Rude Boy/Rude Girl

Posted: June 22, 2010 in Eminem, Rihanna

Rude Boy is the new single and video by Rhianna.

Apparently it is causing a bit of a stir in the media and with the  ‘parents’.

I don’t know what all the fuss is about do you?

Aside from the fact Rhianna is a gorgeous, strong (not white) solo artist, she sings about  sex that overtly references power dynamics (‘I like it when you pull my hair’ ‘I like it when you tell me move it there’). She is also shaking her booty suggestively and looking directly at the camera with a cool stare. ‘If I ain’t feelin’ it I won’t fake it’. This woman is for real and some people will feel threatened by a woman expressing her sexuality.

But I think there is another reason why her new song and video is causing a commotion in Middle England. The last time we really saw Rhianna spread across our newspapers, she looked like this:

Rhianna Beaten

Rhianna Beaten

It is likely that the media and the parents  find this juxtaposition, of a woman as victim of violence, against a video of a woman regaining her confidence and her sexual assertiveness , difficult to handle.  It’s easier to think of victims of partner violence as perpetual victims, and to dismiss  ‘sexualised’ images of women in pop music as ‘offensive’.

But I love how Rhianna challenges the stereotypes.  I am happy to see her shaking her booty and telling her man to ‘gidee up gidee up’.

You go girl. And enjoy those rude boys on your own terms.

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Karl and Elly , Elly . Elly said: Rude Boy/Rude Girl < Power to Rhianna @DrPetra […]

  2. Liz says:

    Oh, I love this song! Really? It’s controversial? I should have known.

    Yes, she’s being provocative, but you know what? She’s not anybody’s decoration or sidekick in the song or the video. I just can’t feel offended at that. It’s all about her own desire. I would have so identified with this at her age.
    It takes so much strength to be sincere when everyone’s looking. She’s uncensored; a 360-degree woman. People love her because she’s unapologetically laid everything out–the painful as well as the pleasurable aspects of her life.

    I also love the scholarship of the video–visual nods to–could that be both Grace Jones AND Whitney Houston?!–as well as the Africana and reggae references. Awesome.

    –A Parent

  3. Hi Liz
    Thanks for your comment. I love the song too, and I really like your analysis of it! Yes Grace Jones is definitely there, and a bit of Beyonce. I am not sure of the Whitney Houston nod you will have to fill me in on that one.

    I know that the ‘parents’ invoked by the Daily Mail to tut tut about this kind of thing do not represent all parents or even many at all. They just get a lot of media attention.

  4. I mostly object to the bad grammar, but I suspect you’re right about the roots of people’s objections. How depressing.

  5. Haha. well I think ‘pop’ music and ‘R ‘n’ B’ could be said to have developed their own grammar. But I get you! I tried to transcribe the full lyrics and it was a real challenge.

  6. I love her playfulness in this video – there are a few instances when she smiles or laughs that show this is about *her* sexuality, not about the male gaze (you never get genuine laughs or smiles in the manufactured “sexy” stuff) and the fact it’s her and some hot guys – no other sexy women.

    I think a lot of people make the mistake that mainstream popular music, especially by such succesful artists, has to be child-friendly – that it’s this frivolous bubblegum stuff. While a lot is aimed at the younger market, there are some people who are definitely not interested in writing for kids. Rihanna seems to be firmly interested in writing for adults who aren’t scared of their sexuality. Gaga (is it possible to talk about pop music without bringing her up) is another – singing about drink, power play, dysfunctional emotions, and female lust.

    I’ve never been so interested in pop in my life – have I been missing out on these sexually liberated, intelligent pop musicians for years?

  7. Lovely comment english thorn. I think you may have missed a few sexy strong women pop stars, but they are not as common as they should be. I will go through the archives and come up with a list that I think match Rhianna over the last oh I dunno twenty odd years…. give me a little while to compile it!

  8. Richard Miles says:

    If you ask me, she was asking for it. Women who dress and act provocatively get what’s coming to them.

    There’s nothing sexy or strong about a woman selling her body to make money. And make no mistake. That’s what Rihanna’s doing.

    You’re a hypocrite to support her and condemn hookers.

  9. Taryn says:

    I read this [This woman is for real and some people will feel threatened by a woman expressing her sexuality.]

    And then I read Richards post. Is there a link you think? Lol

  10. Taryn, I think you may be onto something there! And Welcome!

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