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#TrumpDay – Hardcore Edition

Friday, June 3, 2011

Parents: It's YOUR Job, Not Rihanna's To Be A Role Model For Your Kids!

American Power has a post up about the uproar over singer Rihanna's video for her song, Man Down. The video opens with Rihanna's character killing a guy by shooting him in a train station and then flashes back to the events of the day before which tell the story of what led up to that fateful moment; her "victim" had violently attacked her, the video implies that it was a sexual assault.

Advocacy groups are condemning her video and trying to get it taken off the air. Via American Power:
It's that message — which shows her killing a man who has assaulted her — that has drawn the ire of three advocacy groups that work, in part, to combat violent imagery in media.

The Parents Television Council, Industry Ears and the Enough Is Enough Campaign joined to condemn the video and urge Viacom, BET's parent company, to pull it.

BET said Thursday that it had no intention of doing so. More here
I watched the video and I am fine with it. It tells a story, effectively, and is actually nowhere near the level of violence (and smut) that is abundant in so many videos. The video shows what appears to be a nice girl going about her day in Jamaica which also includes a night out at a club where a guy apparently wants more than she is interested in giving so he follows her out of the place and takes it from her. She is then shown hastily digging through some dresser drawers until she finds the gun, indicating that her decision to take vengeance  into her own hands was in the heat of the moment, and the lyrics to the song are all about Rihanna's character regretting that decision. The lyrics are actually anti-vigilante as they acknowledge the character's remorse over killing the man and the realization that in taking his life, she has also destroyed her own. It is a powerful message and the video tells a story quite well. I also happen to have liked the song, but being half West-Indian, I suppose I'm a little biased because I enjoy Caribbean music.

I understand about not wanting kids to see the video because a guy gets shot in the head, but you know what? That's not Rihanna's problem, she's a freaking musician, not a role model. PARENTS need to be the role models for their children and show them people who are worthy to emulate, show your kids stuff about true heroes from history and in our midst, give them real people to look up to and let the entertainers be entertainers. As a parent, you DO have a say in what your kids are watching, and if you let them watch this video, why not watch it with them and explain what it's really about instead of trying to censor it?

Rihanna has taken to Twitter to defend her video, here is my favorite message that she put up:
The music industry isn't exactly Parents R Us! We have the freedom to make art, LET US! Its your job to make sure they dont turn out like US
Aside from the missing apostrophes, it's the perfect message.

Watch the video that all the hubub is about so you can see for yourself, hopefully you will then choose not to be like Tipper Gore and the PMRC back in the 80s who tried to censor music - it was wrong then and it's wrong now. If you don't like a particular song or musician, don't listen to or buy their stuff and if you don't want your kids around it, it's kind of your job to pay attention to the media they consume.  For instance, I can't stand Lady Gaga and I damned sure don't want my daughter asking me for penis shoes, so I don't watch her or listen to her in my home & if we're watching TV and she comes on, I change the channel. I realize that as kids get older you lose some of that power, but you're just going to have to instill good values in them and rather than tell them that they should avoid certain things, explain why. I grew up on Heavy Metal "devil music" (my parents, of course, hated it) and I turned out fine, I didn't abandon  my values or become a psycho killer and let me tell ya, some of the lyrics I listened to were seriously messed up. It's all about being able to distinguish entertainment from reality.

Here's Rihanna's video for Man Down:

This post is linked at Teresamerica. Thanks, Teresa!

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Hobo Projekt said...

Too many parents demand that everyone else parent their children. I don't care what she was saying or doing in the video (Or wearing). I don't care. I think she should be able to sing about what she likes, no one has to listen to her. I can't tell you how annoyed I am all the time by parents expecting media to parent their children for them. Should every star sing the alphabet and talk about cookies? I wouldn't want to watch that. Music videos IN GENERAL are for adults. Children have their own shows. I should get to enjoy violence, sex, whatever all I want if I want. I hate people telling me no because their kiddie widdie might see it and be bothered. Parents shouldn't set their kids in front of the tv with the remote, alone and for long periods of time anyway.

Adrienne said...

Agreed.  When exactly do the parents decide to take control of their kids?  I just had a go-round with my Confirmation sposoree who was engaging in sex with her twerpy little boyfriend.  I asked the Mom (a woman who really tries hard) if she was monitoring the kid's Facebook page.  She said she didn't have time.  I suggested she make time since I knew more about what the kid was doing than she did.

I also told her to make the kid delete the Facebook page, remove IM from her phone, and move the computer into the living room.  That lasted about 2 weeks and the girl is back on Facebook and headed for way more trouble than this mom can imagine.  Oh well!

Zilla of the Resistance said...

Exactly. I like cheesy monster movies where horrible creatures eat people's faces off, but you know what? I ain't freaking watching them with my kids in the room and I couldn't let them watch them if they wanted to. They can watch what they want when they're older, but for now, I'm the parent & I get to decide what to expose them too.  

