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Take Your Own Advice, Woman. -Z- by -Z-

My thoughts on the Chris Brown/Rihanna fiasco. 

I had forgotten about this song by Rihanna until last night when I was getting ready to go out, and it randomly came on in my iTunes.  Which encouraged me to finally post my thoughts on the situation….which I’ve been trying to put together since .m. posted about it. 

First of all, I can’t help but sympathize with Rihanna not just for the abuse she has endured, but for the public nature of her situation.  Most women who deal with abuse, do so privately with the time and space to sort out their feelings without the eyes of the entire world judging them.  Being abused is a very shameful situation.  

At the same time, however, the public nature of Rihanna’s abusive situation could also be viewed as a blessing in disguise.  Many people in abusive situations have a difficult time coming out about their abuse, but it is one of the first steps to getting out.  So there you go, Rihanna, everyone knows.  No secrets. 

When her song, “Take a Bow,” came on last night it definitely made me feel a little sad. It’s a song about empowerment and strength. A woman’s anthem about staying strong when the people who are supposed to love you stop treating you like a friend and start disrespecting you.  I don’t think that women who are abused aren’t strong people. Often, it’s the opposite.  Abuse is about power and control.  Towards the end of my last relationship, which was approaching the five year mark (hhh….), my boyfriend started exhibiting abusive behavior.  The reason behind the escalation of his aggression was due to my own self control, unflinching confidence in myself, and refusal to accommodate his concept of how a girlfriend should be/act.   I knew what abuse looked like and told him that he was becoming abusive, verbally, and eventually he became so physically.  Lots of thoughts crossed my mind when this happened….because wait a second, I’m a Feminist, Women’s Studies Major, Strong, Intelligent, Independent Woman.  How could the person I L-worded treat me that way?  The answer? Because it had nothing to do with me, it is a problem he has with anger, self-esteem, etc, etc. Which meant that I couldn’t fix it. So I was out, unconditionally. 

The person that you are in a relationship with is first and foremost supposed to have your physical and mental well being as their first priority.  Your girlfriend/boyfriend should be primarily your best friend.  Once someone crosses the line and shows that they are capable of treating you in a way that is dangerous to your physical or mental well being, they cannot go back over that line, no matter what help they get or how many times they say sorry.  When you allow them to continue to be in your life, you are giving them the message (however inadvertent) that what they did is something you will accept.  For yourself and that person’s growth, get out. 

I’m not saying Chris Brown is a bad person. I don’t think my out-of-control ex is a bad person. ..m.. and I had a conversation about Chris Brown living with abuse as a child, which helps us in our understanding of why he might have become abusive, but DOES NOT JUSTIFY IT. I think that once you abuse, you are a person capable of very bad things.  From that point on, counseling is necessary, but that can’t be the end. Every day of that person’s life should involve conscious work to understand their emotions and understand their triggers. Most people, in my opinion, aren’t willing to put in this kind of work.  Mad props to those who are.  No one can heal/change abusers but themselves. So, please, stop sticking around trying to do so. 

Rihanna, I know you probably didn’t write that song. But your name is on it.  Please take your own advice. Get out.

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1 Comment so far
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Wow Z, so well put! It’s wonderful that you were able to distinguish that your abusive bf’s behavior had nothing to do with you. Though I’m unsure if it has to do with her sitch, I wish Rihanna could realize that too! I also admire the way that you acknowledge Chris Brown’s motives without condoning his actions…so well written. I’m also glad that there are other feminist women’s studies majors reading Missb 🙂 (ok well I was a French major…but I wish I’d taken women’s studies classes!)

Comment by Meg




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