Rihanna has been getting quite a bit of unnecessary slack lately for her “Man Down” music video. It features a young happy, vibrant girl turned violent criminal after a rape. Honestly I like the video, having grown up with music videos that meant something and were true art (obviously not all of them since I grew up in the 80’s/90’s) I appreciate the sentiment of this story. Music videos used to be watched on TV back when MTV wasn’t a reality tv whore.
I can’t believe she’s getting slack for this but not for her super sexualized videos like S & M. Women should be allowed to be as sexy as they want without fear of assault because no means no, period. Dress and attitude are far different then desire and intent and this is a message girls and guys alike need to hear. Does anyone remember Aerosmith’s “Janie’s Got a Gun” in which a girl kills her father who molested her? That was a hit song and all of Aerosmith’s video used to be epic…it’s how Alecia Silverstone launched her career! What has happened to music television and the art of the music video. They are all about self expression, spreading messages, or just having fun whether that be sending out a message about rape or showing off your bitches, hoes, and bling. I personally prefer stories like the former.
Amidst all the controversy over her “Man Down” video, Rihanna gained some praise this weekend from actrress Gabrielle Union, who applauded the singer/songwriter for getting people to talk about rape. Gabby actually just returned from D.C. earlier in the week where she attended the National Advistory Committee on Violence Against Women meetings. Union in fact was raped at gunpoint when she was 19-years-old during the robbery of the California shoe store where she worked. She’s been outspoken about rape since the incident, trying to help other victims and prevent the crime from happening and now has shared her thoughts on the “Man Down” video. She even explained how she tried shooting her attacker but felt relieved that she missed in retrospect.
Gabrielle’s Twitter has been abuzz with support:
Here is the video, what does everyone think?