In a time when music can become popular for having no meaning or message, it’s great when an Artist really takes a chance to makes the audience think. The Barbadian beauty Rihanna slings a gun in her latest video- ‘Man Down’ and kills a man. Although I don’t believe that one act of violence should lead to another act of violence- in the video Rihanna takes vengeance after being sexually assaulted- or raped. The video shows a struggle between Rihanna and a man that follows her . The video blurs into a subdued Rihanna with the mans hand over her mouth as tears stream down her face. The visual is extremely disturbing and powerful. Obviously it scratches the surface of sexual assault- but it’s an important conversation that needs to be had.
The reggae style song features the lyrics “Momma, I just shot a man dead…I never been so proud.” In my heart and mind- I can’t say I wouldn’t side with a woman who has been brutally raped- even though I know 2 wrongs don’t make a right but in countries where women have NO power, they are merely things- the laws of the civilized nations do not apply. A woman cannot go to her lawmakers and demand justice. There is none. Women don’t have a say- and sometimes the justice is just their own.
“Young girls/women all over the world… we are a lot of things!” Rihanna tweeted following the video’s premiere on BET’s “106 & Park” on May 31. “We’re strong, innocent, fun, flirtatious, vulnerable, and sometimes our innocence can cause us to be naïve! We always think it could NEVER be us, but in reality, it can happen to ANY of us! So ladies be careful and #listentoyomama! I love you and I care!”
To all the women out there who have been raped or assaulted, I wish you peace. Death will not make what has been done go away. Ask Gabrielle Union who spoke out in support of the video. Gabrielle, who was a victim of rape herself, says she tried to shoot her rapist as well- but missed. She goes on further to say that in self defense it’s ok, but not ok if pre-meditated. My question is, we show women being hurt and assaulted in the media all the time- but when women are shown reversing the role they are criticized. Why?
Gabrielle tweets “#Mandown video did a GREAT job of getting the ENTIRE world Talking abt RAPE,” she continued. “I hope tht it leads 2 HEALING & PREVENTS RAPE.”