Less than thirty seconds into the “Man Down” video we learned that Rihanna’s “rum pum pum pum” had nothing to do with Christmas. Critics have attacked the singer’s latest audio / visual effort for perpetuating gun violence. It could be said that art is imitating life here, as surely Rihanna (and other victims of abuse) has had a daydream or two about blasting their perpetrators into the blue sky with their firearm of choice. I mean, I get it. But in context with Rihanna’s status of domestic abuse survivor and with respect to the problem of gun violence in this country, failure to criticize this form of art would benefit no one.
As reported last week by GlobalGrind, The Parents Television Council issued a statement in response to the “Man Down” video: "Rihanna's personal story and status as a celebrity superstar provided a golden opportunity for the singer to send an important message to female victims of rape and domestic violence. Instead of telling victims they should seek help, Rihanna released a music video that gives retaliation in the form of premeditated murder the imprimatur of acceptability. The message of the disturbing video could not be more off base." Not missing a beat, Rihanna tweeted, “"U can’t hide your kids from society, or they’ll never learn how to adapt! This is the REAL WORLD!..We have the freedom to make art, LET US! Its your job to make sure they dont turn out like US.”
Sure, a more thoughtful response could have been offered up by Rihanna or her camp but, moving along...
Later, Rihanna adds, “I'm a 23 year old rockstar with NO KIDS! What's up with everybody wantin me to be a parent? I'm just a girl, I can only be your/our voice!"