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Renee Powers COMS 691

When a Tornado Meets a Volcano: Eminem, Rihanna, and the Cycle of Domestic Violence

Renee M. Powers COMS 691 J. Chown Northern Illinois University November 30, 2010

Renee Powers COMS 691

Rap artist Eminem recently made waves again with his recent album, Recovery. A notable collaboration on this album is the hit song Love the Way You Lie featuring Rihanna, which spent ten weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 (Hot). Love the Way You Lie is a realistic depiction of the cycle of domestic violence characterized by graphic imagery and violent language. Upon first listen, Love the Way You Lie is unsettling. Eminem and Rihanna both have storied and public history with intimate partner violence; Eminem has been accused of perpetrating the crime and Rihanna is the survivor of her ex-boyfriend Chris Browns attack. This paper will begin by looking at who Eminem and Rihanna are as artists as well as their backgrounds with the issue of domestic violence. An explanation of the song Love the Way You Lie and the corresponding music video will also be discussed here. Next, it will unpack the songs depiction of domestic violence through a feminist theoretical lens, focusing on the theory of the cycle of domestic violence. In addition, it will explore the effects of rap music on Americas perception of women, violence, and misogyny. Finally, it will discuss some of the medias reaction to the song and the music video, in juxtaposition with both of the artists experiences with domestic violence. The trouble with a song like Love the Way You Lie is its audience. The intent of the song is to depict an honest representation of domestic violence. However, this is troubled by the popularity of the song, the context in which it is heard, and who hears it. The message is affected by the medium and channel through which it is sent and also depends on the frame of reference of the listener. Because of these variables, the message may not be received in its intended way. Though it is impossible to measure the exact effects Love the Way You Lie has had, this paper will present an argument on the

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influence rap music has on American consumers. Rihanna, born Robyn Rihanna Fenty, was born in Barbados in 1988. She moved to the United States at the age of 16 to pursue a musical career. Soon after, Jay-Zs company Def Jam Records signed her (Paiva). Her first number one single was SOS in 2006. Since then, eighteen of her singles have achieved a place on Billboards Hot 100 Chart (Rihanna Album). In February 2009, Rihanna and her then-boyfriend Chris Brown, a fellow singer, were noticeably missing from the Grammy Awards where Rihanna was scheduled to perform. Later that week, TMZ.com published a leaked photo of Rihannas battered face, apparently attacked by Brown. According to the Daily News, Rihanna witnessed a suggestive text message from another woman to Brown. Rihanna questioned Brown, which provoked his anger. Brown began to abuse her; he put her in a headlock, attempted to choke her, punched her, and yelled, Now Im really going to kill you (Dillon and Siemaszko). After this episode of domestic violence, Rihanna broke up with Chris Brown and almost immediately began making music again. The album Rated R was released in November 2009 and, less than a year after surviving domestic violence, Rihanna received two Grammy awards for her collaboration with Jay-Z, Run this Town (Winners). In July 2010, she was featured on rap artist Eminems single, Love the Way You Lie (Eminem). According to the Billboard.com artist biography, Eminem, born Marshall Mathers III, grew up in Detroit, Michigan. He grew up in a violent household. His mother, Debbie Nelson, is a survivor of domestic abuse. She married four abusive men, including

Renee Powers COMS 691

Eminems father (Kaufman). Eminems first album, Slim Shady LP, was released in 1999 under the guidance of rap mogul Dr. Dre. Eminem made a reputation for himself for being vulgar and violent, due to the character he created, Slim Shady, whom he describes as his alter ego without a filter (Ankeny and Torreano). In his discussion of Eminems white race in rap music, Rodman describes the lyrics Eminem is known for: Listen to Eminems first three major label releases and among other thingsyoull hear him insult his fans, drive with a fifth of vodka in his belly, assault his high school English teacher, encourage children to mutilate themselves, kidnap and kill his producer, shoot cashiers during armed robberies, rape his mother, and (at least twice) murder his wife with sadistic brutality (99). According to an interview in People, it was this last song, Kim, that led Kimberly Mathers, Eminems now-ex-wife, to attempt suicide (Silverman). Eminem and Kimberly have been married and divorced twice. As reported in People magazine, after their first divorce, Eminem tattooed Kim Rot in Pieces across his chest (Tyrangiel). In June 2000, shortly following their second marriage, Eminem pistol-whipped a man at a bar after he kissed Kim. According to USA Today, this led to Eminems arrest and ultimately, their second divorce (Soriano). Eminem has a violent side, which would understandably worry any woman in his life. Additionally, according to Walker, witnessing violence in a childhood home is considered having history of violent behavior, identified as the best prediction of future violence (15). Indeed, Eminems childhood home was a violent one. It is clear why a song written by Eminem featuring Rihanna depicting the highs and violent lows of domestic violence would cause listeners and the media to scratch their heads. The last lines of the song are, Im tired of the games, I just want her back, I know

