Rihanna – in trouble due to double standards

The singer Rihanna has received criticism for her new music video in which she shoots her rapist.

Apparently the hooplah is because (in the narrative of the music video) she is raped then later lays in wait for him and shoots him dead in an act of pre-meditated revenge. For some reason I cannot watch the video linked to on the Daily Mail, so rely on the reporting of this.

It seems patriarchy is up in arms because how dare some woman retaliate against rape (well, their public excuse is that it would give rape victims the wrong idea, and that rape victims should seek justice in the ‘normal way’). Considering our UK rape conviction stats are still below 7% (around 3% in my county), clearly the ‘normal way’ has slim-to-none chance of actual justice for rape victims.

Yet male singers are allowed to sing about or show more senseless violence, that is not rooted in justice. Gang wars over turf, posturing, murdering females over jealousy, all A-OK. None of these popular male themes resemble anything like justifiable actions.

The lyrics from Tom Jones’ Delilah:

I saw the light on the night that I passed by her window
I saw the flickering shadows of love on her blind
She was my woman
As she deceived me I watched and went out of my mind
My, my, my, Delilah
Why, why, why, Delilah
I could see that girl was no good for me
But I was lost like a slave that no man could free
At break of day when that man drove away, I was waiting
I cross the street to her house and she opened the door
She stood there laughing
I felt the knife in my hand and she laughed no more

My, my, my Delilah
Why, why, why Delilah
So before they come to break down the door
Forgive me Delilah I just couldn’t take any more

She stood there laughing
I felt the knife in my hand and she laughed no more
My, my, my, Delilah
Why, why, why, Delilah
So before they come to break down the door
Forgive me Delilah I just couldn’t take any more
Forgive me Delilah I just couldn’t take any more

Patriarchy deems female infidelity worthy of retaliation and murder, no one bats an eyelash.

Rape is a crime against the person. Rarely seeing justice in the ‘proper channels’ of the courtroom. In my view, retaliation is justifiable. However, in real life, it would still be the woman ending up in prison for murder.

My words for Rihanna, if I may be presumptuous, are “you go girl”.

19 thoughts on “Rihanna – in trouble due to double standards

  1. Hecuba

    Indeed the greatest heresy a woman can commit is to kill the male perpetrator. That is why the few numbers of women who kill their male partners because he has subjected them to years of violence, are charged with murder, convicted and then sentenced to long prison terms.

    Women must be submissive and passive and accord men their supposedly ‘rightful respect ‘ because men’s rules are law. Yet more pseudo moralising from the Daily Male telling women ‘you musn’t even be depicted as killing a male rapist because that upsets male supremacy. Remember folks this video is ‘fantasy’ it is not reality so why all the male hysteria? Why isn’t the male up in arms about the innumerable porn fantasies circulating the internet – the porn fantasies (sic) showing males subjecting women to sadistic sexualised torture and no these are not ‘fantasies’ or
    make believe’ they are real acts of sadistic male sexual violence being committed against women and girls.

    So it is fine for men to sing/portray themselves as violent sadistic women-haters – aka heroic men who take lethal action against those nasty, unfaithful, devious women but woe betide any female singing a song about killing a male who has raped her!

    I’ve always maintained male supremacy is not logical or even rational despite men claiming otherwise. Male Supremacy’s mantra is ‘what men say and do is rational’ – whereas what women say and do is illogical and/or hysterical posturing!’

    Likewise – you go Rhianna – kill the male rapist! By the way my last sentence is ‘fantasy’ – not fact – just as pornographers and their apologists claim porn films are ‘fantasy’ not reality!

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  2. Sargasso Sea

    By the way my last sentence is ‘fantasy’ – not fact – just as pornographers and their apologists claim porn films are ‘fantasy’ not reality!

    Exactly, Hecuba! Women can *compartmentalize* too!!1!

    Really, when we say “Hey, rapist, I hope you choke to death on your own dick!” we’re just having some good clean fun. Nobody’s getting hurt. Yet. 😛

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  3. FAB Libber aka Dave the Squirrel

    chop chop chop
    snip snip snip

    *sorry* just went into “fantasy mode”, LOL

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  4. ball buster

    I haven’t been the biggest fan of Rhianna lately, especially since her duet with Eminem and latest lamestream hit “s&m” where she sings about sniffing sex in the air.

    But yeah, the criticism against her for *this* song is completely unfounded. Men are rape spankers that hate the idea of consequences.

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  5. survivorthriver

    Time to start buying Rihanna tunes!

    A friend is married to a Nepali man, and I read in a book about his country that in Nepal is illegal to rape a prostitute, and, self defense in rape including murder of assailant is protected.

    But, I also remember reading in one of his books in their home that a woman is excused from murder charges if she kills her rapist w/i 24 hours, and if it takes up to a week to round up the relatives and go find him, she may also be excused from any charges against her with a decent explanation as well.

