Guest Author - Jeanette Stingley
Ever since Eminem and Rihanna’s song “Love the Way You Lie” has come out I have received a lot of emails asking my opinion about the song and both positive and negative reactions from people. Before you continue with my opinion, please listen to the song if you have not already heard it:
To understand where these 2 artists are coming from, we also have to have a look into their personal lives and into their past. Eminem, whose real name is Marshall Mathers, grew up with an abusive father and mother. Eminem unfortunately repeated the cycle of abuse with his off and on longtime girlfriend/wife Kim. He has explored this issue many, many times in his music but none has drawn criticism like "Love the Way You Lie". Rihanna as many of you may know also went through a very public violent incident with her now ex-boyfriend Chris Brown. So why would either of them create a song like “Love the Way You Lie”?
The first incidence of violence in the music video is perpetrated by the female character when she discovers the number of another girl written on his hand. A huge fight ensues, then we see a kissing and making up scene. Next incidence of violence is the boyfriend decking some guy the female is talking to in a bar. Fight ensues, making up, etc. See the cycle in the video?? Just like the cycle of violence you will read about or have experienced yourself!
All of the lyrics really hit a spot in me that made the song almost impossible to sit through the first time I heard it.
“Wait! Where you going?
"I'm leaving you"
No you ain't. Come back we're running right back.
Here we go again
It's so insane cause when it's going good, it's going great
I'm Superman with the wind at his back, she's Lois Lane
But when it's bad it's awful, I feel so ashamed I snapped
Who's that dude? I don't even know his name
I laid hands on her, I'll never stoop so low again
I guess I don't know my own strength”
The song is from the abusers point of view but he is a victim as well. The lyrics of the above hit so close to home for many victims. “It’s so insane cause when it’s going good, it’s great but when it is bad it’s awful”. Many victims experience this in their relationships and is often the reason why the victim will stay with the abuser. The victim may feel the good times outweigh the bad, especially if there are children involved or the victim has low self-esteem.
In my opinion, I do not feel like Eminem is glorifying or saying domestic violence is ok. He has been there, he knows how much it hurts both as seeing it from a child’s eye and being the abuser. I also think Rihana shouldn’t be looked down upon for doing this song. They are both trying to get a message across not only to victims/abusers but to the general public of what a domestic violence relationship looks and feels like especially if the person watches has never experienced a DV. I think it is a great example of the cycle of abuse and could be a good point to start a conversation with your child if they are listening to this song.
What do you think? Come to forums to discuss.