Renee Powers COMS 691

Im a liar/If she ever tries to fuckin leave again, Ima tie her to the bed/And set this house on fire. The lyrics are certainly jarring, but by looking closer, one can tell that it is an honest representation of what both Eminem and Rihanna have been through from both sides of the issue. This will be discussed later in the paper using the feminist theory of the cycle of domestic violence. Love the Way You Lie appears on Eminems latest album, Recovery. This album was intended to be different altogether. Instead of his usual celebrity bashing and violence for the sake of shock, Eminem intended to make statement with this album. He tells Billboard writer Monica Herrera, I wanted there to be a reason why I was making each song, instead of making it just to make it (Herrera Eminem). The album also features a moving tribute to Eminems fallen friend and fellow rapper DeShaun Proof Holton and an inspirational anthem called Not Afraid. Slim Shady, Eminems volatile alter ego, is said not to make an appearance on Recovery, indicating that all the lyrics come true from the heart of Eminem. When penning Love the Way You Lie, Eminem reportedly had only Rihanna in mind for the female role. Rihannas collaboration on this song is key to its success. Her voice and history add weight to a song that could easily be found offensive otherwise. The reason for the song and its staggering lyrics, Rihanna says in a July 2010 interview with Access Hollywood, is to shed light on the cycle of domestic violence (Rihanna Talks). The media attention the song received soon after its release generally agrees that the song does as it intended. In an August 2010 interview with Showbiz Tonight, speaking of the songs startling and raw depiction of domestic violence, Kim Serafin from In Touch Weekly

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tells the host, It is almost too much of art imitating life. However, when Showbiz Tonight host Brooke Anderson asks Cooper Lawrence, author of the book Cult of Celebrity, whether or not Rihanna did the right thing, he says, She went through this. This is her experience Its cathartic for them to get it out. You know, theyre starting a conversation (Anderson). Rihanna confirms this in her Access Hollywood interview. She says, The lyrics were so deep, so beautiful, and intense. Its something that I understood, something I connected with (Rihanna Talks). Jamie Doak, feminist blogger for Bust Magazine, is inclined to agree. She writes, Eminem is trashy but he is clever and Love the Way You Lie is sparking conversations about domestic violence and gives a realistic and visceral depiction of it without romanticizing it at all. Doak contends that by creating a hit song about domestic violence, Eminem and Rihanna are drawing attention to a difficult issue. Eminems lyrics admit that men who abuse are liars and Rihannas lyrics imply that victims of domestic violence find it difficult to leave the situation. In the music video for the song, two recognizable actors, Megan Fox of Transformers fame and Dominic Monaghan, a former Lord of the Rings hobbit, portray the couple in question (Love). In The Sunday Times, Daisy Goodwin points out that it is Fox who throws the first punch in the video. Goodwin notes that Fox and Monaghan ricochet back and forth between love and rage implying that a passionate relationship is by definition a violent one (4). In addition to the images in the music video, Goodwin might also be referring to the lines But your tempers just as bad as mine is, youre the same as me/But when it comes to love, youre just as blinded. Is this mutual violence or the abuser attempting to justify his actions? Goodwin believes this music video proves that the

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song is not about violence against women rather mutual violence in the home. However, studies show that domestic violence may be mutually experienced but is not necessarily experienced equally between heterosexual relationships (Tjaden and Thoennes). Additionally, mutual violence does not escalate to be life threatening as depicted in Love the Way You Lie (Johnson). As we will see through Lenore Walkers theory of the cycle of domestic violence, Love the Way You Lie is an accurate depiction of domestic violence. Tjaden and Thoennes, researchers at the Center for Policy Research, conducted interviews of 8,000 men and 8,000 women, and published their findings in Violence Against Women in 2000. The interviewers asked questions about three kinds of domestic violence in current relationships as well as past relationships: rape, physical assault, and stalking victimization. The results show that for each type of violence, women experience domestic violence at far greater rates, both more frequently and for longer lasting episodes than their male counterparts. This disputes Goodwins suggestion that domestic violence is mutually experienced. Common couple violence, as Johnson has labeled it, is likely to what Goodwin was referring in The Sunday Times article. Johnson describes it as such: The common couple violence is a product of a violence-prone culture and the privatized setting of most U.S. households (286). It is a common belief in feminist literature that domestic violence is rooted in patriarchal traditions. On the other hand, common couple violence is likely caused by our violent culture. In terms of rap music and violence against women, Adams and Fuller explain the violent culture as only an outgrowth of the cultural acceptance of misogyny at-large (951), and therefore is part of a larger social, cultural, and economic

