Rihanna - feminist icon?
I just kind of lost all respect for her after she got back with Chris Brown. Lack of money/resources, having kids with a partner…those are usually the reasons it’s a lot easier said than done leaving an abuser. But she has money and resources out the ying-yang, no kids with Brown…so she chose to go back to him.
So I normally do not look at the responses or notes in my blog because it is often a lot to go through or I am just too busy. However, I saw this on my phone and I felt like I had to respond because this is really worrisome logic and I think this is something that needs to be address.
First of all, I chose this screencap because I thought it was kickass that Rihanna used a snarky ass response to some fucking slut-shaming and body policing. It’s one thing to disagree with someone’s outfit, but to equate covering one’s body and ‘classing it up’ is just not okay. The media been having fun trying to hate on her and I like that she fought back in her little way. While she herself may not be a feminist (I have no idea if she is or not - and frankly, right now I don’t care), the act of speaking out against that shit can be seen as a feminist act.
Secondly, I think it’s really fucking problematic for us to only find victims/survivors to return to abusers acceptable under certain circumstances. There is more to being in an abusive relationship than economic dependency. The person being abused can be more successful, have more potential for independence, have friends, etc. That does not change the inevitable mental and emotional manipulation that happens to someone abused. Remember, this person loves the individual that has created this terrible trap - even if it isnt physical it is most definitely mental. So there are more reason than just MONEY or CHILDREN for people to stay.
Many couples don’t have children. Many teens end up in abusive relationships and stay. Most of these teens are not economically dependent on their partner, but rather their guardians. Should we judge these teens who go back to abusers because there’s “no reason” to stay or return? No. Fuck that.
THIS SORT of mentality is what perpetuates this victim-blaming culture where we still hold this disproportional responsibility on the abused to avoid being abused. People lose respect for Rihanna and then Chris Brown is celebrated and the rest of us is told to “move on?”
Fine, say you lose respect for Rihanna. That’s your perogative. But DON’T create this hierarchy of ‘acceptable reasons to stay with your abuser.’ That’s really fucking wrong and that’s personally hurtful - I know what it’s like to be trapped mentally in an abusive relationship. It isn’t just about physical dependency. There’s so much more. And existing in a culture where the abused has to deal with so much more scrutiny not only for being abused, but for their behavior before and after that it is no wonder people feel inclined to stay.
It is so easy to blame yourself - I know I’ve done that and sometimes slip into that mentality today YEARS later, but I can’t IMAGINE how tough it is to have millions of people around the world blaming you, saying your abuser is innocent, etc. It can be so easy to really just give in to one’s feelings and take an easier (at least in the short run) choice to go back.
In the end, I totally know it must be hard for her. I know how hard it is for other survivors. We need to check ourselves when we decide to choose to comment on the decisions of people while in the really fucking hard period of going through a violence relationship. Perhaps I should not be respected for going back to abusers - to people who have bruised me, sent me to the hospital, raped me. But I know deep down I am not to blame and there are a million different reasons and other pressures that make it so hard to leave.