Singer Rihanna released a music video last week that portrays a woman committing premeditated murder against her rapist. Lyrics here.
To be clear, the woman portrayed in the video did not kill her rapist in self defense. She found her attacker after the rape and shot him in broad daylight in a crowded train station. This was premeditated vigilante justice. Then, although she expressed remorse, she decided to flee rather than face the consequences.
I was interested to read what liberal feminists would say about the video. While they decry even so much as “violent rhetoric” of conservatives as provocative, here we had an actual enactment of what might be considered politically correct violence.
Liberal feminists did not surprise. From the Ms. blog, June 3:
As soon as the music video… premiered this week on BET… it created an instant backlash…. However, the outcry is not about depictions of S&M fantasies or a same-sex kiss or even passive acceptance of domestic violence. This time, she is being condemned for promoting murder.
I have to wonder if I’ve seen the same video.
I see a revenge story by a rape survivor, who makes it clear that, no matter what a woman wears or how she dances or if she walks alone at night, rape is wrong and deserves punishment.
From The Crunk Feminist Collective, a blog for “feminists of color”:
The video reinforces a very basic point: the choice to be sexual and sensual on the dance floor should not be read in any way as consent for future sexual activity. For once, the critique of rape is unambiguous. It is wrong; it is not the woman’s fault; and it should be punished….
Somehow, I do not believe the outrage would be comparable if this were a white woman….
From Feminists for Choice (the same Feminists for Choice that wrote “an entreaty to rational pro-life supporters” not to “tak[e] the law into your own hands,” the same Feminists for Choice with the graphic, right, on its home page):
Ultimately, give me a damn break. With crime dramas dominating prime time TV, this isn’t about violence – this is some good ol’ fashioned sexism. Women aren’t supposed to kill the bad guy – they’re supposed to call the nice policeMAN and let him do it.
Women aren’t supposed to show strength like that. And rape victims are supposed to be that – victimized and not empowered enough to strike back at their attacker. This video challenges each of these stereotypes, and that’s what makes these right wing so squeamish and uncomfortable….