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system that sustains and perpetuates this ideology (941). However, Johnson would argue that Goodwin does not completely understand the dynamics at play in common couple violence. That is, the severity of the violence in the song is not realistic in this kind of violence. Johnson reports that during episodes of common couple violence, the conflict occasionally gets out of hand, leading usually to minor forms of violence, and more rarely escalating into serious, sometimes even life-threatening, forms of violence (285). Eminems last line in the song is a threat to kill. This is considered what Walker considers a high risk situation which increases the potential for a lethal incident (137). Though violence between couples can and does escalate, it is unlikely to be as violent as depicted in both the lyrics and the music video for Love the Way You Lie. Many journal articles cite a 1978 study by Straus, Gelles, and Steinmetz, which reinforces Goodwins belief that women are just as violent towards men as men are towards women. This study came to this conclusion through a series of surveys. However, there are a number of studies that refute this claim: It was later found that [Straus et al.] extrapolated large numbers from the reports of six men in a small part of the study (Walker 117). Indeed violence against men occurs, but Johnson refutes this, declaring there is no battered husband syndrome, only confusion between common couple violence and patriarchal terrorism, what we understand as domestic violence (292). Rihanna tells Access Hollywood, [Eminem] pretty much just broke down the cycle of domestic violence and its something that a lot of people dont have a lot of insight on (Rihanna Talks). The cycle of violence to which she refers is a staple in feminist theory and research. Lenore E. A. Walker, author of The Battered Woman Syndrome, developed the theory of the cycle of violence in 1979. According to Walker, there are three

Renee Powers COMS 691

stages in the cycle: (1) tension-building accompanied with rising sense of danger, (2) the acute battering incident, and (3) loving-contrition (91). In other words, the woman in an abusive relationship will begin walking on eggshells so as not to provoke the anger of the male abuser in Phase I. The male batterer may begin verbally berating the woman and expressing anger but does not become physically violent. The woman may attempt to quell his anger at first but will often give up, knowing his behavior is out of her control (91). Phase II is the act of violence. The woman may purposely provoke the act of violence in order to better control it, knowing it is inevitable. The second phase concludes when the act of violence stops which also puts a stop to the tension felt in Phase I. Walker reasons, Violence often succeeds because it works (94). Also called the honeymoon phase, Phase III reminds the woman of the relationship before it became violent. She forgives her batterer. The batterer himself often believes that he will never do it again. Walker asserts, This third phase provides the positive reinforcement for remaining in the relationship for the woman (94). Many times, when a friend or relative discovers the abuse, they ask why she doesnt simply leave the situation. This is the reason. Both the victim and the abuser believe it will not happen again. The lyrics and story in Love the Way You Lie are a textbook example of Walkers cycle of violence. The song begins in Phase III with Rihanna singing the chorus: Just gonna stand there and watch me burn/Well thats alright because I like the way it hurts/Just gonna stand there and hear me cry/Well thats alright because I love the way you lie. Rihanna, in the role of the victim, begins the song with justifying the batterers actions. In the music video, she sings the chorus directly with an underlying anger. She

Renee Powers COMS 691

attempts to convince herself that she enjoys the pain he inflicts on her. In doing so, she forgives him. The song also ends with the chorus, completing the cycle of violence in the song with Phase III. This completed cycle is also clear in the music video. The video begins with Megan Fox and Dominic Monaghan asleep in bed together. The same scene is shown as the video comes to an end. It is Eminems lyrics in the verses that clearly verbalize the cyclical element of domestic violence. He raps (emphasis added), Wait, where you going? Im leaving you, no you aint Come back, were running right back, here we go again Its so insane, cause when its good, its going great Im Superman with the wind at his back Shes Lois Lane but when its bad, its awful, I feel so ashamed. Here it is clear that Eminem, in the role of the abuser, knows precisely how the cycle works. He is ashamed but states, Here we go again, insinuating that this isnt the first time the couple has been in an argument. This is the tension Walker claims the couple experiences in Phase I. Phase II is most illustrated in the music video. Megan Fox, in the role of victim, throws the first punch after seeing a womans telephone number written on Dominic Monaghans hand. (Coincidentally, this is similar to how the famous act of violence between Rihanna and Chris Brown began.) These images are playing out to Eminems verse: You push, pull each others hair, scratch, claw, bite em/Throw em down, pin em, so lost in the moments when youre in em. In the music video, we see Monaghan struggling to control Foxs flying punches by climbing on top of her and restraining her. She spits in his face and he throws her against a wall where they begin furiously kissing, seemingly beginning Phase III already. At one point, we see Fox in a bar flirting with

