Rihanna's New Video - Yay or Nay?

| Thursday, June 2, 2011
So, Rihanna causes quite a stir every time she releases a video, but do people make too much of a big deal out of it? Many times the feminist community is split amongst itself over questions of sexuality and depictions of women doing violent acts. Let's just push that aside and look at the issue at hand. The Parents Television Council is up in arms over Rihanna's latest "Man Down" single because of the video, and this is just shortly after "S&M" stirred up controversy because of the portrayal of what many would term 'sexual deviance,' rather than 'normal sexuality.'

What's wrong with "Man Down"? Well, it starts with Rihanna shooting a guy in the head. We later find out that he sexually assaulted her outside after Rihanna leaves the club where the two of them danced. Many think it went too far because she is condoning that sexual assault/domestic violence survivors use violence as a means of attaining justice.

Well, it's really just a fictitious story, and the message can be taken the wrong way, but I will play devil's advocate and say that I like the message in some ways. 1) It's not saying that THIS IS what survivors should do; it's just what she did in the video. 2)Shock value - 'nuff said! Think Eminem's "Kim" 3)It just shows that both men and women are capable of incredibly violent acts toward each other. 4)The truth is that women are often looked at more harshly for doing such an act. 5)Rihanna took her power back in the most animalistic way possible, instead of just taking it.

Let's not make so many moralistic judgments on the woman for this video. In the end, any of us could be put in that situation and one never knows what will happen. I would even venture to say that people see this portrayal in an even worse light because this was done by a woman of color. No one can deny that race plays a role in the way violent crimes (any crimes) are treated!

I say Yay to this video! And just for an aside, I mostly always like her hair. Please feel free to comment about what you think, but no flaming!



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