Can Rihanna Move On?

This business with Rihanna bothers me. As a partial result of heightened consciousness in matters of domestic violence, CBS has chosen to stop using her music as their Thursday Night Football theme. I suppose that if you think Rihanna should be ever-defined by that one incident, then that’s okay. I don’t.


I was shocked to discover that this storied incident happened in February of 2009. He was 20, she 21 (give-or-take). If you listen to people, you could be forgiven for thinking that it happened last year, and every few months since. But no. It happened 5.5 years ago, with not a whiff of anything since, beyond a young couple with an on again, off again relationship. I’m also pretty sure that if he had incidents with other women, we would have heard about them.

I understand good intentions, and concern for someone’s well-being. I also understand moral preening and press narratives. Expressing concern for an unresolved incident in the last six months is one thing. Expecting punishment for a recent crime is completely acceptable, and perhaps laudable. Expecting Rihanna to be forever known as a victim of domestic violence is not only lazy and wrong, but not a little bit sexist. If she’s moved on, then so should we.

I am extremely unfamiliar with Rihanna’s work. Far as I can tell, she’s Beyonce with less talent. As an older person, I look at these people as adult entertainers who happen to sing. Bear in mind that my grandmothers probably thought the same of Cher. I have this old-fashioned idea that the less clothing you wear, the shorter your future in the business. As they say, that’s just my opinion; I could be wrong. But if that’s the case, then maybe we should put a lid on our good intentions, let this woman make bank during her best years, and shut the hell up about it.

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