Eminem, Rihanna & Dating Violence: Not So Sexy

August 26, 2010

I had no idea what to expect when I first clicked on the link to watch Eminem and Rihanna’s music video for their latest hit, “Love the Way You Lie.” All I knew was that the lyrics were catchy and Megan Fox was in it. My friends had mentioned being startled by the video, but I had automatically assumed that it just showed more racy sexual content than usual. I mean…we are talking about Megan Fox.

Click here to watch the “Love the Way You Lie” video!

As I watched the video, I had no idea what was going on. Why are they arguing? Whose number is on his hand? Why is she hitting him? Why did he just throw her against the wall? Wait…they’re making out? This was clearly an abusive relationship.

I was caught off guard by the raw, yet oddly provocative footage. To me, it seemed like the video was almost glorifying the gritty violence and volatile nature of abusive relationships. One second the couple is wrestling on the ground, viciously clawing at each others’ necks, and the next, they’re ferociously making out on the sofa, locked in a passionate embrace.

While this abusive relationship is frightening, all the violence and fear are quickly overshadowed by the sexually charged storyline, which includes some stealing and plenty of drinking. The video doesn’t condemn dating violence. Ironically, it just shows Rihanna-who we remember was abused by her ex-boyfriend Chris Brown-singing, “Because I like the way it hurts.”

Do we really need to have anyone singing about “liking” abuse? And why do abusive relationships have to be portrayed as sexy and provocative? A video that features a healthy relationship where there is open communication, love and mutual respect would be so much sexier.

—Cynthia Lam, 17, Staff Writer

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