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another man. Monaghan breaks a bottle over his head and an altercation ensues. This is reminiscent of the incident that landed Eminem in jail. Throughout the video, we see images of Fox holding fire in her hand, perhaps as her attempt to control the act of violence. This image is juxtaposed by Monaghan engulfed in flames, seemingly out of control. Phase III in Love the Way You Lie is illustrated after the third chorus with Eminem in the abuser role apologizing and pleading for Rihanna in the abused role to come back: Baby, please come back, it wasnt you, baby it was me Maybe our relationship isnt as crazy as it seems Maybe thats what happens when a tornado meets a volcano All I know is I love you too much to walk away. Walker writes about Phase III, the batterer may apologize profusely, try to assist his victim, show kindness and remorse, and shower her with gifts and/or promises (94). This verse shows Phase III perfectly. The music video also features Monaghan (abuser) giving Fox (victim) a teddy bear with a carnation in forgiveness. As Walker suggests, the role of the batterer in Love the Way You Lie convinces himself that he will not abuse again but adds, I apologize, even though I know its lies/Im tired of the games, I just want her back, I know Im a liar. This last line suggests that abusers cannot control their behaviors and understand that that lack of control will lead to future battery incidents. Love the Way You Lie does not only shed light on the issue of domestic violence, but also into the psychological make up of the abuser. Its clear that when we break down the song and the music video and analyze it through Walkers cycle of violence theory, this song is an accurate portrayal of domestic violence. However, what complicates this song is the amount of popularity it has received on the mass market. Tracy Clark-Flory of Salon worries impressionable teenagers might

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find this portrayal of domestic violence sexy, sexy being anything that is extreme, frightening and hard to comprehend. This is especially so with the music video, as it features steamy, passionate kissing and Megan Foxs bedroom eyes. Clark-Flory reasons teenagers will not be as critical when the message is enveloped by the eroticism of Megan Fox and Dominic Monaghan. Borrowing Goodwins words, Clark-Flory may be concerned that this song and accompanying music video will make teenagers think passionate relationships also have to be violent (Goodwin 4). Or, as Eminem raps, Maybe thats what happens when a tornado meets a volcano. Virginia Held, in her article The Media and Political Violence, discusses the commercialization of the media culture. She claims culture, like songs with a political messages, becomes marginalized, being absorbed into the media culture as soon as they develop a following (200). The meanings and intentions behind the lyrics of these songs become lost as they enter the realm of popular media. The music industrys prerogative is to make money. It does not necessarily take responsibility for interpretations or effects of its product. Russell Simmons, cofounder of Def Jam Records, tells Essence magazine, Popular culture exaggerates everything, including this kind of sexism, for profit (Byrd and Solomon 85). An article by Adams and Fuller reinforces Simmons assertion. Adams and Fuller write, Some artists may use such lyrics to gain status, recognition, and high volume saleswhen they may not personally believe in what they espouse (949). Artists and record companies need to make money and Simmons reasons that they use sexism to do so. This is precisely why it is of particular concern that a number one Billboard hit song portrays such a startling example of domestic violence. Through Love the Way You Lie, Eminem, Rihanna, their producers, and all involved in the songs distribution make money

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off a realistic depiction of domestic violence. Although, it should be noted that Megan Fox donated her appearance fee to a shelter for abused women (Dinh). There has been plenty of media coverage on the meaning of this song for audiences to know this song is, indeed, about domestic violence. Rihanna has been quoted by nearly every entertainment show and column about the importance of the song in starting conversations about intimate partner violence and its prevalence. Even so, one would question how an audience receives the song. Are media consumers truly listening to the lyrics or simply hearing a good beat for dancing? Do young teenagers in violent relationships interpret this song as an accurate depiction of love and how adults should conduct mature and healthy relationships? A 2007 study by Cobb and Boettcher measured the sexist attitudes of 125 undergraduate men and 107 undergraduate women after listening to Eminems Kill You, one of his most misogynistic songs. The control listened to a Beastie Boys song that did not include any derogatory remarks toward women. The fact that undergraduates were used is an advantage in this study, as this age is the target media audience for rap and hiphop music (Blair 29). The researchers found that listening to Eminems music slightly increases sexist attitudes in both men and women. However, it is important to note that sexist attitudes increased more in the control group of this study that listened to nonmisogynistic lyrics (3037). Cobb and Boettcher assert that exposure to misogynistic lyrics is not required to produce sexist reactions (3038), a small victory for those who believe Love the Way You Lie is a harmless, albeit graphic, depiction of domestic violence. Cobb and Boettcher contend that misogynist attitudes are reproduced through a larger cultural environment. Rap music is only one small component of a greater sexist

