Victim, Risqué, Provocateur: Popular Cultural Narratives of Rihanna's Experience of Intimate Partner Violence
Using lenses of Black and Brown feminisms, this article examines popular music artist Chris Brown's 2009 assault of his then partner, Rihanna. Since the assault, Rihanna's identity has been continually written and represented as both inherently victimised and somehow responsible for provoking Brown's violence. The article draws attention to young Black and Brown women's constructions as both 'at-risk' and 'risky', and how Rihanna's 'risqu駠public personae has been misinterpreted by some sectors of the community, including the media, as victim ('at-risk') and provocateur ('risky'). Rihanna's 'risqu鮥ss' is constructed on her gender (female), race, ethnicity and nationality (Bajan, Black, Carribean, islander, migrant). Due to her gender, race and overtly 'sexual' positioning, Rihanna has been subjected to victim-blaming at the hands of the media, but her implied 'risqu鮥ss' was also demonstrated through hyper-surveillance by the media after the assault. This representation is both highly gendered and racialised. Despite being subjected as 'at-risk' and objectified as 'risky', Rihanna found a voice to document and voice her experience of violence. This article unpacks these scripts about her experiences of violence to recognise similar issues young Black and Brown women experience within intimate relationships and to further open up the dialogue in this area.
Australian Feminist Studies
Law not elsewhere classified