Given the intense publicity given to Chris Brown’s violent beating of singer, Rihanna, and the subsequent release of her domestic violence-themed single, Russian Roulette, it’s hard to interpret her partnership with Eminem on the new song, Love the Way You Lie, as anything but symbolic. Unfortunately, it’s also hard to interpret this video as anything other than the message that true love is violent.
Eminem sings about how he hates the woman he loves, and alternates between expressing shame for his violence and describing how badly he wants to hurt her. Simultaneously, Rihanna’s beautiful vocals tug at the heart strings, representing the love side of the coin against Eminem’s angry voice. Add to this the acting by Lost’s Dominic Monaghan and super-sex-symbol Megan Fox, who alternate between beating each other and appearing to be deeply, profoundly in love. Eminem closes by threatening to kill her if she ever tries to leave him and, in the end, they lie in each others arms.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a beautiful song. Rihanna’s vocals are gorgeous; it’s was hard to not feel heartfelt while listening to them. And that’s the problem. It’s a powerful form of socialization. That we might internalize the message that passionate love and incontrollable rage go hand-in-hand is really very scary. It suggests not only that you should tolerate interpersonal violence but that, if there is no violence in your relationship, perhaps you don’t really love one another. Better go out and find someone who will beat you.
I’ve never been in an abusive relationship of that sort but as a young adult I thought I knew what love felt like. To me, it felt like fear. I knew that I was in love when I became deeply frightened that someone would leave me. It took me until around my 30th birthday to realize that a strong, loving relationship should make me feel secure, not terrified. These messages are insidious and ubiquitous and I do believe they shape real relationships.Lisa Wade, PhD is an Associate Professor at Tulane University. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture; a textbook about gender; and a forthcoming introductory text: Terrible Magnificent Sociology. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Anonymous — August 7, 2010
Perhaps at my age (43) I've just gotten cynical, but the images and messages presented in this video are probably easily recognizable and identifiable to young people (i.e. under 25), making it very marketable to its target audience.
In other words, Eminem and Rihanna were encouraged by the record producers to make this song because they knew it would sell.
underbelly — August 7, 2010
"That Rihanna of all people, a woman who could have made a powerful statement against this type of message, is participating in glamorizing the very violence she suffered, is very disheartening."
I disagree that Rihanna is glamorizing violence here. I see this song as more of a social commentary about domestic violence that reflects her personal experience than one that attempts to make violence cool.
I also disagree about taking this song as a PSA and then criticizing that "it doesn't send the right message." Rihanna went through a terrible public ordeal. It shouldn't be surprising that she is now producing songs that suggest despair (Russian Roulette) or that explore the fucked up and confusing terrain of love and violence. She shouldn't be expected to be "strong" or to "take a stand against domestic violence." If she wants to sing about despair or about the conflict between love and violence, that is her right, and we should respect her for it rather than criticizing that it's not the message *we* would like to hear.
To me, her recent songs are a reflection of the range of emotions one experiences after domestic violence, and I think it is wrong for people to expect her to do empowering songs or to turn the rest of her music that explores violence as a positive PSA. Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I applaud her for having the courage to expose her true emotions (despair, confusion) about what she went through rather than to put up a public facade of empowerment.
Eneya — August 7, 2010
Yawn. There are two many similar sounding and visually presented music videos to be even slightly interested. Any analyses of it would go like this: boy and a girl are working class, they are young and possibly unemployed, they supposedly love each other very much but they are also violent with each other... but that is ok, because it is just because they love each other too much and it is overwhelming.
It is so unreal that I have no idea how this kind of videos get so popular. The story in the video is very poor, the "aggressive raping" which speaks about violence and hurt countered by soft female voice who speaks about love is just deepening the duality of male aggressiveness/female softness. As I said... quite bored with it. It is not catchy, it doesn't say anything new and with the reputations of Eminem and his personal life (daughter, wife) and Rihanna's personal issues as well, it just gives impression that someone tried too hard to attract the attention of the teens but failed for pushing it too much.
