I should probably preface this by saying that I love Rihanna. I think she’s cool, and feisty. She’s got guts, and besides, even if you’re too cool for pop music, you can’t deny that every song she comes out with has the ability to turn any party around. And I do believe she’s a grown woman and can make her own decisions about her personal life, even if they may very well be bad ones.
I also believe that guys who beat up their girlfriends (or guys who beat up their boyfriends, or girls who beat up their boyfriends, or anyone who beats up anyone, really) are not necessarily just misogynistic assholes. They might be, but it’s usually a little more complicated than that. I believe that people who do things like that are deeply messed up and need psychological help rather than just punishment. It’s pretty simple – people who are happy and well adjusted and have been brought up well don’t want to hurt people. Maybe it’s naïve, but I generally always think rehabilitation rather than retribution should be the first response.
But I also believe that if you sign up to be famous, you have at least a base level of responsibility to understand how your choices influence the rest of the world. If Rihanna still wants Chris Brown in her life after that infamous night three years ago when he bashed her face in, and wants to hang out with him in her own private time, that’s her call. I’m all about forgiveness, and I can understand how when you love someone that much, you can let anything slide. But she has a responsibility to understand that recording music with him and going around in public like nothing ever happened, as if we never saw those police photos with her face all bloody and purple with bruises, just isn’t all that cool. (more…)