Whose fault is it?

February 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/24/opinion/khaw-rihanna-abuse/index.html?hpt=hp_c2

After three years, the Chris Brown and Rihanna incident has once again resurfaced in the media. This time, it’s because they decided to collaborate together. After what happened, a lot of women gathered together and deemed Rihanna as a model of a survivor from domestic violence and raised awareness to the many battered women across the country. Being a mega-star herself, her actions are constantly placed under scrutiny and many criticized her for not leaving the relationship and somehow encouraging it even more. When her new hit single “S&M” came out, many were shocked and deemed her uncaring about women’s rights and parents were concerned about the messages that her music was portraying. The author of the article brings up a good point, Rihanna never asked to be a model for battered women just as she never asked to be physically abused. She also raises the importance of being aware of how the media frames this issue.

Having no experience in the area, it is easy for us to say “why don’t you leave him?” or “why do you still forgive him?” or even “are you stupid?” No, battered women who choose to stay with their abusive partners aren’t stupid. Many factors contribute to why women still continue to stay- financial, emotional, physical and children. In the case of Rihanna and Chris Brown, she probably has a bigger paycheck than he does, they have no children together- so we ask, “why does she still want to be near him?” We think she has no excuse because they have no legal ties together but despite of the money and the fame, she is still a woman who fell in love with a man who turned out to abuse her. These emotional ties are not easy to break and it’s hard to leave the familiar as unhealthy as the relationship may be.

What was interesting is how the author points out the sociological issues in this event. She brought up that Rihanna is constantly under harsh judgment and scrutiny for not being a “good model” for battered women but yet Chris Brown was rarely if ever under attack for not being a “good model” for young men. In the last paragraph she says “So the question everyone is asking should not be: “Why is Rihanna going back to (or working with) Chris Brown?” Rather, it should be: “What kind of messages are we sending our children when we focus on and denounce the decisions of women who have been mistreated but spare perpetrators the same level of scrutiny?” This blame-the-victim mentality has got to stop somewhere.” This really made me wonder about how the media frame certain issues between not only sexes but also races to favor a certain group. Us as audiences rarely scrutinize about what magazines say and even though we may say that we don’t believe everything they write, a lot of what we think about a certain celebrity is formed by these headlines. We make judgments about them through the glass screen and we relate to them ourselves. This is a subconscious vicious cycle that runs between us and the media.

 

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