Eli Shrinks — August 7, 2010
Please see http://flipfloppingjoy.com/2010/08/06/eminemrihanna/
I think this is a very realistic portrayal of violence in the home. Because it's not all about the moments when you are being a victim. Many people never feel like a victim and if it were as easy as someone you don't love and whom you have never loved, someone you don't know or care about breaking your teeth, people would never stay in abusive situations. I think this video speaks to that conflict-- not only external but internal. The conflict of loving someone who beats you, the conflict of sometimes goading them on so that you don't have to wait for them to go off, the conflict of not being the perfect helpless victim.
>>Unfortunately, it’s also hard to interpret this video as anything other than the message that true love is violent.
Really? I think it's clear within the context of the video that it's not healthy-- do you really think that the video is arguing that even metaphorical immolation is a good thing?--, but that abuse isn't as easy as that. I think the message is that sometimes violence feels a lot like love (she cares about him so much that she gets jealous when she sees the phone number on his hand! He loves her too much to let her leave!). I think we do people in abusive relationships a disservice when we pretend that leaving a violent relationship is easy or obvious. They are literally playing with fire.
I took the end's purposeful mirroring of the beginning of an acknowledgment of the cyclical nature of intimate partner violence. It's the same shit on a different day, the same sickening tension of knowing that the good times might give way any second to bad. I felt sick watching this video because of those quick turns.
I think also that people should be careful about criticizing Rihanna for her participation, especially when that gives Eminem, whom we know has actually beaten his partner, a free pass.
Shae — August 7, 2010
"It is so unreal that I have no idea how this kind of videos get so popular."
Unfortunately it's not actually unreal to a lot of poor people trapped in crappy jobs and towns where tensions and crime are high. I've been in and around a number of these unhealthy relationships.
The message that love is violent is ubiquitous; the message that you should get a grant and go to college and catch a bus and go somewhere else and stay single or find someone with a job who doesn't yell at you is boring and therefore not really getting out there, even though IMHO that's the message these people need. Famous pop stars probably wouldn't know anything about how "getting out" works for the average person anyway.
b — August 7, 2010
It suggests not only that you should tolerate interpersonal violence but that, if there is no violence in your relationship, perhaps you don’t really love one another.
It sounds more to me like you believe that if there's violence in the relationship, there can't also be passionate, "deep, profound" love.
Why do you think people stay in abusive relationships? Often it's because there really is love there, no matter how broken, and because when things are good they're very, very good. And that feeds the false hope that maybe someday the good times will be all there is. "I know he loses his temper sometimes, but he really loves me and he can be such a great guy most of the time."
Or do you think that art shouldn't be allowed to show the reality of abusive relationships? I think that that's equally dangerous, because if all we see in the media is the message that abuse looks like abuse 24/7, then that helps people stay in denial. "Well, if it were really abuse, I'd be miserable all the time. If it were really abuse, we wouldn't have such good times together."
I think that if anything, this is a very realistic portrayal (both in the lyrics and the video) of an abusive relationship. It's not saying that it's good - if anything, it's showing how bad it can be and how quickly things can turn from terrific to horrible and back again. Just like art realistically depicting drug or alcohol addiction would have to show how good it feels when you're high as well as how it destroys your life.
Bekka — August 7, 2010
"if all we see in the media is the message that abuse looks like abuse 24/7, then that helps people stay in denial... It’s not saying that it’s good – if anything, it’s showing how bad it can be and how quickly things can turn from terrific to horrible and back again."
This nails what I've been trying to put into words about this video and song, which I've also been deeply conflicted about. It is, unequivocally, a song about a deeply broken, abusive relationship, and I think the participation of Rihanna - who DID leave her abuser, despite public confusion and difficulty with the choice - underscores that even the characters in the video and song KNOW the relationship is destructive. The fire consumes all of them, including, most visually, Eminem. I think that while the video is honest about the surface allure of that kind of relationship - "maybe this is just what happens when a tornado meets a volcano" type of justification and romanticizing - the relationship is also clearly immolating them both, while physically threatening the life of the woman if she leaves it. It seems to express the position that women, especially, are put in in these relationships, in danger whether they stay or go.
