But this isn’t about him hitting her. He said he was sorry. He said it on TV, he said it online, he said it on the radio with songs like Crawl and Changed Man. He apologized to his fans, to his family and, most of all, to Rihanna. He let Larry King rake him over the coals. Both were seen together at Diddy’s house just days after the incident, yet, even after all of this, the media continued to berate only Brown. Both artists had scheduled tour dates they had to rearrange, both had new albums they’d been working on, both had fans that suffered.
So why does it seem like our culture can’t see through the publicity stunt that Rihanna used to sell her albums? She told Diane Swayer, “If I didn’t have little girls looking up to me, I’d have stayed with him.” Uh, really? She can say that, but we can’t let Chris Brown perform on GMA?
Lest we forget that a few weeks ago, when asked what she wanted for Thanksgiving, Rihanna said “Food and Sex.” Her new album seems to be following along the lines of Disturbia, with songs like Russian Roulette that have dark lyrics about death, love and sex. In another interview she said that her next boyfriend “better be well endowed, because size matters.”
Am I the only one who heard that? Are we missing something here?
Lately, it seems like we’re punishing the wrong person. [emphasis ours]
Now we come to the crux of the argument. Why isn't Rihanna being punished for being punched in the face?
Let's take a moment for that to sink in. Because that's really the question this poster and so many others making the same argument are asking. And to them, it doesn't sound ridiculous.
What they are also asking is why isn't Rihanna acting like we think a "victim" should.
- She should have put her career on hold. ["Both artists had scheduled tour dates they had to rearrange, both had new albums they’d been working on"]
- She definitely shouldn't talk truthfully about her experiences or set an example for other women. ["She can say that, but we can’t let Chris Brown perform on GMA?"]
- She certainly can't ever date again. ["In another interview she said that her next boyfriend 'better be well endowed, because size matters.' ... Are we missing something here?"]
- I get to tell her how to live her life, what she should do and who she should see, but I see absolutely no irony in the fact that I'm treating this woman like a batterer would. This includes thinking that she should be punished for violence inflicted upon her.
We applaud Rihanna for getting on with her life and are glad she has the resources to do so. She can get a new place to live. She can go on with her career without worrying about him showing up at work. She can hire a lawyer who will get a judge to listen to her. She can hire a therapist to help her heal emotionally. But instead, she's supposed to hide in her shame even though she committed no crime, while Chris Brown can go to a few anger management classes and expect his fans to rally for the resurgence of his career.
That's the part that sounds ridiculous to us.