Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about/seen for yourself the hashtag “WhatJayZSaidToSolange” which has taken over the internet, and sparked the creation of hundreds of memes over the past 24 hours.
However, I for one am not amused.
But I think this is very different.
The video that TMZ released this morning is of Solange Knowles reportedly attacking Jay Z. There’s nothing funny or meme-worthy about it. In fact, when I saw it on the 5 o’clock news this afternoon, I found it quite disturbing.
Adding to this is the lack of audio, meaning that we don’t know (and probably never will) the circumstances surrounding the incident. We don’t know if alcohol was a contributing factor. We don’t know who said what or if anything was even said at all. We don’t know the relationship-history of these two adults.
But despite all this, one incredibly important thing that seems to have gotten lost amongst all the memes and Facebook posts and tweets and Instagram’s is: that there is never an excuse for violence. It’s why the government is implementing harsher penalties for coward punches. It’s why Real Housewives get banished from the couch during reunions.
Violent outbursts should never be made light of or tolerated, which is what these meme’s have been doing.
Now, let’s just imagine for a minute that the roles have been reversed. That it had been Jay Z getting up in Solanges face, hitting and kicking her to the point where he had to be restrained by another person. Would there be a meme of the situation?
So why the double standard?
According to a recent 1IN3 study, “In Australia, at least one in three victims of family violence and abuse is male (perhaps as many as one in two)”, and this problem is often not reported because of the stigma surrounding violence against men where a woman is the perpetrator.
It doesn’t matter that Jay Z is a pretty sturdy-looking guy. It doesn’t matter that the Carter-Knowles family are ‘high-profile’. It doesn’t matter that they may not have known they were being filmed. It doesn’t even matter that he may not have been injured in the process.
What matters is this: that we put a stop to the idea that one human being physically attacking another is something to joke about. Enough is enough.