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cultural framework. However, popular culture is influential. Kilbourne writes, The popular culture idealizes a template for relationships between men and women that is a recipe for disaster: a template that views sex as more important than anything else, that ridicules men who are not in control of their women, and that disparages fidelity and commitment (273). In other words, whether we want to or not, we emulate that which we experience through popular mass media. Even though listening to Eminem may not make an immediate shift in a persons attitudes toward sexism, the saturation of violence in the media desensitizes us and may ingrain these attitudes. This media saturation and influence is not limited to violence and sexism. In an article in Essence, Joan Morgan airs her concerns with rap music videos affect on young black girls. She observes that these girls pick up fashions they see in rap videos, which has had an impact on body image and eating disorders (122). If the fashions are creating an impact on these young girls, we can assume that the actions of their favorite stars influence them as well. Held asserts, beliefs affect the occurrence of political violence, and that culture affects the formation of beliefs (190). Therefore, it is the culture whose beliefs reinforce its own culture of violence, a quintessential chicken-or-egg question. Held continues to ask the question of what and how much responsibility the media should take for shaping this culture of violence. Morgan suggests boycotting BET until they agree to stop playing violent rap videos (124), but Held believes the media needs to take responsibility for its actions. She claims it is unethical for the media to portray attractive images of violence without providing an explanation or example of how violence is morally wrong. Love the

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Way You Lie can be considered a kind of unattractive example because it does not explicitly encourage domestic violence, though many, like Clark-Flory, worry that it sexualizes violence. Held later states, the media could easily provide relevant images and ideas that would promote understanding of the best moral positions available (194). Unfortunately, using raw, provocative images of domestic violence juxtaposed with passionate affection in the music video, Love the Way You Lie does not promote the best moral decision. In the end, the abused woman, as portrayed by Megan Fox, stays with her batterer. Held would contend that Love the Way You Lie is an unethical representation of the medias power to influence, as it does not provide the best solution or a nonviolent comparison to the issue of domestic violence. Music critics or news outlets further enable the violence portrayed in the media. In their article about rap music and misogyny, Adams and Fuller write, Each time music critics or the like refer to misogynistic rappers as an innovator in the music industry, further legitimization and desensitization is given to this ideology (954). These writers contend that, through accolades, the media industry permits and encourages the perpetuation of sexism and misogyny. By giving attention to Love the Way You Lie, the media may be further reinforcing the cultural belief system that the song seeks to trouble. Though this song does bring attention to domestic violence, Held would argue that it is still unethical. The media needs to be more discerning with the kinds of violent and sexual images they portray. Bell hooks declares white supremacist patriarchal values are perpetuated through rap music and that these values are largely learned through passive uncritical consumption of the mass media. Political music does not exist in a vacuum. Or, as Adams and Fuller write, Music is a powerful art form that has the potential to be

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influential, particularly when it is supported by a structural system and cultural ideologies (952). But we are passive consumers of media messages. Musics potential influential power often goes unharnessed. We listen to the radio in the car as we run our errands because we dont care for silence. We ignore the background music in commercials. We drink and dance to Eminem at the bars. Music is a filler that we easily tune out, a noise to keep us company in silence. We do not often actively listen to that noise. However, if we slow down and listen as opposed to hear music, we would be affected. Kilbourne writes, We believe we are not affected by these images, but most of us experience visceral shock when we pay conscious attention to them (277). Music loses its power when we let it become saturated, over-played, or ignored. Or we can make the conscious decision to put effort into our listening. We could actively consume the media by listening, evaluating, and analyzing the messages provided to us. Unfortunately, the channel through which the messages are sent fails us with a lack of contextualization. When a song is played on the radio, there is no airtime available to explain the back-story of the artists and the intent of the song. Songs like Love the Way You Lie require context that radio does not provide. In the appropriate context, Love the Way You Lie could be affective. Walker writes, Just knowing there is a cycle to the violence and that it is repetitive helps the woman better assess her situation (104). This song and the buzz surrounding it, including interviews with the artists themselves, is helping to create awareness about the cycle of domestic violence. However, awareness is not the same as getting help. For some survivors of domestic violence, therapy is necessary to heal emotional wounds (Walker 388). Some women suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of domestic