    Buy Rihanna! It’d also be interesting to see reaction of women in DV shelters to her tune. This sounds like anthem material to me. “Oh say can you see…by the gunpowders bright blare…what so proudly was manhood streaming…is so massively now bleeding….” Well, no song writer here, but we need more rapist retribution theme songs and videos.

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  6. FAB Libber aka Dave the Squirrel

    They are some mighty sensible laws!
    The rape culture thrives because there is little chance of punishment (either by law or by retribution).

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  7. delphyne

    What’s wrong with killing rapists?

    I can’t see the logic in that one.

    Vid here:

    [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQPVhlMHvvs]]

    Nice reggae track. Rihanna back to her roots.

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  8. Sargasso Sea

    It’s a 22, I call her Peggy Sue
    When she fits right down in my shoes
    What do you expect me to do
    If you’re playing me for a fool
    I will lose my cool
    And reach for my fire arm

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  9. FAB Libber aka Dave the Squirrel

    What struck me watching the video, immediately, was that she was full of remorse. So hardly an irresponsible video/song at all. In fact, what she has said in interviews about the video and subject, is rather sensible, feminist and actually bringing the subject of rape to public attention, raising public awareness, particularly among the group (young women and teens) most likely to be affected by rape.

    Rihanna Explains Controversial ‘Man Down’ Video on BET’s ‘106 & Park’ (Video)

    “Rape is, unfortunately, happening all over the world and in our own homes, and we continue to cover it up,” she says of the clip that has been attacked by advocacy groups for its violence.

    Rihanna called in to BET’s 106 & Park on Thursday night to explain the story behind her controversial new video for “Man Down.”

    The singer said she didn’t set out to create controversy but isn’t surprised that a trio of advocacy groups have attacked the clip, which shows her shooting a man who has sexually assaulted her.

    “Rape is, unfortunately, happening all over the world and in our own homes and we continue to cover it up and pretend it doesn’t happen,” Rihanna said. “Boys and girls feel compelled to be embarrassed about it, and they hide it from everyone, including their teachers, their parents, and their friends. That only continues to empower the abusers.”

    She pointed out that the song’s lyrics show that her character is remorseful about the killing. However, the lyrics don’t mention a rape, but Rihanna said that part was added to the video to flesh out the story.

    “Making that into a mini-movie or video, we needed to go back to why it happened,” she said. “Obviously she’s not a cold-blooded killer. It had to be something so offensive. And 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 — whose ex, Chris Brown, pleaded guilty to felony assault against her almost two years ago — added that she doesn’t condone violence or murder.

    “I’ve been abused in the past, and you don’t see me running around killing people in my spare time,” she said. “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.”

    The video debuted on 106 & Park on Tuesday. The next day, the Parents Television Council, Industry Ears and the Enough Is Enough Campaign teamed up to “condemn” the video because of its violent imagery. They urged BET parent company Viacom to yank it from the air.

    Paul Porter, co-founder of Industry Ears and a former music programmer for BET, in a statement called the video “an inexcusable, shock-only, shoot-and-kill theme song.”

    BET responded in a statement Thursday: “BET Networks has a comprehensive set of standards and guidelines that are applied to all of our content. The Rihanna ‘Man Down’ video complied with these guidelines and was approved for air. At the same time, it is clear that the ‘Man Down’ video has sparked a passionate dialogue and we will continue this conversation with our audience tonight on 106 & Park.”

    Rihanna also defended the video on Twitter earlier in the day: “I’m a 23 year old rockstar 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! We have the freedom to make art, LET US! Its your job to make sure they dont turn out like US. U can’t hide your kids from society, or they’ll never learn how to adapt! This is the REAL WORLD.”

    Here are the lyrics:

    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

    What started out as a simple altercation
    Turned into a real sticky situation
    Me just thinking on the time that I’m facing
    Makes me wanna cry

    ‘Cause I didn’t mean to hurt him
    Could’ve been somebody’s son
    And I took his heart when
    I pulled out that gun

    Rum bum bum bum
    Rum bum bum bum
    Rum bum bum bum
    Man down
    Rum bum bum bum
    Rum bum bum bum
    Rum bum bum bum
    Man down

    Oh, mama, mama, mama
    I just shot a man down
    In central station
    In front of a big old crowd
    Oh why, oh why
    Oh, mama, mama, mama
    I just shot a man down
    In central station

    It’s a 22, I call her Peggy Sue
    When she fits right down in my shoes
    What do you expect me to do
    If you’re playing me for a fool
    I will lose my cool
    And reach for my fire arm

    I didn’t mean to lay him down
    But it’s too late to turn back now
    Don’t know what I was thinking
    Now he’s no longer living
    So I’m ’bout to leave town

    ‘Cause I didn’t mean to hurt him
    Could’ve been somebody’s son
    And I took his heart when
    I pulled out that gun

