Before I waste any of your time, I should say that I didn’t make it through the video, so you may find this read even more pointless than usual.
I felt literally nauseated from it, and I didn’t actually see any gore. I don’t necessarily find gore unbearable–I could probably watch a surgery without much difficulty. It’s that I can’t watch someone being humiliated or torture–especially the former. I don’t remember the order, but I saw the boat and hotel room scenes, the weekend-at-Bernie’s nod, and I think that’s probably about it.
Yesterday, I didn’t know what to think, and I figured that that’s just as well since I didn’t actually watch the whole thing. I have some brief thoughts on it now:
Before Rihanna exacts her revenge on the person who wronged her, she tortures and humiliates his wife/girlfriend. I find this problematic because (1) she didn’t do anything to Rihanna as far as the audience knows, and (2) a woman getting to a man by harming his “property” (wife, family, etc.) is not exactly progressive. If anything, it’s internalized oppression. I’m not a fan of torture at all, but why not just go straight to the source?
At the beginning of the video, we’re sort of set up to dislike the woman–she’s a rich, plastic white woman with enough leisure/money to have a nearly perfect body. She even has a small, yappy dog. I find that sort of female-against-female cattiness distasteful.
However: I can speak to the woman-vs-woman facets of this video with some authority, but, as a white woman, I don’t really have anything to say about the POC-vs-white-person aspect. For all I know, there may be something cathartic about creating/viewing “art” that exacts revenge on an oppressive race, and obviously no one was actually harmed in the making of the video.
Since my whole point is that I don’t feel it’s my place to address that, I’m going to shut up.