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violence (45). Love the Way You Lie could be used as a tool in assisting the healing process of these women. Art and music therapy are budding industries that might find mainstream songs about domestic violence therapeutic. Michel asserts music therapy can assist in the development of psychological orientation (such as self-image, self-esteem) (96). Low self-esteem can arise as a result of abuse. He writes that music therapy can also help reestablish fulfilling interpersonal relationships by enhancing social skills. In a study of musics affect on incarcerated women and survivors of violence, Williams and Taylor use popular music to examine womens empowerment. They found that through listening to music or participating in musical collaborations, women feel empowered, as it forces them to reflect on their life experiences and identities (48). Walker confirms that the feeling of empowerment is one of the most important assets gained in post-domestic violence therapy (33). In a way, Love the Way You Lie is a reflection of Rihannas experiences with domestic violence. Her choice of collaborating on this song is the manifestation of her own empowerment. In a therapeutic setting such as this, Love the Way You Lie can be a healing ballad to let women know they are not alone in how they feel and what they experienced. Non-profit art therapy organizations like A Long Walk Home, which developed comprehensive anti-violence programs that use the visual and performance arts as vehicles for healing, social change, and education (A Long), can use Love the Way You Lie to drive its mission. In this setting, women can have constructive, positive conversations about the cycle of domestic violence and what it means to be a survivor. This song can spark these conversations. Through conversation and music therapy, survivors of domestic

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violence can heal the wounds and regain a sense of empowerment. This is an example of an appropriate context for the song. Future study of this issue would include an exhaustive analysis on Part II of Love the Way You Lie, which is another collaboration between Rihanna and Eminem featured on Rihannas album Loud. The album was released on November 16, 2010 (Herrera Rihanna). This song depicts domestic violence from the abused womans point of view. This is especially interesting as Part I tells domestic violence primarily through the man, a voice that commands attention. Part II tells the side that is often silent and is a prime example of what Walker termed learned helplessness. Love the Way You Lie (Part II) explains how difficult it can be for the woman to leave. Often, women are conditioned to stay in violent relationships because they have developed learned helplessness, which Walker defines as having lost the ability to predict that what you do will make a particular outcome occur (69). In Part I of Love the Way You Lie, this is evident in the passivity of Rihannas lyrics: Just gonna stand there and hear me cry/Well, thats alright because I love the way you lie. However, it is most clear in Part II. Rihanna sings, In this tug of war, youll always win/Even when Im right cause you feed me fables from your hand/With violent words and empty threats. These lyrics acknowledge the abused womans recognition of the cycle of domestic violence. Furthermore, they showcase her learned helplessness. Walker explains that learned helplessness damages a womans motivation to leave the relationship (13). This is evident in the line I try to run but I dont wanna ever leave. As was discussed in the analysis of the cycle of domestic violence, the battered woman still has hope that Phase III, the lovingcontrition phase, will be permanent.

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Eminems rap section, which comes near the end of Love the Way You Lie (Part II), sheds even more light on the psychology of the batterer, which is also an area that necessitates further analysis. Walker concludes men who batter use isolation, manipulation, degrading comments, and unpredictable behavior in addition to the act of violence itself (65). Part II is full of manipulation from the batterers point of view. Eminem says, Try and touch me so I can scream at you not to touch me/Run out the room and Ill follow you like a lost puppy. Here we can see the batterer is baiting the battered, reeling her in, only to make her feel guilty for his actions. The batterers ultimate goal in this situation is to vindicate himself. The release of Love the Way You Lie (Part II) is further proof of the necessity to shed light on the issue of domestic violence. It is clear both Rihanna and Eminem feel this is an important discussion that needs development in mainstream popular culture. It is honorable for these two young artists to use their fame and the reach of their music to bring awareness to such an issue. They have relentlessly written, recorded, and distributed a call to action to bring domestic violence out from behind closed doors. Though Part II has not been released to the radio stations yet, it is only a matter of time before it reaches the same audience as its original. The message and intent of Love the Way You Lie and its sequel lend itself nicely to a study involving interviews with both female and male survivors of domestic violence. An interesting research project would be to retrieve first-hand reactions to Love the Way You Lie from survivors of domestic violence. Further investigation of personal narratives and experiences with this song would make for a strong piece of academic literature. In the same breath, interviewing teenagers is equally as important to learn what

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the impressionable youth takes from this hit song. Only then could we answer the question, Does Love the Way You Lie romanticize domestic violence in the eyes of the youth? Despite much media attention and shock towards this song, we can see that Love the Way You Lie is truly an accurate representation of a violent relationship. The fact that it comes from two stars with public histories of the issue is troublesome but this is what gives the song credibility. Whether she wants to be or not, Rihanna has become to poster child for survivors of domestic violence since Chris Browns attack. Lending her voice to a song that illuminates the issue so graphically is a courageous step in her own healing process. In the appropriate context, it may help other brave survivors work through their own healing processes. In other circumstances, the songs lyrics are cause for concern. Love the Way You Lie might not necessarily encourage domestic violence. It does not explicitly tell its listeners or viewers that domestic violence is something you should participate in. Unfortunately, neither does it outwardly condemn violent or misogynistic behavior. The amount of popularity it has achieved may, in fact, normalize this behavior. However, the song certainly sheds light on domestic violence while showing its audience what it is, that it exists, and what it looks like. As Rihanna and many others have stated, its intent is to start a conversation. And so it has.

