I understand why everyone is so amped up about this video of Solange Knowles attacking Jay Z in the elevator at the Met Ball, I really do. But that doesn’t mean it’s okay to make light of the situation.
Even if Beyonce weren’t one of the most famous people on the planet, it’s a rare thing to for a celebrity or a sibling of a celebrity to lose control like that, and even rarer for the public to be able to watch it. It’s schadenfreude on a level we don’t often get to experience, and it’s made all the more delicious by the fact that we have absolutely no idea what the altercation was about.
But all that said — it’s not something that we should be making light of on social media. I’ve seen a lot of the memes, and I’ll admit to even chuckling at a few of them, but that was before I realized: would we be reacting this way if it had been a man attacking a woman? No chance. Why is it fair game to make light of a violent act when its perpetrated by a women, when we’d be calling for an arrest if it had been a man throwing those punches?
— God’s Son (@myna_thots) May 12, 2014
I think part of it is probably down to the fact that Solange was prevented from actually hurting Jay, but we have video evidence that proves it wasn’t for lack of trying. Her intention was to hurt someone, and it doesn’t really matter if she was successful or not. Bottom line, she lost control and resorted to violence, which is never ever okay. It’s not okay when Chris Brown does it, it’s not okay when Emma Roberts does it, it’s not okay when Sean Penn does it, and it’s not okay when Solange does it.
If we want physical violence to be taken seriously, we can’t make those decisions on an individual basis. We can’t call it ‘assault’ when a man does it and a ‘catfight’ when it’s woman-on-woman, nor can we use the adjective ‘passionate’. That wasn’t an act of passion, that was an act of violence, and we owe it to ourselves to treat it accordingly.
As weird as it sounds, holding Solange accountable for her actions is actually a feminist issue for me, because I want all instances of violence to be treated equally, no matter the gender of the attacker. Or the race, religion, sexual orientation, age, or social standing, for that matter, but I understand that’s a long battle to fight.
— IG: KOEMYLO (@KOEMYLO) May 12, 2014
Ultimately, what Solange did was not okay, and she needs to be responsible for her actions. But we also need to be responsible for ours.