I think I know what’s the “problem” with man down .
( buckle in it’s gonna be long)
Rihanna thinks she’s a person . Rihanna thinks West Indian women are people . Rihanna doesn’t think she’s a rolemodel . Rihanna doesn’t think she is an embassador for her culture as much as a member of it , and she has the gosh dang nerve to embrace the idea that it’s not ALWAYS UP TO HER TO BE THE BETTER person.
I was thinking about this during the amazing Country decision BFP spearheaded and when I watched again after my I AM 26 YEARS OLD post.
Being West Indian , vengenance , anger, and limited paths of redressing of them are part and parcel of the historical narrative.
Bribes for cops have funny names, kids by slave owners run around and have sold their own mom’s .
We’re culturally singular each and every country , but poverty means that parts of Domenica looks like parts of Barbados look like parts of Guyana.
People hate on us regularly , for being poor , slack , angry, crazy knife happy and ..weird
While bopping their heads to our music, stealing or cultural foods , and salivating over our women . We’re appropriated and insulted time after time .
Drink Tea with our sugar and call us lazy
Bop Your Heads to Hip Hop and don’t know DJ Cool Herc
We’re the people who stay in what most people consider transitory points , you either vacation, or emigrate from to a “better” place
To be from their is to be constantly seen as colonized
As opposed to Gretchen Wilson and the Dixie Chicks there isn’t that level of international communal property to your very existence .
And Mandown is all about the life of this proto Rihanna as a girl , a pretty well loved girl in the West Indies . Not as a piece of eye candy , not as an untouchable superstar, as an emblem , or a performer, but as a girl.
A girl who hugs her small cousins, teases the local rudebois, kisses an aunty at a van stop , and rides her bike.
She’s not ( yet ) writing from a long suffering pushed me to the brink perspective. This isn’t a power anthem of how much we can take
This is a one time is enough , and it is WORTH it and I can be sorry and conflicted but unapologetic about wanting someone dead who would violate you in this way.
This isn’t 30+ year old women snarking or comically pointing , this is a young woman of a specific location emphasizing agency and personhood ( in admittedly violent ways) in a locus where she should have NONE
She’s a gorgeous woman , who should be possessed cause well beautiful women, public property ,
She’s a West Indian Woman who is being vulnerable , not speaking for the entire Caricom entity, and airing the dirty laundry She’s also loving however metaphorically a place most people see as their hedonistic playgrounds
She’s a celebrity who casts her self as neither hero or villain but as person
Things she is not supposed to do around identities that are supposed to be agreed on as worthless or cartoonish or for public consumption first and foremost.
and if someone thinks like RIHANNA ( CAPITAL CELEBRITY MODEL GLAMAZON ) thinks someone like Robin Rihanna ( daughter Bajan Guyanese school girl ) is worth that story
What’s everyone else’s excuse that they don’t?