Of making many books there is no end

finding love in a hopeless place / it’s the way I’m feelin I just can’t deny [photos from 2008]

“No no no no no fucking no. Can we please not tell victims of assault and abuse what they should and should not do, and what they’re doing wrong?
Chris Brown is a horrible person who ought to never get another moment of media coverage in his life (among other things.) Talk all the shit you want about him.
But Rihanna? Her interactions with Brown and the music she’s decided to make are her damn decisions. (Well, I hope they are, at least.) You’re not her grandma. And even if you were – it was her relationship, she’s the one who suffered the abuse. Let her figure out how to best deal with it.”

“Um, I found this piece really misguided. Should we really be interrogating Rihanna about this situation? Sure, we can speculate about her relationship with Chris Brown, her reasons for collaborating with him once more; we can talk about how bad the singles are; we can shake our heads over her “self-destructive” behavior. But honestly it just looks like she’s another woman who has found herself caught up in the cycle of abuse, and right now heaping further criticism on her is not going to do ANYTHING”

“Rihanna is neither the poster girl for domestic abuse nor someone who owes you an explanation about anything in her private life. This is her situation to deal with as she wishes and it doesn’t have to follow your script or look like you want it to. I find the whole pile-on judgement about her decisions lately to be really infantilizing and victim-blaming.”


I agree whole-heartedly that Rihanna, as a person, should not have to explain anything. She was the victim to a horrible crime, and Chris Brown is vile, to say the least. However, as a public figure, I wish she would have considered the impact of this decision. The only reason I say this is because I work with teenage girls in a very high-risk community, and many of these girls look up to her as a role model. Many of the girls I work with are or have been involved in abusive relationships. They look to their celebrity role models as they would any other adult in their life that they admire. I’ve heard concern from them over this issue, and it scares me how they relate it back to their own situations. I just wish at the very least that Rihanna would have released some sort of statement to her young fans with the release of these singles. The whole thing makes me sick; we shouldn’t ever place blame on Rihanna, but she is in the spotlight and her actions will be carefully observed by the youth who admire her.


@laurnadoone I get where you’re coming from, I really do. It would be ideal for her safety and everything if she got away from Chris Brown and renounced him or whatever. But I guess part of what gets me so worked up about this, is I want to be like, don’t you SEE? It’s not that simple! These are real abuse dynamics happening in real time. Talk honestly about those. Talk honestly about why it isn’t rare or unthinkable that things are playing out this way, that it’s not her fault. Rihanna doesn’t have to be a role model in this situation precisely BECAUSE this is a real life, very common dynamic. And if these girls you’re working with have experienced abuse, I can’t imagine it’s more helpful to give it to them black and white–i.e. leave or stay, look at Rihanna, she left! This is how this stuff really happens. This is how it really works. It’s so much more difficult and confusing than people want to believe.”

“Other people have articulated my arguments more clearly above me but this is the first time I’ve really been mad at a hairpin piece. I know that this is a complicated issue that inspires crazy amounts of emotions on all sides and as a white dude I probably have no business even speaking up about it because of the privileges inherent therein. THAT BEING SAID – every piece that ive seen in the last week that is ‘disappointed’ in Rihanna or questions ER decisions or her agency w/r/t her management stinks of so much victim blaming that is still so present in our culture. Chris Brown is a horrible human being and I hate the music industry for letting him have even a semblance of a career after he nearly killed his girlfriend and then acted smug and triumphant about each and every success after that point. But no one writing these pieces is close to Rihanna, no one is inside her head, and no one gets to dictate how she “should” deal with her abuse except Rihanna herself.”

“I think a lot of people have said it above, but I am super disappointed about the victim-blaming going down in this, as well as in the comments. Everyone is allowed to hope someone who’s abused stays out of danger, but–and this goes for a celeb you don’t know or your bestie–no one gets to dictate how they live their life after the abuse. Not to mention, let the woman have some agency of her own that allows her to exist outside of being either a victim or an idiot. Fuck. This is actually making me really mad?”

“I am so, so, so disappointed and upset that the Hairpin would post this piece of victim-blaming horseshit. I am so disappointed and upset that the comments reflect a similar sense of entitlement to Rihanna’s choices about how to deal with her experiences of violence. It is absolutely not Rihanna’s job to make anyone feel comfortable about how she deals with her abuse. It is of no consequence how gross anyone feels about Rihanna’s choices about who to collaborate with EXCEPT RIHANNA. That the Hairpin would add to the chorus of voices painting Rihanna as childish, immature, stupid, naive, passive, or otherwise unaware of the consequences and implications of her actions is sickening to me. Rihanna is not the morally reprehensible individual in this situation. Chris Brown is. No one gets to ask “Why, Rihanna?” except Rihanna. I don’t explicitly deploy shame lightly, but, fuck: this author ought to be ashamed of this piece.”


cf: 1. this

2. this — note language in third paragraph


Filed under: at arm's length,