Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ranty Ranty Rant-Rant or I Freaking Hate Eminem

I got into a wee lil' flame war on Youtube about the Eminem/Rihanna collaboration "Love the Way You Lie". Specifically, it started over a comment that I left on the parody video "Love the Way You Like" by The Key of Awesome. I stated that I was glad the original video was parodied because I'm pretty sick of violence/manipulation/controlling behavior being glorified as just parts of any deeply romantic relationship (I love you so much, baby, I can't stop my fist from flying). The argument that I was countered with was that Eminem/Rihanna aren't glorifying it at all but are rather providing a cautionary tale. Bullshit. Just look at the video. Who are the key players? Dominic Monaghan and Megan Fox. In the case of Dominic, he lives in our hearts primarily as either the hobbit Merry from "Lord of the Rings" or the flawed but lovable (and ultimately self-sacrificing) Charlie from "Lost". Megan, for her part, is best known for stuff like "Jennifer's Body" (where she kills boys) and the "Transformers" movie franchise (where she holds her own against a bunch of alien robots) as well as being the current sex symbol for a generation. Basically, it's hard to get behind the idea of our hobbit friend pounding the crap out of his girlfriend and we kind of feel like Ms. Fox could handle herself in a physical confrontation. In other words, we're presented with a pretty level playing field. One of the things about domestic violence is that the playing field is never level.

Domestic violence is about dominance and control - not about being so passionately in love that you just can't stop yourself from blackening your lover's eye/punching a hole in the dry wall. The scenes in the original video show the acts of violence as being sexually charged. The couple fights, screams, throws things, and then ultimately they wind up doing lots of REALLY OPEN MOUTH kissing against a wall. Right. The violence is also completely mutual and, according to the bit Rihanna sings, the woman in question believes "that's alright because I love the way it hurts." Again, WTF?!

I don't doubt that Eminem/Rihanna want us all to believe that they are presenting a warning, I completely doubt their sincerity, though. Em is no stranger to misogynistic tirades about beating and/or killing some woman who is driving him crazy. Worse, his most notorious rant-to-a-beat is "Kim" where he explains to his very young daughter (he's talking to her all through it) why he just had to murder her mother. Guess what? She asked for it. This is also a theme in "Love the Way You Lie" - "It's the rage that took over/it controls you both", "but your temper's just as bad as mine is/you're the same as me". See? It's mutual! I don't doubt that there are ridiculously screwed up relationships wherein both parties are guilty of raging, screaming, and throwing punches at one another. However, this is the exception and not the rule when it comes to domestic violence. The one on the receiving end of the violence isn't likely to be a little spit-fire in boots like Megan Fox. Instead, he/she feels so trapped and scared that it's paralyzing. It's not a sexy picture AT ALL. It is NOT romantic. It does not warrant some dude in a field showing off his muscles and tats while a woman in her short-shorts and bikini top/jacket combo bites her lip suggestively at the camera and the two of them wail about how all of this is ok because deep down, they enjoy it.

The reason why I am so fond of the parody, aside from the fact that it's hilarious, is that it also points out that the whole "I'm treating you like crap because I like you so much" thing really shouldn't be humored after the 6th grade. Once it gets beyond that point, it's just sick.

So, sorry Em. Sorry Rihanna. I don't buy it. Not for a second. And I'm extremely disappointed that so many people seem to.


RN said...

In the song "Kim" Eminen is talking to Kim throughout the song not Hailey. He only is talking to her in the begining only the lyrics "Aww look at daddy's baby girl. That's daddy baby.Little sleepy head. Yesterday I changed your diaper. Wiped you and powdered you. How did you get so big? Can't believe it now your two. Baby you're so precious. Daddy's so proud of you" then his voice changes from sweetness to anger towards Kim. Get your facts straight.

TheSarah said...

You're right. Clearly that obliterates the point I was making in the post about Eminem's misogyny. He's screaming at Kim IN FRONT OF Hailey and threatening murder. Much better.