|"...the fuck you lookin' at???"|
Let me tell you what I see when I watch this video: I see a black woman putting her own well-being above the well-being of a white woman.*bows*
Let’s be clear: white women put their own needs and well-being above those of black women every day and call it “feminism”.
Here, Rihanna flips the script: if a white woman has to suffer some so that she, a black woman, can survive, so be it. After all, white women have been surviving on our suffering for hundreds of years.
Black women are always expected to put our needs last on our list of priorities. Behind everybody else’s. A black woman saying “my well-being (which is what money is—the ability to pay rent, feed ourselves, stay alive, etc.) is more important to me than the well-being of this random white woman” is what white feminists are really losing their shit over.
Imagine if instead of kidnapping the accountant’s wife, Rihanna and her crew kidnapped his brother? Would White Feminists™ be so upset? I doubt it. ...But here’s what white feminists don’t get (and what has them fucked up): black women often see white women as the same as white men. The harm done to us by white men and white women isn’t vastly different to many of us. White women have been unapologetically violent towards black women for centuries. They’ve used the power of the state, of the police, of the courts, of the media, and of individual white men to harm black people, including black women, time and time again. They are as harmful to us as white men are. So, for many of us, kidnapping the white brother or the white wife is all the same.
In this video, Rihanna is unconcerned with the well-being of a white person (who is a woman), when her own well-being is at stake. In fact, she’s willing to do harm to her in order to survive. That’s the thing about this video that makes white feminists so very, very uncomfortable.
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.
~ Mia McKenzie, This Is What Rihanna’s BBHMM Video Says About Black Women, White Women and Feminism
The only thing which bugs me about the video is all the unnecessary nudity; but hey, it's not my video and it's not about me expressing myself, so moving on....
There's another factor here which stand outs to me; reading this reminded me of a Field Negro post I read a while back in which a Canadian white guy shares his experiences of talking with American white people "after all the black people have left the room."
In once instance, the guy is talking to a wealthy couple who have family in the music business, specifically hip hop.
The couple was unusually nice to my brother and me, eagerly inviting us out for expensive sushi in the Hollywood Hills. Once we had a few drinks, they got down to the bonding, regaling us, initially in hushed tones, with what they “knew” about black people. I don’t know why they chose us; maybe because we were nice Canadians they thought we must be good old-fashioned white folks.Some people will recall Rihanna once thought a manager was stealing from her after she found out she only had $20,000 to her name (Necole Bitchie certainly does). This is important because a lot of us are old enough to remember when all those talented, beautiful Black female artists in 1990s were filing for bankruptcy after dropping fire albums and selling out stadiums, and it wasn't simply because they were spending the money like no tomorrow. The money wasn't really there to spend in the first place; someone else had snatched it up (think TLC, Toni Braxton, etc.).
The guy told us how much his father made off of the rappers and how easy it was to finesse their contracts to give them less profit. He said most of them were criminals and not smart enough to run their business by themselves. Considering who his father’s boss apparently was, he may have found it easy to justify certain stereotypes in his own mind. His girlfriend’s ideas were even more laughable, including the classic “Black people are dirty!”
Now, these two may sound like a couple of clichéd racists, but in everyday life, at school, around their black friends, they always seemed like non-judgmental, progressive liberals.
In BBHMM, Rihanna is a Black artist reclaiming that financial power. BGD is right with the interpretation about this Black woman putting herself first and giving zero fucks later. I think all Black women need to watch and re-watch "Bitch Betta Have My Money", and take some notes.
Holla if you hear me.