Man Down: The Many Sides of Rihanna - Page 2
The Parents Television Council (PTC,) Enough is Enough Foundation and entertainment group Industry Ears submitted a joint statement against the video, saying it was an enticement to young women to resort to violence.
In their statement, the PTC said Rihanna missed a “golden opportunity” to start a discussion about rape’s consequences, and to warn young women about staying safe. According to Industry Ears co-founder Paul Porter, “Man Down” is “an inexcusable, shock only, shoot-and-kill theme song,”
Like so many women in the public spotlight, Rihanna has had her life put on display for the rest of us, dolled up and high-heeled, smiling and effervescent, or bruised, battered and downright pissed off. When Rihanna voices her opinions, millions hear and voice back either in support or against.
Following a complaint registered by PTC with Black Entertainment Television, Rihanna called BET’s “106 and Park” show, stating that she had not wished to spark controversy with her song and video, but “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.” She also reminded viewers that the song’s lyrics clearly demonstrate that the woman who does the shooting regretted her actions.
On Twitter, Rihanna took a much stronger stance. “U can’t hide your kids from society, or they’ll never learn how to adapt! This is the REAL world!” Rihanna also used Twitter to remind her followers to peacefully state their disagreement with members of the PTC, regardless of how strongly they supported her.
Rihanna would appear to have sparked, yet again, another important conversation about what we all view as appropriate feminine behavior, as well as a healthy reminder about the importance of ensuring a safe environment for all women to simply be themselves.
Who pulls today’s woman in one direction or another, pushes her to exhibit both sides of Rihanna’s palindrome? The society in which she is embedded, suggesting that she act according to the definitions provided her by so many others. In societies that take these demands to an extreme, when a woman fails to act according to one’s whims, she is struck out against and coldly dispensed with, yet another used novelty.
Let’s face it — “Man Down” strikes a familiar chord with many women, who have never turned to violence despite a variety of painful wrongs that have occurred in their lives, wrongs they may still be dealing with on a daily basis. It is no coincidence that women have made box office blockbusters out of such violence-as-retaliation films as “Burning Bed,” “Enough,” “Sleeping With The Enemy,” “Chicago,” and many others.Continued on the next page