburghLawSoc,or get in touch with EUSA VPSA Jess Husband.
[This is an ongoing story, as sources are reached for comment this article may be amended or subject to substantive change]