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Appendix A Eminem. Love the Way You Lie ft. Rihanna. Recovery. Aftermath Records, 2010. CD. (Rihannas lyrics in italics) Just gonna stand there and watch me burn Well thats alright because I like the way it hurts Just gonna stand there and hear me cry Well thats alright because I love the way you lie I love the way you lie I cant tell you what it really is, I can only tell you what it feels like And right now theres a steel knife in my windpipe I cant breathe but I still fight while I can fight As long as the wrong feels right its like Im in flight High off of love, drunk from my hate Its like Im huffin paint and I love, the more I suffer I suffocate and right before Im about to drown, she resuscitates me She fuckin hates me, and I love it Wait, where you going? Im leaving you, no, you aint Come back, were running right back, here we go again Its so insane, cause when its going good, its going great Im Superman with the wind at his back Shes Lois Lane but when its bad, its awful, I feel so ashamed I snap, Whos that dude?, I dont even know his name I laid hands on her, I never stoop so low again I guess I dont know my own strength Just gonna stand there and watch me burn Well thats alright because I like the way it hurts Just gonna stand there and hear me cry Well thats alright because I love the way you lie I love the way you lie I love the way you lie You ever love somebody so much, you could barely breathe when you with em? You meet, and neither one of you even know it hit em Go that warm fuzzy feeling, yeah, them chills, used to get em Now youre getting fuckin sick of lookin at em You swore youd never hit em, never do nothing to hurt em Now youre in each others face spewing venom in your words when you spit em You push, pull each others hair, scratch, claw, bitem

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Throw em down, pin em, so lost in the moments when youre in em Its the race that took over, it controls you both So they say youd best go your separate ways, guess that they dont know ya Cause today, that was yesterday, yesterday is over, its a different day Sound like broken records playing over But you promised her, next time youd show restraint You dont get another chance, life is no Nintendo game But you lied again, now you get to watch her leave out the window Guess thats why they call it window pane Just gonna stand there and watch me burn Well thats alright because I like the way it hurts Just gonna stand there and hear me cry Well thats alright because I love the way you lie I love the way you lie I love the way you lie Now I know we said things, did things that we didnt mean And we fall back into the same patterns, same routine But your tempers just as bad as mine is, youre the same as me But when it comes to love, youre just as blinded Babye, please come back, it wasnt you, baby, it was me Maybe our relationship isnt as crazy as it seems Maybe thats what happens when a tornado meets a volcano All I know is I love you too much to walk away though Come inside, pick up your backs off the sidewalk Dont you hear sincerity in my voice when I talk? Told you this is my fault, look me in the eyeball Next time Im pissed Ill aim my fist at the drywall Next time? There wont be no next time I apologize, even though I know its lies Im tired of the games, I just want her back, I know Im a liar If she ever tries to fuckin leave again, Ima tie her to the bed And set this house on fire Just gonna stand there and watch me burn Well thats alright because I like the way it hurts Just gonna stand there and hear me cry Well thats alright because I love the way you lie I love the way you lie I love the way you lie

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Appendix B Rihanna. Love the Way You Lie (Part II). Loud. Def Jam Records, 2010. CD. (Eminems lyrics in italics) On the first page of our story The future seemed so bright Then this thing turned out so evil I dont know why Im still surprised Even angels have their wicked schemes And you take that to new extremes But youll always be my hero Even though youve lost your mind Just gonna stand there and watch me burn Well thats alright because I like the way it hurts Just gonna stand there and hear me cry Well thats alright because I love the way you lie I love the way you lie Oh, I love the way you lie Now theres gravel in our voices Glass is shattered from the fight In this tug of war, youll always win Even when Im right Cause you feed me fables from your hand With violent words and empty threats And its sick that all these battles Are what keeps me satisfied Just gonna stand there and watch me burn Well thats alright because I like the way it hurts Just gonna stand there and hear me cry Well thats alright because I love the way you lie I love the way you lie Oh, I love the way you lie So maybe Im a masochist I try to run but I dont wanna ever leave Til the walls are goin up In smoke with all our memories This morning, you wake, a sunray hits your face Smeared makeup as we lay in the wake of destruction Hus baby, speak softly, tell me Ill be sorry That you pushed me into the coffee table last night

