If Rihanna and Chris Brown Get Back Together..

Reports are swirling that singers Rihanna and Chris Brown may be getting back together after Brown allegedly beat Rihanna to the point of hospitalization. So it's a good time to assess how our culture perceives victims of domestic violence and assesses their decisions. Remember, first Rihanna was "blamed" for the attack by media reports suggesting she was a "clingy," "jealous" girlfriend. Now Us is reporting how disappointed Rihanna's friends are in her decision to take Brown back. "She’s not listening to anyone," one "pal" supposedly told the magazine.

Indeed, it seems that Rihanna can't do anything right; either she is complicit in her own victimization or she isn't strong enough to end the relationship. That's the usual double-edged sword we present to victims of domestic violence. For another take, check out Jaclyn Friedman at Yes Means Yes. She has a good run-down of what Rihanna's decision to take Chris back doesn't mean, in terms of understanding domestic violence:

1. It doesn’t mean she is stupid. Leaving an abusive partner is hard – really, really hard. Some studies have shown that it takes an average woman 4-7 tries before she can leave her abuser for good. …

2. It doesn’t mean we should forgive him. …

3. It doesn’t mean what he’s alleged to have done is any less horrible. … There are a lot of psychological reasons that victims take their abusers back. It doesn’t mean the abuse was any kind of “no big deal.” …

4. It doesn’t mean she has betrayed any kind of sisterhood. OK, let’s get real clear on this one. Rihanna did not sign up to be any kind of spokesmodel for dating violence. …

5. It doesn’t mean that if he hurts her again, she deserves it. …

Read the whole thing.

cross-posted at TAPPED

6 thoughts on “If Rihanna and Chris Brown Get Back Together..

  1. zorro

    Hi Dana,

    Just to clarify, the idea behind a double edged sword is that even when you brandish one edge at your enemy, the other edge is pointing right back at you. It’s a metaphor for anything that can have both positive and negative consequences. There would be only positive consequences for Rhianna if she dumped her boyfriend. What you might be trying to say is that society presents victims with a *dilemma*. But you even fail to articulate a real dilemma. For it to be a real dilemma, Rhianna would have to face equal social opprobrium whether she stayed with her man or left him. What is actually happening is that Rhianna’s receiving unfair criticism for inviting the beating, and TOTALLY SEPERATE, much less unfair criticism for lacking the strength to leave him. There’s no either or here. I think that pretty much undoes your entire critique of society.

    Cheers!

    Z

    Reply
  2. Lashonda Woods

    CHRIS BROWN N RIHANNA SHOULD BE TOTALLY FINISHED! BCUZ IF HE BEATED ON HER DEN SHE SHOULD B SMART ENUF 2 LEAVE IM AT HIS PLACE!! IF THAT WAS ME I WOULD HAVE GOT SOMEBODY THAT’S WAY LARGER THAN HIM 2 BEAT HIS BUT IN THE FRONT OF MY FACE. U DNT DO WOMEN LIKE THAT BCUZ WITHOUT WOMEN THERE WOULDN’T BE NO MEN!! BT IF RIHANNA DUMP CHRIS DEN HEE’S GONNA WANNA COME BAK 4 HER MORE AND MORE AND MAYBE HE JUS MITE KILL HER LIL OLE TAIL THIS TIME…. CUZ IF I WQAS HER I PROBABLY WOULD HAVE! AFTER ALL DA BEATING I WOULD HAVE LEFT HIM ALONE!!! BABY BOOM BYE!! CHAT WIT U LATER!! TOODLES!!

    Reply
  3. Garret

    I hope they don’t. I have read he is finally going to have a court hearing. Rihanna has a lot of young fans, she would be sending the wrong message.

    Let’s hope she opens her eyes to a simple truth, once a woman beater always a woman beater.

    Reply
  4. Keirstin

    He is a peice of crap I don`t want to kill him but I would like him to know how it feels to be beat up into hospitilization!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I HATE HIM

    Reply

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