So, today (2 June), Rihanna’s Man Down video was released. And of course, every Chike, Dayo and Musa has something to say. The video did spark a lot of controversy…
I watched it twice so that I would come up with my own personal opinion. You do not have to agree with me though. We can agree to disagree. Rihanna is a great gal: stuning bod, killer dance moves, and she’s from the Caribbean. I’d like her more if I wasn’t too busy being jealous. Anyhoo, the video for Man Down starts of with Rihanna killing a man. Not many people appreciate this though. I do. It definitely had me hooked. It’s rare to find celebrities that discuss about matters that affect the “everyday man/woman”. We’re too busy looking for ways to have our “yellow tops missing” (not like some of us have ever seen Lamborghinis before) or our bottles of Ace (or whatever champagne is the sh*t now).
So, with this song and video, my respect for Rihanna went up a notch. The song is about a normal girl, goes about her normal day etc, and then at night, heads out to the club. After dancing for a while with the hot guy with sinful abs, she heads out. But Mr. Abs apparently isn’t done with her. He corners her in a dark alley and does the unimaginable. And walks away. He walked away. I noticed how he even looked back at her like, “Whatchu gon do, huh?”
So, the girl, humiliated and probably disgusted with herself, goes back home, gets a gun, and then we can understand why she shot the man. He raped her. I think it’s a fair deal.
Listen, I’m not endorsing violence. But perhaps, if we went into the mind of a girl/boy that had been raped, or were raped, we would be more compassionate to our “friend” (Rihanna’s character). I am actually surprised by the fact that people even consider this video “violent”. We’ve seen a lot more violence on our TVs that a man being shot. Ever seen an episode of Criminal Minds? There you go.
But I don’t think Rihanna’s message is “Hey, look! I can shoot a man, bitches!!” I think it goes way deeper. I read somewhere that one in every four women is sexually abused by her intimate partner. I know someone that has been raped by a person she called friend. Rape hurts. It is humiliating. And it happens. No matter how much we try to keep it quiet, no matter how hard we ignore it, it happens. Everyday. That woman you passed by in the market. That man that you sat beside on the train. It happens, and we would be stupid to ignore it.
And I think that’s Rihanna’s message. After all, the actual words of the song do not say any thing about rape. They do, however, reflect the shooter’s remorse. So, she’s not a cold-blooded killer. She’s a woman who had her dignity taken away from her. And so, she is simply a product of her circumstances.
No, don’t kill someone because they raped you. Because two wrongs don’t make a right. But please, be careful. Go to the club with friends that won’t ditch you. And always carry mace. Guys (and girls) I cannot over-emphasize this. Be safe.
I commend Rihanna and her team for this video. I hope you read the message in it as I did. I’ll leave you with the video.. Enjoy!