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Sat Nov 01 03:43:37 SAST 2014

Yes, Chris Brown is Rihanna's choice - but a bad one

Nikita Ramkissoon | 16 October, 2012 09:16

My mother once told me that if you are in a position in society where you are not wondering where your next meal is coming from, you are lucky, and should use that position to stand up for those who can’t.

She also said anyone who is privileged in society should set an example, especially public figures who people look up to.

I firmly believe in both of those statements.

But it’s people like Rihanna who take those two very compassionate sentiments and rip them to shreds.

Yes, Rihanna didn’t ask to be beaten. Chris Brown is the perpetrator. He is the scumbag and she was the victim.

Thing is, she is the victim. Not the survivor. And as long as she sticks by his side, she will forever be the victim.

Rihanna, by getting back together with Chris Brown, is giving the royal middle finger to women’s rights.

She is basically saying that it’s okay for a man to speak with his fists, as long as you love him, and is selling a version of manhood that is doing no favours for men either.

There are so many women out there who are stuck in socio-economic situations where they cannot leave their abusive husbands. Be it financial or cultural constraints, women are subjugated to violence of every kind, be it physical or emotional.

Some women are bound to abusive partners due to basic survival needs.

Sometimes, a woman’s family will kill her if she goes back to her parents’ home from an abusive marriage.

Some even suffer worse abuse at the hands of her partner or his family if she tries to leave.

These women have real problems and cannot leave.

But some of them do leave. Some brave women in these situations get up and say ‘enough is enough’.

What the hell is Rihanna’s excuse?

If experience has taught us anything about the cycle of abuse, it’s taught us that if a man does it once, he will do it again.

Rihanna? Really? Are you that weak? Don’t you see the image you are portraying?

Many public figures – both men and women – endorse women’s rights movements. They, along with the grassroots workers of NGOs, work towards building a society where abuse can be eradicated. A-list people (who have been around a lot longer than Rihanna) like Annie Lennox, Charlize Theron, Daniel Craig, Nicole Kidman, Oprah… hell even newbies like Ian Somerhalder. They are backing the cause for women to be freed of such oppression.

All their work is undone by people like Rihanna who put their stamp of approval on abuse.

Women look up to public figures.

Not that her oversexed, underfed image is anything to look up to, but people do nonetheless.

She is a public figure who should be setting an example to society. The example she is setting here is that women are weak, and physical abuse is not only forgivable, but perfectly fine.

It’s people like Rihanna, who condone abuse in this manner, who perpetuate the cycle of abuse.

“But I love him” is no goddamn reason to get back together with someone who rules a relationship with an iron fist.

It’s not Rihanna’s fault she got beaten, but it’s entirely her fault if she lets it happen again.

People were up in arms about Chris Brown being acknowledged at this year’s Grammy Awards, shaming him for being a disgrace to society.

Rihanna experienced it first hand, yet she accepts it, and blindly too. She sits down and keeps quiet where others who don’t even know her are standing up and speaking out.

Some people have been saying that it is her choice and her life, and yes; it is her life and her choice. But it is a choice that sets women’s liberation back decades. As a public figure, she should be doing what is best for society, not just herself.

(Either that, or get out of the limelight and go live in a cave with her Neanderthal boyfriend.)

Choosing to be in a relationship with an abuser is not a good choice – for her or for society. This is a lose-lose situation.

The only thing that wins here is patriarchy, and the label of women being the weaker sex.

Rihanna, you are an embarrassment to all women.

You should hang your head in shame for the legacy of abuse you are not only condoning, but endorsing.

Read the opposing view: Verbally abusing Rihanna for her choice is still abuse

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