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Rihanna debuted her new video for “Man Down” early yesterday which received very mixed reviews. In the video, Rihanna shoots a man down in the center of a busy street. But the visual of a man being gunned down in broad daylight (with a clear view of blood exiting his neck and pooling around his head) proved to be too graphic for some of the viewers of BET’s target audience. So, let’s discuss both sides:

I’ve spoken to some viewers that loved the video and their argument is that “because the most violent scenes in the video are in the beginning, it can be edited out without losing the raw and uncut story that is told in the song.” They also argued that although she is using violence and graphic images, she is also telling a story, which is becoming increasingly rare amongst artists in their music. Not only is Rihanna telling a story, but she is telling one that young women who’ve been sexually abused or hurt in any way by a man can suture with. Personally, after fully sitting down and watching the video I can agree with the Rihanna Navy on this one – the bad parts can definitely be edited out without losing the integrity of the video.

Now, on the other hand, you have groups like the Parents Television Council that are against the video because they feel it is both inappropriate for BET viewers, as well as a double standard against men – which brings me to my next question. Does Rihanna’s video present a double standard?

If Chris Brown made a video about a woman robbing him of his manhood and taking justice into his own hands and killing her, would it be okay? Think about it. After all the flack Chris Brown has taken in the past with his violent temper, would he be able to simply back up the integrity of his video by claiming “male empowerment”? Let’s just be real about it. They’d probably send the SWAT team to Brown’s doorstep before he could even make it home after shooting the video. Just face it, no one likes the idea of a man doing harm to a woman in any way regardless of the situation, so why do we make it okay for a woman to do so.

Tell me readers, do you think this is a double standard?

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