Also, there's been a thread through many discussions of this video about who Rihanna's character is - whether it is the actual voice of the woman in the relationship, or a projection of the man's justifications. I think the video points strongly towards the latter, in that she appears only in the midst of the flames, never in the field, at the distance from which Eminem remembers or creates the story. Her lip curls and snarls seem to express disgust at her own words, far from a smiling complicity.
While there is no part of me that doubts that far, far too many impressionable teens ARE likely to see this and idealize the relationship, I don't think the complexity of the piece warrants dismissal by feminists or sociological thinkers, both categories in which I'd include myself. This isn't meant to be a refutation of your beautifully worded and thought out article, but another reading I'd throw into the mix.
Anonymous — August 7, 2010
I think what is disturbing about the video is that it doesn't go anywhere. In the end they're still together. And of course that's real life, many relationships don't resolve themselves non-violently, don't end in someone leaving before they are killed by their partner.
But still, it's disturbing to see Rihanna singing along to these images. She was able to leave her violent relationship. And she has said before that she understands other women are watching her. She has said in interviews she understands her actions can influence what other women do in similar situations.
So, why this video? Why this pairing with a man who has repeatedly written songs about how much he hates the women in his life? Artists know they have influence. Certainly she has the right, but we also have the right to be disappointed in the song.
Sisou — August 7, 2010
This video didn't go anywhere because its not about what should Happen. It's about what does happen in abusive relationship. In a abusive relationship, people often repeat the same patterns until they are over. If they ever end. One of the signs of a abusive relationship is not knowing when to end it.
I got to disagree with the author. This video is through the eyes of people in a abusive relationship. Showing how they think. And yes, people in obsessive relationship think that they will never get that kind of passionate elsewhere. As other have said I think it would have be worst to pretend that there are not reasons by why people stay in relationships...
I wrote this at another blog:
As a person whose been in a verbally abuse relationship. I thought it was right on. I really related to the pull of the obsession that can hold a person in a bad relationship. Esp: when a bomb meets a tornado. That fiery imagery really spoke to what it feels like to be in a codependent relationship. A crazy fire that feels unexciting until you get burnt.
I think a video that didn't show the lust and sick attraction. Would not be as honest as this one.
I would love to know how other who have been in abusive relationship relate to this video... I wonder if the ones who believe this is glamorizing violence haven't experienced this type of relationship. I actually thought it was hard to watch, painful even... but damn true!
true love is violent? « Life as it happens — August 7, 2010
[...] August 7, 2010 by adrihappens With all of the hype surrounding the new song by Rihanna and Eminem (Russian Roulette) I have been thinking a lot about domestic violence in the media. I found this post on Sociological Images this morning and I really cannot express how I feel any better than they already have so just read the article… [...]
Fuchsia — August 7, 2010
I actually thought the video was a condemnation of the way with which society often conflates passion and abuse. Dominic Monaghan and Megan Fox are going through the motions of pulling their relationship to shreds, while Eminem and Rihanna watch on. We don’t need to hear what the actors are saying to each other because their lines and excuses are so ordinary and oft repeated that the singers can relay them for us: “maybe our relationship isn’t as crazy as it seems”, “I guess I don’t know my own strength”, “when it’s going good, it’s going great”, “I don’t recognise the person who does these things”, “next time I’ll show restraint”, “your temper’s just as bad as mine”, etc, etc. In the end Eminem and Rihanna stand back and watch the house burn before it has even been set on fire, because what they’re basically saying is “we’ve seen this all before, we know exactly where this is going”.
Raluca Hippie — August 7, 2010
Nothing new- or American about it. Actually, it reminds me about a story that has been passed on in my family. My great-great-grandmother has been a schoolteacher in a village, in pre-WW1 Romania; it was pretty much the first time in history schools were built in Romanian villages and consequently the schoolteacher was (along with the village's priest) quite a strong moral and epistemic authority, to which the whole village turned for advice and guidance when faced with problems.
