Diplomatic Goddess Archetype: The Controversial Rihanna’s Video
Diplomatic Goddess Archetype defined by Goddess-guide.com expresses, “The Diplomat is able to mediate between different groups as they able to quickly assess the situation, understanding both sides point of view and is able to help them find a middle ground upon which they can both agree. Shadow Diplomat manipulates both sides to achieve their own personal agenda.” This definition is to forewarn you that I will be tapping into both aspects: the dark and the light for this piece. Yes, including my own personal agenda.
I understand both sides of the argument regarding the artistic expression of Rihanna’s music video that shows in the beginning of a man, a rapist, being shot by Rihanna, the victim of rape. Vigilantism is somewhat frowned upon our society. There are laws on the books that express condemnation of such actions. Although the music video doesn’t express the condemnation: Rihanna’s lyrics do with lines such as, “Cause now I am a criminal, criminal, criminal. Oh lord have mercy! Now I am a criminal. Tell the judge please give me minimal” In Haitian mythos, along with many other mythos, there is stories in which the victim murders her rapist and is punished for such actions via death or a symbolism of death. We see this in the most popular story regarding the “changing” of Medusa (one of her many mythos). Medusa, once a beautiful woman, raped by a God who didn’t take matters into her own hand but nevertheless punished or blessed by remaining forever hideous in the eyes of other men.
That is what, I presume, the most initial feelings of being raped is. Feeling hideous, inside and out. Persecutions of rape victims is not easy for their lifestyle and character assassination goes into play. Take for instance the recent French MP accused rapist (using accused for he hasn’t been found guilty in trial, as of yet) Dominique Strauss Kahn. I’ve heard many reports that the victim was a “good woman” and “pure woman” and that he finally messed with the “wrong woman” As in his previous victims were not the “right women” for they had “questionable” lifestyles and/or character. Medusa’s beauty was in question. As if her physical beauty caused such brutal actions against her.
In Rihanna’s video we see in the beginning a sweet woman. Yet, she showed in her video that she also associates with “dark elements.” A man, in the beginning of her video, who is holding a gun and eying another man: “questionable association.” Then later in the nightclub she is dancing innocently with men but one can view it “provocative” (mind you, many West Indies and Latina American dances are seen “provocative” through foreigners eyes). She later told the man, as what it seems, that he has gone “too far.” Basically, Rihanna’s video showed the infamous “slut-culture.” The twisted ideology of “you asked for it. For you shouldn’t be dancing that way with him.” If Rihanna took the route of going into trial and individuals saw the video san the murderous outcome and the part where he followed her. Would he be found guilty? As in, take only the scene of Rihanna at the nightclub dancing: everything else is omitted. Many cases of he says, she says do come from such scenario. A woman dancing with a man at the nightclub, everyone sees she is dancing with him and possibly flirting. Yet, she stops and leaves. Most defense attorneys will focus on the fact they were dancing and they seemed “mutually flirting” Most cases of such rapes, the accusers are found “non-guilty” For he, the rapist, would play the “consensual rough sex” Leaving such victims not only being raped by the rapist but also raped again.