    Rum bum bum bum
    Rum bum bum bum
    Rum bum bum bum
    Man down
    Rum bum bum bum
    Rum bum bum bum
    Rum bum bum bum
    Man down

    Oh, mama, mama, mama
    I just shot a man down
    In central station
    In front of a big old crowd
    Oh why, oh why
    Oh, mama, mama, mama
    I just shot a man down
    In central station

    Look, I never thought I’d do it
    Never thought I’d do it
    Never thought I’d do it, oh gosh
    What ever happened to me
    Ever happened to me, ever happened to me
    Why did I pull the trigger
    Pull the trigger, pull the trigger, boom
    And end a nigga, end a niggas life so soon
    When me pull the trigger, pull the trigger, pull it ‘pon you
    Somebody tell me what I’m gonna, what I’m gonna do

    Rum bum bum bum
    Rum bum bum bum
    Rum bum bum bum
    Me say wah man down (A weh me say)
    Rum bum bum bum
    Rum bum bum bum
    Rum bum bum bum
    When me went downtown

    ‘Cause now I am a criminal, criminal, criminal
    Oh lord have mercy now I am a criminal
    Man down
    Tell the judge please give me minimal
    Run out of town,
    None of them can see me now, see me now

    Oh, mama, mama, mama
    I just shot a man down
    In central station
    In front of a big old crowd
    Oh why, oh why
    Oh, mama, mama, mama
    I just shot a man down
    In central station

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  10. delphyne

    “I’ve been abused in the past, and you don’t see me running around killing people in my spare time,” she said. “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.”

    this needs a little addition:

    “Try not to be naive, and of course, stay away from men”.

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  11. Sargasso Sea

    “I’m just a girl, I can only be your/our voice!”

    Two thumbs up for Rhianna for that! WOOT!

    It’s one of the mantras I chant (at least yearly) to The Kid: No young woman under the age of 25 has any business biologically and/or psychologically even thinking about knitting and/or raising a child for any reason at all because they are still biologically and psychologically *children* themselves. Period. End of paragraph.

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  12. FAB Libber aka Dave the Squirrel

    I am with you on that SarSea, on the 25 thing. Between 18-25 they are still “proto-adults”, still discovering who they are.

    Which is why they prefer young women under 25 for porn – they are easier to MANipulate. For a long time the Sun’s Page 3 was able to publish pictures of 16yo’s topless (it has now been raised to 18). So, a teen could pose topless, but not vote? What was wrong with that picture?!

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  13. delphyne

    Sam Fox did become a lesbian. Wonder why?

    I’d never thought of the 25 being adulthood idea. When you look back to 18 now it’s ridiculous what men are allowed to do to very young girls because they are supposedly adults.

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  14. FAB Libber aka Dave the Squirrel

    Sam Fox was in P3 when she was 16. Her father was well-creepy (reading what Joan Smith wrote about it in her book Misogynies). I did not know that SF was now on Team Lesbian! Sadly she was well-used by males, the meeja, and her father before then, I wonder if she has regrets now about being used like that?

    And of course, female pop stars also get used by their record companies and producers, who pimp them out to look raunchy and sexy. It is unnecessary, many a female popstar was successful back in the 60s/70s without the gyrating and skimpy outfits.

    And all of this stuff mainly happens to YW under 25. After 25, they generally get more assertive and are not as easily manipulated.

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  15. FAB Libber aka Dave the Squirrel

    I just heard on the radio news earlier today that they are (FINALLY!!!) thinking about bringing in a rating/classification system for music videos, a little like the movies have. It’s about bloody time. It’s part of Cameron’s ‘protect the children from premature sexualisation’ thing.

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  16. jilla

    The meeja will yell “censorship” and “free speech”. L. Fly*t was canonized on taxpayer funded radio the other day. as a champion of free speech and defender of civil liberties. That’s how far we have to go. I puke.

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  17. KatieS

    A bit late to the posting, but I just found this and it’s great! The video with emanmen was horrible, but this sounds great (I can’t get it to work on my computer). There are two connected elements here: Man rapes woman –> Woman kills man. To the patriarchy it is unacceptable to connect these two elements. If the following were portrayed in a song, no one would raise much of a fuss, I’d guess:

    *Man rapes woman –> Woman’s father kills rapist. (Well, yes, Dad would be less a man if he didn’t).
    *Woman goes psychotic–> Woman kills man. (Everyone knows women are out of control. Probably menstruating, ya know)
    *Man cheats on woman –> Woman kills man in a jealous rage. (Hey guys, you know these crazy women menstruate, don’t tempt fate like this)
    *Man rapes woman–>Woman is stoned to death by her male family members. (Too horrible to contemplate)
    *Man rapes woman –>Woman kills herself. (Too horribly sad to contemplate).

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