Rhianna’s new film clip for Bitch Better Have My Money (better know as BBHMM) is graphic and disturbingly confrontational with its sexualised violence. But is it purely the content of the film clip that has people so riled up, or is it that a female could create such controversial content stylising violence against women?
The feminism of Rihanna, the feminism of black women in general, is consistently scrutinized and policed in a way it isn’t with white women. It’s important to be aware of that in any discussion about the video’s feminist merits or failings.
It’s the kind of video that, quite simply, would be lauded and never questioned if a white man (a man like Tarantino) made it. Does the discomfort some are feeling, the discomfort even I initially felt (and still do, faintly, with every rewatch), really have only to do with an aversion to violence? Or does it stem from this idea that a black woman could not only take ownership of this kind of stylized cinematic violence and rage, but also execute it in a way that rivals and challenges the mostly white men who are usually praised for it?
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