Friday, March 06, 2009

dear rihanna

i am writing you this note because i have so many thoughts about you and chris brown that i can't get them out of my head. (blame parentingourchildren for getting me started on this rampage). as more news has come to light about what really happened that night, i am horrified. i wanted to think that cb hit you once or twice (not that that is okay, but i wanted to believe it wasn't as brutal as it was). but after reading this deposition, it's obvious that he beat the living shit out of you. like a crazy person. numerous, NUMEROUS times.

you know rihanna, it sucks that this happened so publicly. now the entire world is in your very personal business, when it isn't any of theirs. i know that has to make all of this so much more difficult because every move and decision you make, we get to watch. and judge. and it's not fair really. and it makes me sad for you.

but even sadder is knowing that you're back together with him. the reality of this is, you were given a golden opportunity here to really stand up and empower women and girls everywhere. i know how hard it is to stay away from someone after they hit you. i know that you want to believe their apology, their "it will never happen again" and it's hard leave someone you love.. even when you know you should. but all of those things- EXACTLY THOSE THINGS- are why you should have talked about this publicly.

you could have taken this opportunity to really speak out against domestic violence and abuse. you could have talked about how you were feeling. how conflicted you were. how truly hard it is to stay away from someone you love and care about. you could have really talked openly about your love for this boy, and even with that love and all your feelings, you know you can't go back to him. you could have talked about the conflict- because you can't just turn your heart off. you don't stop caring about someone, even when they've give you every reason too. abuse is scary and a really emotionally tough thing to deal with. outsiders will always be able to look at a situation and think how easy it must be to leave it. but they don't understand everything else that is wrapped up in it. like the guilt and the blame you put on yourself. as if it's your fault. if you hadn't done "this" or said "that" it never would have happened. but that just goes back to society blaming the women for the bad things that happen to them. it's fucked up and it's wrong. yet we allow it and support it everyday.

it would have taken a lot of strength to be that open about something so personal, but god, it could have helped SO many people. you could have taught those young girls who look up to you that it's NOT okay to stay with someone who hits you. that we don't "stand by our man" no matter what he does. because sometimes, what he does is wrong. but the sad truth is, you just taught them the exact opposite. and i'm sure you want to tell everyone to mind their own business, and make their own decisions, but sometimes things don't work that way. who knows, maybe your actions have reinforced beliefs for some already strong and self reliant girls. maybe they will look at you and think you're weak and never want to be like that? but in today's society of girls, i'm not so sure.

i just wish you would have talked about this struggle. i wish you would have talked about your WANT to get back together with the boy you love, but recognized that it would be the wrong thing to do. it's hard to have your mind win the battle against your heart. i think everyone would have really been on your side, and been pulling for you. and for all the women who have been victims of domestic violence, they could have related. everything you talked about and expressed would have probably made them feel more normal. and probably like less of a loser for feeling conflicted, or feeling certain emotions. they could have learned that those emotions were "normal" for a situation like this. you probably could have helped eachother. it's just sad. all of it. everything about it.

the worst part? when he hits you again, everyone is going to say you should have known. no one is going to feel bad for you the next time. they're going to all say you were an idiot for staying with him in the first place. that will probably suck for you.


Tuesday Girl said...

So very true. There are so many women who think they don't deserve more, that "he will change" that think "i'm Sorry" makes it okay. It is SO NOT okay.
These women also chose men over their kids a lot of the time. The whole situation is sad and it sucks that it happened in the public eye, but maybe that should have made it easier to leave.
and never look back.

Alison said...

Next time it might be more than hitting. She needs to leave his ass and right now.

Gini said...

Very nicely said. You took the words right out of a lot of people's mouths and reiterated them so perfectly! Kudo's to you.

Anonymous said...

Dude, BRAVO! GREAT post.

As much as it would have totally sucked and would have been really hard, Rihanna could have been the spokesperson SOOOO many young girls need, but instead she showed them that it's OK to return to an abuser, and it's so not.

coreymom40 said...

What can I add except AMEN. He treated her like this and his "trophy" girl didn't leave. He's young, and needs to be brought back down.
She could have set a great example, and she had great support behind her (as I have read). Nice post. You really couldn't have said it any better for us.

Jenn said...