Zilla of the Resistance said...

I never understood why these kids have smart phones and portable internet access in the first place, they don't need it! The computer my kids use is in the dining room where I can see what they are up to easily. That is how it will remain even when they're older. I know I can't shield them from everything, but I have no intention of facilitating the loss of their innocence either.

Adrienne said...

Oh, cool!  I like those movies, too!

Listen - when it comes to TV I don't even like Mr. Rogers.  After listening to Eddie Murphy's funny thingy on Mr. Rogers, I asked if that was what Mr. Rogers really sounded like. Everyone was amazed I'd never seen the show so they made me get up the next morning and watch.  After the first 30 minutes I turned to someone and said, "do people actually let their kids watch this crap?"  Nothing has happened to change my opinion...

Zilla of the Resistance said...

The only thing I liked about Mr. Rogers when I was a little kid in the 70s was Charlie Trolly and the puppets in the Land of Make Believe, especially a kitty cat puppet that was there. Mr. Rogers himself creeped me out though so I'd just play with my toys or change the channel when he was on. 
My dad let me watch monster movies with him when I was little, he did it responsibly by explaining the difference between TV and reality. I loved it! The only reason why I don't let my kids watch them with me now is because they have much better special effects now so the gore truly looks real & I don't want to scare them. Maybe when they are older & better able to separate entertainment from reality. But if old Godzilla or King Kong movies come on, they can watch those, however only my little boy seems interested. The girl is more girlier than I ever was. 

SignPainterGuy said...

Oh, how times and things have changed from the movies and music available to me as a kid in the `50s and `60s to now. It`s next to impossible to block all the "bad" influences our kids are exposed to, but we have to make wise decisions and make the effort to follow through .

The first thing I thought of, well 2nd, at seeing this story here, MJ, was the story of Gen. Douglas MacArthur at the end of WWII when he was setting up the gov. of Japan and what parties would be allowed in the future. He made room for the equivalents of our r`s and d`s and the Emporer, but never even mentioned the communist party. He gave no place for them to take a toehold. Very wise indeed.

I see it as parents` duty to set the perameters before kids are old enough to remember.

We got HBO when my Daughter was 2ish. I thought she wasn`t paying attention to the foul language; tried not to have "dirty" stuff on if she was around. One day, she and I were home alone. She was standing on the couch, leaning against the back, singing as I cleaned up before her Mom came home. Out of the blue, little Miss G. Carlin did the 7 dirty words not allowed on tv. We cancelled HBO the next day. Oooooops !!

Tammy Sandeen said...

Here's the thing - WE are the parents... I don't want anyone telling me how to raise my kids and I only offer advice (when asked) never orders on how someone else should  raise theirs. I sure in heck don't want the government, a religious group, or other nutty over the top group telling me how to parent.

I want to be able to feed my kids what ever type of food I think they should be eating, when I should stop the breast or bottle, potty train.

I am the one who is responsible for the books I pay for, The channels I allow on the tv and radio, and what I pay for at the clothes shop. My 11 yr daughter has read classics like A Christmas Carol and has read Harry Potter. The girls were taught that the dress must be longer then their finger tips and that triangles of fabric do not make for good swim wear.

I am a mean mom but based on my own moral base, not on someone elses.

I think I'll close with a RIGHT ON ZILLAMOM!!!!! before this turns into a blog...

Zilla of the Resistance said...

Bwahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!! That's priceless. When my little girl was learning to talk, I had taken her outside while Daddy happened to be working on the car. Something wasn't going right and he hurt himself and since we were still new parents, I don't think he was even thinking when he hollered out, "Mutha f*cka!" and before he drew another breath our precious little angel started happily singing, "Mutha f*cka mutha f*cka mutha f*cka mutha f*ckaaaaa!!!!!!" like she was singing nursery rhymes.
Another time she heard one of us say that word and we told her that "No honey, I said FROG". We thought we were sooo smart till we got her over to grandma's and she did see a frog and said, "Oh look at the f*ck!" Did I mention that my Mother-In-Law is a devout Jehovah's Witness who doesn't curse? Luckily she was cool about it but I was sooo embarrassed!

SignPainterGuy said...

Zilla told me she never stops a good rant ! You were ranting "good" to me; keep going. Now what was that about swimming in triangles ? ;-)

Zilla of the Resistance said...

Might make a damned good post, Tammy! I don't think you're mean mom at all and I
bet the kids don't either, you're the mom who cares enough to raise her children
up right in a world gone wrong and you're doing a terrific job!


M said...


We rode herd on our kids, especially when we were overseas. They did not like it but we told them often enough that we were their parents not their friends! Too many parents what to be buddies with their kids.

Zilla of the Resistance said...

Hi Gunny, nice to see you here! You did right by your children. Kids need their parents to be PARENTS first and foremost.

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