Well- my great-great-grandma once received the visit of a sobbing young peasant woman.
-Madam, I'm desperate, I don't know what to do, my husband does not love me! she said.
-Well, why do you think so? My great-great-grandma asked her.
-It's because he never beats me.
As a future sociologist, it really makes me wonder: why are we being socialized into this "love is fear" pattern and when/where did it originate? A cross-cultural study would be interesting.
Kay — August 7, 2010
I think I'm most disgusted with the words "I like the way it hurts", said by a woman, which is given as a justification of both her staying in an abusive relationship (because she likes it) and his abuse of her in the first place (because she likes it).
Jfermiller — August 7, 2010
is powerful, and is art reflecting culture. But I agree that it burns deep when put to music. The messages in songs help to create new cultural norms and to bring taboos into acceptability.
I remember being moved when I saw the film Natural Born Killers in the theater. My head full of ideas about the clever portrayal of violence as metaphor for the disenfranchisement of youth... blah blah, then I noticed some young men coming out of the theater laughing loudly and backslapping each other. They had seen the film as a cool adventure, a fiction to be taken at face value. An aha moment for me. Film, art,and music have the power to change (Or more accurately to lead) a society into new way ontologies. What does the video hold for us as a culture? A reflection that makes us question a reality, or an ideal to be aspired to?
Critical Thoughts — August 7, 2010
"If she ever tries to fucking leave again. I'mma tie her to the bed. And set the house on fire."
This is the lyric that really got to me, even without seeing the video. Why don't abused women leave? It's because leaving substantially increases the risk of being murder by the abuser. I don't have the data in front of me, but I think it's by as much as 75%. I don't see any commentary by the artists or their record company about this. It's not problematized in the song or video. To me, it comes down to this: if you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the problem.
Also problematic--the way the video director edited the hitting and punching seamlessly in with passionate kissing. So punching is foreplay? Ugh.
Carlene — August 7, 2010
What's important to consider is the author's authority in writing this piece, "who are you speaking for?" Not to be critical, but having "never been in an abusive relationship of that sort", I question the author's ability to fully understand the dynamics of this song. Think back to black feminists contesting white feminist discourse; not all experience is the same, and we have to take a critical look at voice and intersectionality. To say that teenage love is akin to abusive love, in my opinion, devalues the complexity and volitility of this type of relationship.
Having been in a physically, emotionally and verbally abusive relationship (and having suffered sexual and physical abuse as a child) when I first heard this song (I admit, I did not watch the clip, but I own this cd), it was powerfully moving, painful, and perfectly descriptive of what it's like to be living in an abusive relationship. That lust for things to be okay, to please that person, and that willingness to accept the pain and live off that pain. The chorus and Rhianna's vocals - so haunting - was really therapeutic and gives voice to a lot of those emotions that are really difficult to process. I agree with Sisou's comments above.
I take issue with a lot of the classist comments in this forum. That if poor individuals would just "get a grant and go to college", all would be well.
First, these types of comments ignore the presence of abuse within all socio-economic levels of society: it is not just working class or poor people that are in abusive relationships, even if that is what is portrayed in this particular example.
Second, these comments ignore the cyclical nature of abuse. The song does a good job of portraying this cycle within the relationship, but we mustn't forget that abuse is repeated across generations. Often, abuse is endemic within a family or life history, and this is reproduced in future generations/relationships. While yes, any sort of abuse is wrong, we must be careful about condeming the abuser and instead take into account their own experience in order to fully understand the dynamic.
Third, we must not forget that women can be abusers, too, just as men can be the victims of abuse. Abusive relationships are codependent and we need to be careful about portraying the victim as 'helpless female'. Of course, that is not to say that some victims are not 'helpless females', but rather that not ALL victims are these 'helpless females'. Speaking from experience, I know this is not the case.
