Monday, November 9, 2009
Good day everyone!
What a gorgeous autumn day! Get out and enjoy it if you can!
So, this is my last rant on the whole Rihanna/Chris Brown saga. I was prepared to never talk about it again, but the jockeys on the radio were discussing it this morning and it made me hot all over again.
One of the radio personalities, Cipha Sounds, said that he believes Rihanna only spoke out to sell albums and that she must have done something to deserve what happened to her.
Now, I watched the full 20/20 Rihanna interview on Friday night. If you missed it, here is some more of her talk with Diane Sawyer.
Now, none of us were in that car with them. All we can go on is Rihanna and Chris' account of what happened. But, far as I know, he hasn't disputed any of what she said in the interview. He plead guilty to the charges and his been given a sentence. He has apologized over and over again for beating her, and she claims she is no longer with him. That's what we know.
But what I DON'T know is why our first instinct is to blame the victim. I'm not saying we ALL do it, or did it. But this morning, nothing but women...and women of color it seemed...called in IN DEFENSE of Chris Brown. Some said that men don't just do that for no reason. Some said that the "caribbean culture" dictates that Rihanna must have done something to him, because caribbean women "talk back" and "start stuff." One Jamaican woman went on a rant and said that even though Chris Brown was wrong for hitting her, she had to have done something.
That simply baffles me.
Rihanna admitted to arguing with him. She said it was a verbal altercation and that she never hit him. Whether we choose to believe her or not is our choice. However, short of her pulling out a knife or a gun on him, what could possibly have gone on in that car that warrants him using her face as a punching bag?! It's not like he was defending himself or fighting for his life. He was beating her in a car, pushing her face up against a window and BITING her.
What could she have said that warrants that? I don't care if she called him a "little d*ck muphucka" and cursed his mama - does ANYONE deserve a beating like that? Yes, there are woman out there who are violent and who hit men. They provoke arguments and raise up and break fool on people from time to time. But statistically, the majority of women who suffer from domestic abuse are NOT violent and DO NOT provoke altercations. Quite the opposite.
The beatdown aside, I think what troubles me most about domestic abuse in general, and this case in particular, is our instinct to blame the victim. Are we so programmed in this society to value a woman's life or her well-being LESS that we automatically make it HER fault? Why do we, especially women of color, come to the defense of the abuser, and not the abused? We call these women names and make accusations based on our own issues - like she must be stupid, or she has an attitude, or she's trying to sell records, or she's trying to ruin his career.
When watching that interview, I got the sense that she didn't really want to be there. She seemed confused. I could tell that she still held feelings for him. She seemed painfully honest, but still a bit overwhelmed by it all...but like she was trying to maintain as much control as she could muster. I think she sounded like a brave woman who admitted to loving a man who beat her, who was embarrassed by it all, and whose heart hasn't quite caught up with her head yet.
Some said she sounded stupid.
But to me, she sounded like a woman who was asked to do an interview so she can get it over with. Like a woman who still loves the man who beat her, but who she knows is wrong for her. Like a woman who feels the need to speak to young girls, even though she's still a young girl herself trying to figure out what happened.
Perhaps she should have waited until she was stronger and more sure of her feelings before she gave the interview. If anything, criticize her for THAT. But with a cd coming out soon, she and her team may have felt that in order for her to get back to her life and the business of making music, doing the interview would get all the questions that the media undoubtably has out of the way so that she COULD promote her album.
If you ask me, I think Rihanna would've preferred to NEVER talk about it...to put it behind her forever. But when you're a celebrity and in the public eye as much as the two of them are, it's impossible for the incident to just "go away." People would hound her until she had no choice but to talk about it, so she chose to do it her way. No YouTube, no Oprah (cuz that interview may have been VERY different had Oprah done it) and no crazy Larry King. Hopefully, now we can allow her to get back to her life and performing. Maybe now she can get back to being defined by her music, and not as a victim.
Sure, we don't know what happened...we weren't there. But what we DO know hasn't been disputed. What we DO know is that a woman was beaten. What we DO know is that this was the face she was left with at the hands of Chris Brown.
What else do we need to know?