Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Rihanna Speaks Out...

"It was confusing for me. I was still attached by love. But I wasn't thinking about ... the reality of the situation. You start lying to yourself. ... This is a memory you don't want to have ever again. ... The physical wounds go away, you put it in the back of your head and you start lying to yourself subconsciously." This past Friday, pop icon Rihanna was featured on ABC's 20/20 with Diane Sawyer. That same night, Chris Brown sat down to do an interview with Sway, an MC from MTV. While this was the first time Rihanna publicly addressed what had happened between her and Chris Brown in February of 2009, this was the latest of many public appearances by Brown regarding what he had done. Although this was the first time she spoke openly, she shed a lot more light about the situation than Chris Brown did in any of his numerous interviews. While I feel as though her interview gave much insight as to the events that led up to this instance and the dynamics of both of their pasts in regards to domestic violence, I can see where the many unsettling reviews about her interview are coming from.

Rihanna goes into a fair amount of detail about the physical part of what happened between the two of them on February 8, 2009 but there are a few things about that conversation that are unsettling to me. When Diane Sawyer asks her, "had he done it before?" her immediate response is "No." However, Sawyer pointed out that there had been two other instances brought to their attention, one in which Brown smashed the windshield of her S.U.V and another in which he "repeatedly shoved her into a wall" during an argument. Her response, in a rather defensive tone, was, "No, he didn't repeatedly shove me into a wall...he shoved me into the wall...when I said it never happened, I've never bled, swelled up, black eye, wasn' was not a fight." Several times during this interview she addresses the fact that one of her main reasons for finally opening up about what happened is so that she is not responsible for any other young girls being attacked and she wants to let them know that what they are feeling should not be the reasons they stay with an abusive partner. But in this part of the interview, she absolutely defends Chris Brown's previous actions and explains that these actions shouldn't be considered domestic abuse. I can see how unsettling this can be to both survivors of and advocates against domestic and intimate violence.

Another main part of this interview that bothers me is, while I respect the fact that she does not want the focus of the interview to be around bashing Brown, rather than empowering survivors to come forward, she doesn't really show any emotion about nor does she address the statements Chris Brown has made which, in my opinion, have been rather disrespectful. In none of his interviews has he sincerely apologized publicly to Rihanna. Rather, even when asked who he is apologizing to when he apologizes in public, he admits that it is to his fans and his sponsors, not to "her." That's another thing that makes me SO angry..."SHE" has a name, Chris. It's Rihanna, NOT "her" or, my personal favorite, "Shorty." The woman you assaulted has a name and whether or not you want to dance around the fact that you actually committed the crime or say that you "blacked out" and don't remember the events of that night, I feel like the least you can do is refer to her by her name.

The last part of the interview gave me mixed feelings, not necessarily in a bad way though. Rihanna states, "I am strong. This happened to me. I didn't cause this. I didn't do it. This happened to me, and it can happen to anybody. And I'm glad it happened to me, 'cause now I can help young girls who are going through it. Don't react off of love. Eff love. Come out of the situation and look at it third-person and for what it really is and then make a decision, because love is so blind." While I understand what she meant by "I'm glad it happened to me," I think this could have been phrased differently, as not to be taken the wrong way. But on another note, "EFF LOVE!"


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