A couple of weeks ago, Rihanna premiered the video for her new hit “BBHMM”. Before I could find a link for the video, media sources were losing their mind on how graphic the video was. Most people were tripping out because it was implied that she kidnapped a woman and murdered her because the lady’s man didn’t have Rihanna’s money. As Black Girl Dangerous put it, people are pissed that Rihanna (a Black woman), put her well being above a white woman’s well being. As if that plot line wasn’t enough to make people clutch their pearls, there were drugs and alcohol, exposed breast, and a bloody Rihanna laying in a pile of money. We would never see anything like this from a white woman…
But we have. We see it from white women all the time. Kill Bill was the epitome of a white woman crying out “BBHMM”, so much so that The Bride killed off a majority of the cast, and that included women. She even killed Vivica Fox in front of her daughter (I’m still waiting on her to get her revenge btw…). I’ve read several thinkpieces, articles, and blog posts. Many of my fellow feminists are upset and hailing the video as misogynistic, most of those fellow feminists are white. They are also calling the video racist because Rihanna is a Black woman and she committed acts of violence against a white woman. The age old argument “how would you feel if the tables were turned?” is constantly being brought up. Black women face multiple oppressions, and because there are no reverse isms, the tables cannot be turned. I know that if the tables were turned and a white woman was the leading lady, she would be considered a “bad ass”, (i.e. Beatrice Kiddo aka The Bride aka Black Mamba).
It truly saddens me that my fellow feminists are still refusing to make women of color a part of the movement. At times I question my use of the word feminist because I know that at the end of the day, it doesn’t support women that look like me. Women that look like me are not allowed to push the envelope, make an R-rated video, or dress in revealing clothing. We are not able to display sexuality, violence, or speak our minds. If a woman of color, a Black woman specifically, does anything that is other than “lady-like”, a large group white feminists will not back her. It also saddens me because I work with a bunch of amazing white feminists who get it and how helped mold my womanhood. How can we stand in solidarity with white women if our identities are constantly being taken away?
Rihanna continuously gets a bad rap for being herself. She is still being victim blamed and labeled as crazy for what happened with Chris Brown. If she wears revealing clothes, she is slut shamed. I personally love Rihanna.
I appreciate that she is unapologetic. I appreciate that she is a business woman, artist, and actress. I appreciate that she doesn’t let her situations define her. Yes, the BBHMM video was violent and had a lot of adult content. Yes, those acts of violence were directed towards a woman. And yes, Rihanna put her well being above the well being of a white woman. That doesn’t make her any less of a woman or any less deserving of respect.
Chill on her.