Tom M. — August 7, 2010
I'm not a fan of Eminem or Rihanna, but I do think it is a good idea to give artists the freedom to explore uncomfortable themes and emotions.
Kit — August 7, 2010
I found the video strangely compelling. Maybe it was just because of the beautiful imagery, beautiful vocals, and the beautiful people (Dominic Monaghan & Rihanna in particular!), but I felt myself drawn completely in. I could feel the inextricable draw which I think mirrors the feelings of those involved in these kinds of destructive relationships. They wouldn't be so destructive if they weren't also completely intoxicating, at least at first. I don't really see it as "glamorizing" violent relationships as I see it replicating that feeling of intoxication, but also showing its destructive power through the fire imagery that consumes everything at the end. I'm pretty sure there aren't going to be a lot of high school couples making this "their" song, but that could be my naivety.
I understand the sociological reasons for being against this video, but in my opinion, the artistic reasons *for* it are far more important. Rihanna and Eminem as artists should be allowed to express the complicated emotions surrounding these destructive relationships without bearing the burden of attaching a PSA to it. I realize that we're all disgusted by the idea of violence turning into passion, but it can't be denied that it's a huge part of abusive relationships, particularly in young people. It would be false to ignore that. Rihanna is honestly expressing how she must have felt during her abusive relationship, and Eminem seems to be doing the same from the other side of the equation, having been the aggressor. They're working out their feelings openly and honestly, showing the passion as well as the destruction. I think making it a clumsy PSA with an inspiring message of her leaving him and making a better life blah blah blah would be so false, considering that many people never do escape these relationships, and instead the cycle just continues until everything burns down.
Why should art bear the burden of showing only positive messages that will help the youth of America? Why can't it be about truth? Which is not to say that an inspiring video wouldn't be "truthful", but it's clearly not the "truth" that these two are working to get over.
Short Version: Art should be truthful, and the truth isn't always pleasant.
Jacob — August 7, 2010
I found the closing line made it all work.
Anyone else see a parallel between this and The Crystals singing "He hit me (it felt like a kiss)"... that was said to glamorize domestic violence so got little airplay but was also meant as a protest, and was a response to little eva, who sang the locomotion and who at that time worked for carol king as babysitter for her kids... she told carol her boyfriend beat her and that's how she knew he loved her...
I found bits of the video disturbing at times, because of the eminem character, I couldn't tell whether he was acting a part or not... I could see the glamourization of his character, as I don't think it'd be out of the ordinary for eminem to be sincerely promoting violence... however as it went on and it interplayed with rhianna, it felt more confessional than advocating for.
And when eminem closes with the threat of killing her if she ever tries to leave again... I think that really brings it home for me, and probably most listeners as the conclusion, the overhanging threat and reality of the day when he kills her. I don't think many people would take that lightly or glamorous.
I think anthony and the johnsons singing "fistfull of love" with lou read speaking the intro and playing guitar deals with it in a much more melancholy way, where I get a lot more of the catharsis that I think all the songs are aiming for... it's really beautiful.
fuzzy — August 7, 2010
This is the nature of an abusive relationship, that it is either very very bad or very very good....and when it is bad, you think it will get good again.
BTDT, got the t-shirt and the bruises.
nina — August 7, 2010
Interesting how people read things differently. I see it as descriptive,not prescriptive.
I think it shows how horrible it is when you get caught in an insanely passionate relationship and as a warning of the dangers of getting totally caught up in passion.
People wonder why women stay with abusive men, or why men stay with their "psycho" girlfriends. This is a pretty accurate depiction of a situation like that. The passions and emotional intensity are like a drug, and people become addicted to the drama, the intensity the constant surge of hormones and brain chemicals.Its exciting, its thrilling. Its like a roller coaster ride or extreme sports.
And it ends in destruction.
When I heard the song it sounded like it Eminem regretting the past and exploring the dysfunction of his relationship with his ex. And I thought of it as a cautionary tale of how he got caught up in madness and did things he wished he had not done.
The video is sad to me and Im surprised at the honesty of it, it does not glamorize the situation,IMO,it illustrates how damaging it is to both parties.
