RUDE BOYS:<br />
Stop Slut Shaming Rihanna

Chris Brown may have a smile that makes a Colgate exec melt and dance like Michael Jackson’s ghost is his choreographer, but if the lyrics to the recently released freestyle to Kanye West’s “Theraflu” are indeed about Rihanna, there’s a jerk factor still lingering there that needs immediate fixing.

Last week, the R&B star tweeted the track and immediately after he did many suspected that he took thinly veiled shots at his ex-girlfriend, Rihanna, whom he notoriously beat in 2009. The lyrics in question are: "Don't f--k with my old bitch, it's like a bad fur/ Every industry n---- done had her/ Shook the tree like a pumpkin just to smash her/ B*tch is breaking codes, but I'm the password."

Mind you, this is coming from the person with chastity-belt bangers like “Strip” currently blanketing radio...who also beat Rihanna brutally just three years ago. THIS PERSON feels he can make a reasoned judgment about her sexual behavior.

After the song was posted, some noticed that he was unfollowed by Rihanna, who tweeted indirectly “Aw, poor dat #neaux1currr.” In response, Chris wrote via Twitter, "Assumptions! I didn't say any names so if u took offense to it then its something you feel guilty about."

Reverse psychology: everything ain’t for everybody.

As much as I’d like to escape these two and the remnants of their relationship, their collective knack for spectacle makes them unavoidable to anyone who makes a living around writing about pop culture. If nothing else, this latest instance allows me to point out an increasingly annoying criticism made about Rihanna that reeks of a double standard. Chris Brown may not be beating Rihanna anymore, but if this is true – and it doesn’t require a great leap to conclude so based on the indirect back-and-forth – he is still very much trying to hurt her only in the way of slut-shaming.

And apparently, he’s not the only person Rihanna’s dealt with that’s trying to diss her in such despicable fashion.

Though it’s harder to peg, Drake was suspected of also trying to soil Rihanna’s reputation by alleging that she sleeps around in the 2 Chainz track, “No Lie.”

Drake raps: “She came through, she brought food / She got f—ed, she knew wassup / She think I’m the realest out / And I say ‘Damn, that makes two of us’ / Oh that look like what’s her name / Chances are it is what’s her name / Chances are, if she was acting up / Then I f—ed her once and never f—ed again / She could have a Grammy, I still treat that a- like a nominee / Just need to know what that p—- like so one time, it’s fine with me.”

To “slut shame” is to perpetuate the idea that sex is dirty, and in particular, dirty and dangerous for a woman.

What a funny, funny comment for a guy with a well-noted affinity for strippers and casual sex to make. Not to mention someone who a journalist claimed had hit on her during an interview – I suppose after one too many of those wine spritzers he loves. And yes, Drake did publicly complain in an interview not two years ago that Rihanna had loved him and left him feeling like the girls to whom he had done the same. 

In response to those tracks, Russell Simmons wrote a piece entitled “Get Off Rihanna’s D*ck,” arguing that he’s seen many men in the recording industry indulge in the same habits Rihanna’s only rumored to be doing – without any of the consequences to her public image, naturally. But perhaps Chris and Aubrey don’t need to “get off Rihanna’s d*ck” so much as they need to look down at theirs first and think about all the activities their pieces have engaged in before they decide to brand someone else as loose --- regardless of who she is.

Meanwhile, as for everyone else so fixated on this notion that there’s a problem with the way Rihanna carries herself and brought this attention on herself: grow up. She could have Mother Teresa’s sex life and would bring about the “starlet or streetwalker” debate from any man with a certain attitude about women and sex.

To “slut shame” is to perpetuate the idea that sex is dirty, and in particular, dirty and dangerous for a woman. That rigid mindset is problematic as it is unrealistic and does little in the way of advancing the way we discuss consensual sex between adults. You know, any day now.

To that end, the sooner you realize that this attitude hurts men and women in varying instances, the quicker you’ll see what’s wrong with Chris Brown and Drake’s shortsighted shade.

Michael Arceneaux is a Houston-bred, Howard-educated writer currently based in Los Angeles. You can read more of his work on his site, The Cynical Ones. Follow him on Twitter: @youngsinick