In Defense of Ri Ri

There’s a lot of controversy surrounding Rihanna’s new video for “Man Down.” As described in the lyrics of the song, Rihanna shoots a “man down” in a crowded station in the video. The backlash is coming from parents who think it’s too violent to actually show her shooting the man.

“Parents across the board were angered and shocked at the video that features a young lady shooting a man at point blank range in retaliation for a sexual assault. Criticism from the video has garnered attention from the likes of the Parents Television Council.” – MTV.com

In response to all of this, Rihanna took to every celeb’s fav. means of communication – Twitter – and said:

“I’m a 23 year old rock star with NO KIDS! What’s up with everybody wantin me to be a parent? I’m just a girl, I can only be your/our voice!” Rihanna wrote on Thursday. “Cuz we all know how difficult/embarrassing it is to communicate touchy subject matters to anyone especially our parents! And this is why! … Cuz we turn the other cheek! U can’t hide your kids from society, or they’ll never learn how to adapt! This is the REAL WORLD! … The music industry isn’t exactly Parents R Us! We have the freedom to make art, LET US! It’s your job to make sure they don’t turn out like US.”

Personally, I don’t think this tweet makes a whole lot of sense, but I do side with Rihanna and I think I know what she’s getting at. First of all, as a victim of domestic violence, I think Rihanna has every right to make statements of female empowerment. But some people are saying that the video suggests to young Rihanna fans that murder is an acceptable form of revenge. To that I say: false. Just listen to the song:

“I didn’t mean to end his life
I know it wasn’t right
I can’t even sleep at night
Can’t get it off my mind
I need to get out of sight
Before I end up behind bars”

The whole song is about the remorse and fear she feels after killing this man. Also, this is not the first song to be written about murder. If you recall, I actually already pointed out the similarities between this song and “Bohemian Rhapsody.” And what about “I Shot the Sheriff”?

This is nothing new, but the fact that she’s a young female pop star that’s supposed to be a role model makes it controversial. Well you know what, give her a break! It’s just an artistic expression – she’s not going to go shoot anyone. Chris Brown would have been a “man down” a long time ago if that were the case. And parents, Rihanna is not exactly the best role model for your little girls anyway. Have you heard “S&M”? And I would say “Rude Boy” is pretty inappropriate for your little ones…

“Can you get it up
Come here rude boy, boy
Is you big enough?”

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