Remember that warm fuzzy feeling you have any time you sing “Islands in the Stream” at karaoke? The feeling that Kenny Rogers didn’t punch Dolly Parton after the first chorus?
Yeah, well, hold on to that. Because Rihanna and her abusive ex-boyfriend Chris Brown‘s duet “Nobody’s Business” won’t leave you feeling so peaceful.
We knew it was coming, the duet with Chris Brown on Rihanna‘s new album Unapologetic. And, considering the 2011 remix of “Birthday Cake,” it isn’t the first track on which the duo has collaborated since brown’s 2009 arrest and subsequent conviction for assaulting his superstar singer girlfriend. A plea deal resulted in probation, court-ordered domestic violence counseling, and community service.
But when the new track leaked online yesterday (Nov. 6), the internet indulged in a collective skeeved-out shudder at “Nobody’s Business” lyrics: ” Our love is perfection, please point me in the right direction.” ”There’s no other love just like this.” ”I wanna be your baby, always be your baby.”
Suddenly, we all wanted to collect Rihanna in our arms, take her home–stopping on the way to snap up Lindsay Lohan–and make her some cocoa, while we all go over a PowerPoint on domestic violence and watch 18 hours of ABC’s After-School Specials. We wanted to mother her. Help her. Hug some sense into her lovely, talented brain.
Dude: we can’t mother her. And not in that “lost cause/she doesn’t want our help” way. In that “we can’t assume she’s not a smart, thoughtful, and grown-up enough business woman to make her own decisions” way. As MamaPop’s own Kelly so wisely pointed out, Rihanna ”is a grown-ass human woman.” She didn’t sign on to be our role model or daughter. She may know or feel something we could never comprehend.
And besides: did any of us scoop up Josh Brolin after Diane Lane was accused of battery against him? Nope. When they did the mega-tribute to Glen Campbell at the 2011 [Chris Brown-studded] Grammy awards show, did we march fellow country legend Tanya Tucker onstage to remind everyone that he knocked her around a billion years ago? No. So, uh, do we only trust dudes and white women to move beyond the business end of a police report, Moms of America? I hope not.
So let’s move on from trying to mother Rihanna every time she utters [or dates or sings with or marries or builds a Play-Doh sculpture of ] Chris Brown. She’s 24. She didn’t commit a crime. She’s a professional. And she appears to have women in her life to care for her.
Let’s save that maternal energy for more worthwhile targets. Like our own kids.
Oh and Lindsay Lohan.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: A few MamaPop Nation friends pointed out I flipped the Brolin-Lane allegations. Pop cultural recall fail. Thanks to them! But I think we can all agree that if we don’t hold other high-profile victims of abuse to constant scrutiny for the next step to healing (and definitely if people move on from constantly mentioning the abuser’s actions), we can lay off Rihanna a bit.