Rihanna’s Lyrics: “What started out as a simply altercation. Turned into a real sticky situation. Me just thinking of the time that I am facing. Makes me want to cry”
Rihanna’s video and lyrics, if one is really interested in the overall meaning of what she is trying to convey via “art”, shows a woman who is remorseful. In the beginning after firing the shot you see her holding back her tears. Her facial expression mixed with anger and sadness. Her lyrics also display such mixed emotions, “I didn’t mean to end his life. I know it wasn’t right. I can’t even sleep at night. Can’t get it off my mind. ‘Cause I didn’t mean to hurt him. Could’ve been somebody’s son.” And she continues to stress the “unsatisfaction” of her actions, “I didn’t mean to lay him down. But it is too late to turn back now. Don’t know what I was thinking”
I believe the last lyric I posted is crucial for many people would like to see Rihanna’s character actions as premeditative. Yet, hearing, “I don’t know what I was thinking” and a woman who is a victim but remorseful for taking a life is troubling for many. Especially after Rihanna’s murderous scene we see “Yesterday morning” indicating that she reacted soon after she was raped. Victims of rape are often in a trance for days: some, even months. Yes, she knows that she is guilty of murder. She acknowledges that. At the same time, she acknowledges that prior to the murder—she wasn’t in her right mind. Similar to back in 1993 a mother, Ellie Nesler, murdered her son’s child molester in the courtroom. Yes, she reported the crime. Yes, she followed “society’s protocol” to report abuse and allow the laws decide. Yet, for a split moment something came over her and she killed the man. It is frightening for society to see women as 1. Defender of their own body 2. Defender of their own family 3. Murderous 4. Murderous with “understandable” reasoning for anytime a woman is murder/takes a life there is this notion of her suffering from some other psychological alignment. There is a fluidity that is confusing for many. Such as “women are emotional” and act upon emotions meets the “women can be rational” and both combination combines is simply “challenging” for some. A man who kills his daughter’s, wife, and/or love ones rapist and/or offender is typically viewed as “emotional break-down” Not too much “logical” but more towards the “emotional” Whereas when women do it…it just breaks any form of “typical reasoning” It becomes reversed—she is rational (she thought it out) but yet she also is reacting emotionally. The “how can someone react BOTH emotional and rationally” is threatening. We have this “either/or” rarely both. Another challenge is that individuals can go from emotional to rational in nanoseconds/fluidity.
Looking into the mythos of Paganism many lore rarely revere the folklore of actual goddesses and mortal women who fight back. Similar to our society. We don’t want to deal with them. Law of karma will provide or law of land will provide for justice. Yet, like we know with law of land, many rapists don’t face jail time due to technicalities (improper handling of cases, evidence, and/or character assassination for an example). Prime example is the current trial on its way for Ohio man who is accused of raping, murdering and dismembering 11 women. Prior to being caught he was a known rapist and was in jail for it. In mythos many of the Gods who are known for raping women and Goddesses alike are revered (Poseidon, Zeus). While the lore’s of the women being raped is hardly mentioned. They are known for other things. As if we want to deny that their “victimization” didn’t happen. Yes, one can take from such lore’s that these women still gained strength and moved on (life after rape). Yet, at the same time the stories of women who have not found away to move on are rarely told nor are these individual women (mortal and goddesses) are rarely mentioned in name. When Hades took Persephone it is safe to say that she was initially raped, married her rapist, and found away to life with this. Like the mythos there were laws that if a man raped a woman and she conceived a child with the rapist… they are to marry. Such law existed in Haiti until the 90’s. Still going on today. Such laws prohibited women to even seek justice for the hideous crime. Women under such laws found another way to cope in silent.
Rihanna’s story/video is different than most and uniquely the first I’ve seen in all long time that address the issue. That there are a small percentage of rape victims that do seek vengeance. I understand those who are upset with the video showing vigilantism is “poor taste” and it can possible promote others to do the same. Yet, at the same time…we can’t deny that it does exist. That there is another side of rape that we don’t want to discuss. The side in which victims don’t recover even though justice is served. The side that addresses that victims of sexual abuse can become abusive (prime example is Aileen Wuornos who shot and killed 6 men in Florida and executed was a victim of rape as a child). That female victim of child sex abuse can become like their male counterpart who abuse other children. That when it comes to bloodshed and wars… women can be equally defined as their male counterpart. For every hideous action there is an opposite unknown reaction. It is the unknowing and unexpected that is the most frightening. Rihanna’s video is mixed messaged…fitting for the general topic of the overall general topic of rape. There is not one size fits all answer of moral ground and moral responsibilities. Each case is “uniquely” different and understandable…justifiable when it comes to autonomy vs. law of the land is a different matter.