I know my life must be really boring right now, because I just spent a holiday weekend obsessing over a pop music video. But there are so many awesome things to learn from this 7 minute video. I was raised on body-positive, sex-positive, blunt-smoking, give-me-what-you-owe-me feminism. But, I guess there are a lot of people who just don’t get it. Like were there this many think-pieces on Telephone (back in 2010 when two pop stars poisoned a diner full of people)?
Here’s my list of favorite BBHMM-related things I’ve seen/learned. For instance, meet Sanam! She’s a BADASS!
And while many people were hating on the video in the name of “feminism”, many people defended it.
Feminism isn’t a perfect binary framework you can set over a piece of pop media to see whether key points align. It’s a complex set of theories and practices which are sometimes in conflict with one another.
Jes Skolnick via Pitchfork
It fetishizes violence but with an empowering message: RiRi is a BAD BITCH who, like any man, demands to get paid and will not get walked all over.
Rachel Libeskind via Vice
I’m not saying it’s okay for black women to harm white women. I’m saying that most of the time, we don’t. I’m saying we are harmed by white women much, much more often and this is a revenge fantasy video that understands that, even if white feminists don’t.
(Sidenote: if you believe that Rihanna meant everything in the video literally, and nothing metaphorically or allegorically, examine why you believe this black woman isn’t capable of creative and socio-political vision. Did you think every aspect of Madonna’s videos were literal? How about Lady Gaga?)
Because the assumption here is that Rihanna isn’t smart enough to anticipate the various interpretations of her work. She knows. She doesn’t care. I don’t either. What I care about is that Rihanna has the agency to create her music and direct her career on her own terms.
Flyguy Antonio Fargas thinks Rihanna is awesome for making something that is her own.
So there’s what everyone THINKS the video is trying to do and then there is the actual backstory and inspiration for the storyline. Like Rihanna getting screwed out of millions of dollars from an alleged incompetent accounting firm.
Now that I think of it, BBHMM could actually stand for – Berdon Better Have My Money!