Philothei — August 7, 2010
Another example of glorified violence in relationships shows up in Maroon 5's new video for their song Misery. Apparently violence is sexy if a woman does it, who knew!
Phoebe — August 8, 2010
after watching it once with audio and visuals, I turned off the sound and watched it again. It was far...creepier? more moving? Disturbing? Not exactly sure how to describe it.
Gayle — August 8, 2010
"It suggests not only that you should tolerate interpersonal violence but that, if there is no violence in your relationship, perhaps you don’t really love one another. Better go out and find someone who will beat you."
Correction: It suggests women should tolerate violence and that men should beat them. Why did you hide power differential here?
There's no complex anti violence message hidden in the corners of the video. This isn't against- girl friend/wife beating or anything of the sort. If it was, I guarantee you Eminem wouldn't be singing it. Its message is clear: "This is what love is." It's pitiful to watch so many people conjure up a defense for it.
The lengths people go to to excuse women hating in our culture boogle the mind.
Sarv — August 8, 2010
I'd feel a lot more comfortable about this video if it weren't just a glamorized depiction of abusive relationships.. If there were a small ad at the end for a website or phone number where you can get help or counselling to help you learn to get out/stop getting into these relationships then it would have been much better. Plenty of artists ad suicide hotline, alcohol and drug abuse information, why wasn't it added to this video? This video does let people who have been in that situation relate to it (which is fine) but also tells teenagers that this type of relationship, while tragic, is also incredibly hot and famous people are doing it (which is not fine). Eminem and Rhianna are both adults who should be making sure the correct message is portrayed to impressionable youth.
Anonymoose — August 8, 2010
This video breaks my heart. Because it pops up in my FB feed, posted by my 15 year old niece, who is dating a man who hurts her, in a small town so overrun by meth that the police do not have time to drag her home and enforce statutory rape laws against her 19 year old boyfriend. There are TONS of videos like this on youtube, by popular acts and artists, that glamorize relationship abuse, and normalize it for girls like her, and she posted this video, and the others like it, as a way of supporting her position - that this is what REAL love is, and that its dark, and scary, and unpredictable, and a guy who really loves you would kill you before he would let you go. We can play armchair sociology all we want, but videos are aimed at teenagers, and this message makes getting the shit beaten out of you a pretty sexy part of an adult relationship. Nice message.
This video is Eminem's justification for his own actions - that the woman bears some blame, is also violent, that it isn't his fault. And this is the kind of video that little girls like my niece watch on rotation, and cry themselves to sleep over. And its fascinating to read people justifying this as Emininem exploring how he 'got caught up' in family violence. Damn, but don't we just excuse men for this shit all the time. He punched his wife in the face, repeatedly, because he choose to punch her in the face, not because he got 'caught up', passively, in a situation, but because he caused a situation. Big difference.
ccook — August 9, 2010
That is a good point. I guess I did not consider how art can be used as way to vent emotions and experiences. It's not that these relationships should not be represented, I think its just important for artists to be aware of how they can be interpreted, especially in negative ways. Everyone has different experiences and reactions within an abusive relationship and will react differently to what they hear and see in this video. If I were to represent my own experiences, I would just do it differently.
Sisou — August 9, 2010
The fact that the video is through the eyes of " abused and abuser" also opens the door for a discussion on the mental state behind abusive relationship. This video speaks to a certain emotional imbalance that causes the characters to confuse love and obsession. To mistakenly believe that they could Never find someone else who completes them better.
we should ask ourselves why the focus of abuse is to just get someone out instead of getting both parties help so they do not repeat the pattern in other relationships? Perhaps,it is because we have seen and expected images of abuse that are from the outsider's perspective who condones it. (ex: tv shows that have a woman get in van away from her husband. Assume that she will be fine when she leaves him. However, survivors of abuse are often re-abused by others)
Instead of allowing for images that speak to whats going on in actual survivors' head. So that we can actually understand and help to fix this society problem.