Very well sad. And even though it is her life, she decided to live in publicly by becoming famous. It's just too bad because if she would have left him the message would have been so much better.


J from Ireland said...

I just read the deposition, I am in shock. I agree with everything you wrote in the letter. He is fucking insane. Sadly she is back with him, I think the poor girl has no self-esteem to put up with a creep like him.

Anonymous said...

Recent reports are stating that Rihanna will testify against Chris Brown if she has to. That's a start.Everyone is wondering how Chris Brown's career will survive this. I wonder if her career will survive if she stays with this punk. I hope she stays strong, and he goes to jail.

Grim Reality Girl said...

But for the grace of God go I. I'm sorry that she is going through this and I hope that she does not spend the rest of her life being a victim. As we sit on the sidelines it is painful to realize that many women who go back to their abusers suffer from bigger issues than the beatings.... may Rihanna shock us by leaving him and rising above this abuse. I wish I was more hopeful that she had the strength to be the public example our daughters need. The only up side is that this case forces conversations that might not otherwise happen.

Anonymous said...

Great post...god forbid, but I feel like no one will be surprised when she turns up dead.

NGS said...

This is called victim blaming. Please stop it. Don't tell her she has to change her behavior - it's Chris Brown who needs to do that. Sure she's a role model/singer/famous person, but she's also an abused woman.

In an ideal world, she would leave him. But, guess what? It's not ideal. If her family just told Rihanna what to do instead of letting her know they'd support her no matter what her decision would be would end up isolating her. That's what abusers want. Furthermore, the message it sends to abused women is that people will only support the abused if the abused woman makes the same decision that they would make.

I get it. You're disappointed. I am, too. I had hoped Rihanna would just leave. But she's not. So we should give her the benefit of our support. Because she's not at fault. She's done nothing wrong.

j.sterling said...

ngs- you make GREAT points, you truly do. and i hope you didn't read my post as blaming her, because i tried very hard to let everyone know that i was SAD for her... sad it happened.. sad it happened so publicly.. and sad she is still with him. i'm not "mad" at her. and i know how easy it is to stay with someone who is either verbally or physically abusive towards you. that's why i said that people on the outside will always say how easy it is to leave, as if the situation is just that black and white.

i totally agree that if her family would have told her that thye would only support her if she left him, she would have left her family. she would have gone back to him and tried to hide it at first. i feel like that is what is going to happen with her now. she's going to stop doing interviews... she's going to avoid everyone who is publicly bashing her or saying they are "mad" at her.. and if he hits her again, she's going to do her best to hide it so no one is in her face telling her "i told you so."

my post might be hard to interpret too because i was trying to write from the perspective of how i'm feeling and also the perspective of how others are feeling- like i was just projecting to how others are and the things they would say.

ugh. now my comment isn't making sense. lol

bottom line, i'm just sad for the opportunity lost at this junction. not to say there won't be an opportunity for it at some point down the road in their relationship, but purely from a "what we could have done" perspective.

shutting up now.

CJ said...

You are right on the target and I hope, by some grace of a higher power, her eyes fall upon this posts. The next time, she may not even be around to KNOW nobody feels sorry about her.

sugaredharpy said...

Yes, what NGS said.

It's one of those things where women "get" raped, "get" beaten, etc. Where the onus is on her, like she did something and in this case, if it happens again you bet people will call her stupid. When NO, it's really that Brown beat men rape, let's put the onus back on them.

As for his career? It will be fine, just like R. Kelly's.

Kevin Charnas said...

speaking of someone who needs his ASS BEAT.

And very well put, Jen. Right on, in fact.

j.sterling said...

harpy.. yeah, i totally touched on that in my post too. where something happens to teh woman, and we blame her. oh well she wouldn't have gotten raped if she wasnt' dressed like that, etc. it's sick. i'm not blaming rihanna for getting beat. i also don't "blame" her for staying with him. it's just sad. i just wish things were different, but we can wish all we want for people- no one can change their mind for them.

i really hope and think his career will take a backlash immediately. i just don't think it will last. i can speak for myself when i tell you that i'll never buy another one of his cd's.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Wright
The Wright Place TV Show

jodifur said...

Thank you for saying this. As someone who survived a violent relationship, it is so important for people to say it as often as possible.