Sunday, March 01, 2009

Rihanna, muster up some dignity for your fans' sake!

I’m going to try the keep the indignation bordering on rage and the sadness I’m feeling out of my introduction to Women’s History Month you’ll find soon on the home page; I’m hoping the blog will provide catharsis and let me be warmer and fuzzier about us as independent, strong and evolving beings than my thoughts are at the moment. I’m scribbling these notes furiously between the graphics of this month’s Smithsonian magazine, riding the New York City subway uptown. It’s either scribble or scream at what I just saw.
Grumbling like a typical New Yorker at the haphazard weekend service, my monolog was picked up by a woman sitting on the bench I’d parked myself on to wait. (and wait.) She concurred with a nod about the service and then seemed eager to engage me with what was on her mind. “She went back wid ‘im,” she said, displaying an unmistakable Eastern Caribbean lilt. “Went back with who? Who went back?” I said. In explanation, she opened the New York Post to page whatever and pointed to an article reporting that Rihanna and Chris Brown had reconciled. He was repentant and of course she could forgive him. Believe me, I don’t deal in hip hop or its heavies (unless it delivers righteous and/or womanist messages), but I couldn’t help but be pulled into the pulp about the dastardly beating of this young woman. So I was kinda following the story. But I hadn’t seen the photo until my Trini companion showed it to me. Jeez!
And the Trini woman told me how she’d had a pack of kids with her husband back home. And that he beat her. And beat her. And kept beating her, as Brown will do to the either naïve or really messed up Rihanna. But my interlocutor told me that, one day, when she was out of the house, she packed herself up and her 5 kids and stole away back to her mom’s. Never went back, never looked back, she said proudly. Hard it was, she went on. But she made it and the kids didn’t have to see Mommy getting “licked” any more.
I’m still thinking, more regretfully, about the Rihanna mess on the day before we celebrate our womanhood. And how she’s the envy of so many millions of maturing or starstruck young woman, giving them the message, not of women making it or fulfilling their dreams of stardom—ultimately a skewed, unrealistic, even counterproductive and dangerous message in itself—but legitimizing a return to the glory of victimhood, of groveling, of total dependence. And I remembered the day when I stopped listening to Billie’s pathetic and shameful, “It cost me a lot…he beats me too, what can I do?…but there’s one thing that I got, it’s my man.”
Then I found Brown’s YouTube efforts and these comments:
--aww.... i love him, everyone goes through bad times, do things they shouldnt have
--if you love woman - you have to beat her )
--lalala. and so what ? support his music . SMH you must be one of rihanna fans.
--some bitches just need to get beat sorry :)

Well, maybe there is something to celebrate. And it’s that humble Trini mother who got out.