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So I can push you off me Try and touch me so I can scream at you not to touch me Run out the room and Ill follow you like a lost puppy Baby, without you, Im nothing, Im so lost, hug me Then tell me how ugly I am, but that youll always love me Then after that, shove me, in the aftermath of the Destructive path that were on, two psychopaths but we Know that no matter how many knives we put in each others backs That well always have each others backs cause were that lucky Together we move mountains, lets not make mountains out of molehills, You hit me twice, yeah, but whos countin? I may have hit you three times, Im startin to lose count But together, well live forever, we found the youth fountain Our love is crazy, were nuts, but I refused counselin This house is too huge, if you move out Ill burn all two thousand Square feet of it to the ground, aint shit you can do about it With you Im in my fuckin mind, without you, Im out it Just gonna stand there and watch me burn Well thats alright because I like the way it hurts Just gonna stand there and hear me cry Well thats alright because I love the way you lie I love the way you lie Oh, I love the way you lie

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Goodwin, Daisy. Battered husbands are the victims we never see. The Sunday Times. 5 Sept. 2010: 4. Held, Virginia. The Media and Political Violence. The Journal of Ethics 1.2 (1997): 187-202. Herrera, Monica. Eminem: Coming Clean. Billboard Magazine. 3 July 2010. Herrera, Monica. Rihanna and Eminems Love the Way You Lie (Part II) Sequel Leaks. Billboard.com. Billboard. 3 November 2010. Web. 24 November 2010. <http://www.billboard.com/#/news/rihanna-and-eminem-s-love-the-way-you-lie1004125180.story>. hooks, bell. Sexism and Misogyny: Who Takes the Rap? ZMagazine Feb. 1994. Hot 100 Visualizer - Love the Way You Lie Eminem. Billboard.com. Billboard. Web. 5 November 2010. <http://www.billboard.com/song/eminem/lovethe-way-you-lie/20042544#/song/eminem-featuring-rihanna/love-theway-you-lie/20042544>. Johnson, Michael P. Patriarchal Terrorism and Common Couple Violence: Two Forms of Violence Against Women. Journal of Marriage and the Family 57 (1995): 283-294. Kaufman, Gil. Eminems Mom Tells Her Side of the Story in New Memoir. MTV.com. 18 September 2008. 25 November 2010. <http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1595061/20080917/eminem.jhtml> Kilbourne, Jean. Deadly Persuasion. New York, NY: The Free Press: 1999. Love the Way You Lie Eminem ft. Rihanna. 2010. Online video clip. VEVO. 29 September 2010. <http://www.vevo.com/watch/eminem/love-the-way-youlie/USUV71001543>. Michel, Donald E. Music Therapy Today: Has Its Time Arrived? College Music Symposium 18.2 (1978): 94-101. Morgan, Joan. Sex, Lies and Videos. Essence June 2002: 120-124. Paiva, Derek. 18 things you need to know about Rihanna. The Honolulu Advertiser. 15 September 2006. 29 September 2010. <http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2006/Sep/15/en/FP60915030 3.html>

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Rihanna Album & Song Chart History. Billboard.com. Billboard. Web. 5 November 2010. <http://www.billboard.com/column/chartbeat/ask-billboard-ratingrihanna-1004105967.story?tag=hpfeed#/artist/rihanna/charthistory/658897>. Rihanna. Love the Way You Lie (Part II). Loud. Def Jam Records, 2010. CD. Rihanna Talks Eminem Duet & Katy Perrys Bachelorette Party; Singer to Star In First Movie. 26 July 2010. Online video clip. Access Hollywood. NBC Universal. <http://www.accesshollywood.com/rihanna-talks-eminem-duetand-katy-perrys-bachelorette-party-singer-to-star-in-firstmovie_article_35010>. Rodman, Gilbert B. Raceand Other Four Letter Words: Eminem and the Cultural Politics of Authenticity. Popular Communication 4.2 (2006): 95-121. Silverman, Stephen. Kim Mathers: Eminem Nearly Drove Me to Suicide. People.com. Time. 15 February 2007. Web. 7 November 2010. <http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20011971,00.html>. Soriano, Cesar G. "Eminem kisses off lawsuit with payment." USA Today. 10 April 2002: 1D. Straus, M.A., R.J. Gelles, and S.K. Steinmetz. Behind Closed Doors: Violence in the American Family. Garden City, NY: Anchor/Doubleday, 1980. Tjaden, Patricia and Nancy Thoennes. Prevalence and Consequences of Male-toFemale and Female-to-Male Intimate Partner Violence as Measured by the National Violence Against Women Survey. Violence Against Women 6.2 (2000) 142-161. Tyrangiel, Josh. "PEOPLE." Time 156.9 (2000): 71. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 7 November 2010. Walker, Lenore E.A., The Battered Woman Syndrome. 3rd ed. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company, 2009. Williams, Rachel and Janette Y. Taylor. Narrative Art and Incarcerated Abused Women. Art Education 57.2 (2004): 46-52. Winners. Grammy.com. The Recording Academy. 2010. Web. 5 November 2010. <http://www.grammy.com/nominees/ >.

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