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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Rhianna - 'Man Down' (possible triggers in thread)

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Author Topic: Rhianna - 'Man Down' (possible triggers in thread)
Saffron Raymie
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One of the reasons I like Scarleteen was a very old topic I found that had members saying that they did not ethically support rape scenes in films and media because they felt that it glorified or normalised violence, and some said that they were against these scenes because they simply 'did not support rape as an enterprise' and were angry that people were using this subject in entertainment media, especailly for shock-value purposes, and felt it was adding to rape culture. This summed up exactly how I feel about the subject.

Enter Rhianna (not my usual music taste) with her music video for 'Man Down'. Although I can very, very much see how the murder scene in the video was problematic, I really love how tasteful the rape scene is. It gets the message across without glorifying or normalizing, and, like in 'The Accused' the assault is not shown until the very end, after the harm caused by it has been shown. Rhianna challenges rape culture by very clearly showing that young women in clubs, who are enjoying their sexuality are not inviting people to harm them.

She shows that every women in the club is not an object (depite many, many music videos to the contary) and shows women being themselves, having fun during the day before clubbing.

Rhianna is the one who is assaulted, and she is the person we side with. It's so beautiful and anti victim blaming.

Has anyone seen this? I know a lot of people are angry because she kills the person how assaulted her, but I really love how anti victim blaming this it.

I've noticed a lot of feminism in pop music lately, with the likes of Lady Gaga and Pink, very possitive stuff.

[ 06-09-2011, 03:55 PM: Message edited by: RaeRay2112 ]

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Rae: if you didn't see this piece, you might appreciate it:

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Saffron Raymie
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Thanks Heather! I absolutely loved 'Goodbye Earl' when I was younger, thanks for bringing back happy memories.

And I agree with that article - if she was white, it wouldn't be big deal. I'm going to look for more white people being shown as violent in videos to compare.

I'm just speechless that they're trying to ban it when every other video glorifies violence against women and shows them as objects. Off the top of my head, Limp Bizkit showed a man being knocked unconscious by a white man and that was never even censored!

[ 06-09-2011, 04:31 PM: Message edited by: RaeRay2112 ]

'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

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To me it would be a big deal for someone to murder anyone, I volunteer at Amnesty Bookshop and am fundamentally opposed to punishment, as far as I'm concerned, the emphasis should always be on preventing repeat offending, not vengeance. And don't get me started on Limp Bizkit, they are nasty, nasty people, judging by their videos.

Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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The video was finally released her a couple of days and I got to watch it for the first time. While I found the whole thing triggering as hell, I have to say that I agree with RaeRay as far as depiction of the rape scene goes. It was a horrible scene, but it was told realistically, and with compassion for the victim.

What I personally like about the video is the fact that it leaves no room for victim-blaming. There is absolutely no question, ever, that Rihanna's character had a right to say no, and that the man should have respected that.

As far as the murder scene goes, I feel a little iffy about that. I noticed a while ago that there are a lot of storylines in books or movies where a woman kills a man, and then some digging reveals that he had raped her and gotten away with it. On the one hand, I appreciate it when rape is made a topic, and when the fact that most victims don't go to the police or aren't heard when they do is made a topic. But on the other hand, it's hard to feel empathy for a character that's committed murder, even if it was an act of revenge that is to a large extent understandable. It blurs lines that I think are already blurry enough in our culture.

Ultimately, however, this is still a music video, which means that it's meant to be artistic expression. And perhaps that means we can read it as a woman being robbed of power and reclaiming it. Which is a pretty neat sentiment. And I just really think that Rihanna is doing an absolutely awesome job lately of singing about topics that no one else is singing about, and doing it wonderfully ("Love the Way You Lie" - a song about domestic abuse; "Te Amo"- a song about falling in love with a woman).

(And, dude. I love "Goodbye Earl". I recently found a Dixie Chicks album on sale and bought it just because it had that song on it and I hadn't heard it in years. Still know all of the words to it.)

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I went and looked up the video after a friend of mine asked me what I thought of it.

After watching it a few times, I did a quick google search to see what people were saying about it, and I think that's what I like best about the video: a lot of people are talking about it!

This video clearly makes people uncomfortable, and I think that's a good thing. I for one feel uncomfortable with the fact that by end of the video I feel compassion for two people I normally would think of in a harsher way, a rapist and a murderer.

I don't know what kind of reaction Rihanna was trying to provoke with it, but I think it's really great that her video has opened up a conversation about rape, rape prevention, and the consequences of rape that wasn't happening (or wasn't happening enough) before. And like it was pointed out in the article that Heather posted, it also opens up an important conversation about race.

[ 06-25-2011, 01:39 PM: Message edited by: gazelle123 ]

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