Let’s face the music and admit that everyone is afraid of the truth. At least that’s what Rihanna is saying these days in reference to her new video “Man Down”. Unlike many of the special interest groups that have come out in groves to voice their lack of tolerance for the video’s content, I find it accurate in it’s depiction. By no means am I condoning the end result but I do recognize that their are women throughout the world who are trapped in abusive relationships or may encounter a man unwilling to take “no” for an answer. This video is actually a very telling story about a woman forced to protect herself by taking what some may consider to be the most extreme measures to rid herself of a bad situation. There is nothing disturbing in this video. Only the truth.
Rape, incest and homophobia are not only synonymous with West Indian culture but are prevalent issues in all communities. As long as we insist on speaking in hushed whispers we will cause more detriment while silencing the victims.
The lyrics are emotional and heartfelt. The video is visually appealing because clearly she’s taken the vibe back to her roots. Love it! Even in the tonality of her voice you can hear an urgency. A need to tell yet another woman’s story. A mother. An aunt. A sister. In some small way we can all relate. Although some may disagree with the way the message was delivered you can’t deny it’s effectiveness. Let’s be real. When someone has hurt you it’s a natural reflex to want to do unto them what has been done unto you. Truth of the matter is, “Someone has.”
Why is it okay for a man to promote violence in film but when a woman does it it’s largely criticized? When a woman’s fed up a woman’s fed up. Ya’ll know the song. Rihanna’s five minutes and forty-second video is no different than us watching full length movies timing in at 90-120 minutes that perpetuate the same type of violence that has been ascribed to her mini video. I won’t even waste your time with the typical sexual objectification of women that seems to be Hollywood’s trademark. It’s the same ol’ conversation.
But in case your memory needs jarring here are just a few that come to mind:Scarface, Thelma and Louise, Belly and The Godfather(all three parts) Double standard in place as long as the movie makes millions.
This is one woman telling many women stories. Feel free to watch and listen. Or not. Enough said.