A week into RiRi-gate, I recognize the whole Rihanna-Chris Brown affaire as a PR nightmare. But beyond that and most importantly, I view Rihanna’s eventual coming out as potentially being one of Pop Culture’s most defining moments. Too strong? Not at all. Too many times, celebrities have bypassed the law. Too many times, domestic violence against women has been downplayed and dusted under the rug. Now, with one move (that of pressing charges), Rihanna has the power to not only change the curve but to also perhaps decelerate the alarming rate of domestic abuse amongst teenagers and young adults.
The fact certain radio stations have stopped playing Chris Brown’s music is a step forward although I wish the Grammys had been as bold (Reminder: 2 years ago, the Grammys awarded Ike Turner with an honorary award. How gauche) . I’m still quite disgusted by the chorus of celebrities (lead by Terrence Howard, Ray-J and Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child) who simply wish the couple ”can work it out as they’re both humans”. Huh? Thankfully, such pop cultural tenors as Jay-Z have been vocal and have taken a stand against Brown and domestic violence. I hope people will be as vocal in denouncing this clear case of abuse as they were while lynching Michael Vick during puppy-gate.
I’ve already been criticized for jumping to conclusions on this matter. The reality breaks down to this: Rihanna (all 110lbs of her) was heavily bruised and Brown (all 6 feet and all) was not only named as the assaulter but he actually turned himself in before being released on bail. How and why this fight occur is truly irrelevant.