LexieDi — August 10, 2010
My boyfriend sent me this song as a love song. He and I had a loooong talk after I listen to it once, and then twice to make sure I heard it right. I made sure he knew that I do not and would never confuse violence with love or love with violence, so he'd better watch himself.
For some reason, all the men I talk to about songs like this one say "But it's about love! He really loves her!"
If you want to listen to something that makes me physically ill, Avenged Sevenfold's "Little Piece of Heaven" is one of the worst songs I've ever heard mixing the ideas of "true love" and violence. Serious trigger warning on that, though.
M Jacobs — August 10, 2010
Given the lyrics and the burning house in the background, isn't the message of this video that he's already killed her?
I've been a DV victim advocate for about 8 years now, and I find this rather discouraging. The violence is glamorized (we never see her with a grossly swollen face or scars after a beating, for example), and Eminem is just a disaster on this issue, in addition to being widely admired by young folks. There's a segment of the population that's going to take to this as they have to the Twilight series, with dismal results.
Natalie — August 10, 2010
On a possibly unrelated note, why is Rihanna in underwear? She is so amazingly talented - it irritates me that someone of her great vocal capacity is also obliged to look sexed-up ALL the time. Can't she be political or beautiful without being low-cut and shiny?
“Love The Way You Lie”: Eminem, Rihanna, Class and Violence | Ernesto Aguilar — August 12, 2010
[...] Sociological Images posted up a thoughtful look at the Eminem/Rihanna hit “Love The Way You Lie,” and the video’s imagery, which portrays a presumably mutually violent romantic relationship between actors Megan Fox and Dominic Monaghan. The song is a number one hit currently. [...]
“Love The Way You Lie”: Eminem, Rihanna, Class and Violence « Red Ant Liberation Army News — August 12, 2010
[...] Rihanna, Class and Violence August 12, 2010 BJ Murphy Leave a comment Go to comments Sociological Images posted up a thoughtful look at the Eminem/Rihanna hit “Love The Way You Lie,” and the video’s [...]
Never Tell an Artist to Shut Up: Rihanna and Eminem Open Dialogue on Domestic Violence | HEPFAT — August 14, 2010
[...] This week, Eminem’s new video, “Love the Way You Lie,” featuring Rihanna was released, and it was met in the feminist blogosphere with no small amount of perplexity. Lisa at Sociological Images had this to say: [...]
Yu — August 15, 2010
I have pondered this video for a little while now. While I don't have the time to read all of the comments here (but, will later and maybes have to backtrack on some my points) I just want to add that in the scenario (that I can see) in the video presents, yes, an unhealthy relationship - but one that may be on the verge of breaking up. This is a bit of a swaying point for me. Much of the violence that is perpetrated in intimate/partner relationships happen at the time of(or shortly after) a breakup: sexualized and physical assaults, stalking, and of course murder. the fact that she is alive to tell the story is statistically lucky on her part - especially for a woman of color. While I agree that the video itself is a music video, of course channeling some of the experiences that Rhianna has, it's a complex one she (and Eminem) is putting across. I think this would be a great discussion starter in conversations with youth (and adults) about intimate partner violence - and men's violence against women specifically. it is in these conversations, that don't happen that often, that we get to unpack these messages of love, violence, and relationships. valuable stuff here.
emcBlue | » LOUD and Unclear: Why Do We “Love The Way You Lie?” » — November 19, 2010
[...] love they feel that’s so powerful, it tears them apart (like a tornado made of fire). As Sociological Images’ Lisa writes: “It is impossible to interpret this video as anything other than the message true [...]
Inny — December 17, 2010
In this clip I can imagine that it sends a mixed message. On one hand we see how distructive these kinds of relationships are, but this video can also 'normalize' violence in sexual relationships. At least you can see this video in two way's, which i think is not the case with the video of nicole scherzinger (whatever you like). It really scared me today...Talk about the glorification of (sexual) violence....And then the lyrics say: 'I can do whatever you like' over and over...It really made me sad that these kind of video's are allowed to exist.