Two wrongs don’t make a right? Particularly when the audience is largely made up of teenagers. It’s Parents vs. Rihanna in her latest challenging video.
Rihanna‘s latest, Man Down (video below), bravely depicts rape—the worst crime of crimes, and one that should no longer be hidden from public contemplation.
But…it also depicts revenge—murder—as a result of said rape. This is the second time of late that an incredible song featuring Rihanna’s talents has mixed powerful issues of sexuality and violence with catchy, child- and teenage-friendly beats.
The PTC says that as a victim of assault RiRi skipped the opportunity to tell rape victims to seek help from the police instead of taking matters into their own hands. The founder of an anti-violence organization called “Enough is Enough” (which sort of sounds like the name of a Donna Summer fan club) is backing up the PTC and issued this statement of words to CNN about the video:
“I join with the Parents Television Council and Industry Ears in calling on Viacom executives to immediately pull the video from programs that are targeted to youth and teenagers.”
Further complicating the question is the camera’s habit of (repeatedly) focusing on her breasts and sexuality, generally, throughout the flashback—as if her fashion, lack of clothes and cheery magnetism were in any way responsible for the heinous crime that befalls her. “She was asking for it,” we hoped, is a notion had been justly judged as inexcusable back in the 80s, say.
“…we decided to hone in on a very serious matter that people are afraid to address, especially if you’ve been victimized in this scenario.”
Rihanna, who in 2009 was attacked by her then-companion, Chris Brown, said that she had “been abused in the past, and you don’t see me running around killing people in my spare time.” She added: “I just really want girls to be careful. Have fun, be sassy, be innocent and sweet. Be everything that you are but just try not to be naive.”
That last point? Amen, sister. Good people can’t be too careful in this sometimes cynical, selfish, fearful, speedy, greedy society.
Video (not appropriate for children):