Rihanna to Rolling Stone: If Chris Brown Screws Up, I'll Walk. Because She Can.

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
Jan. 30 2013 11:40 AM

Rihanna to Rolling Stone: If Chris Brown Screws Up, I'll Walk

"When you add up the pieces from the outside, it's not the cutest puzzle in the world," Rihanna told RS, stating the obvious.

Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

Rolling Stone's got Rihanna on the cover of its next issue, and is teasing it with a genuine get: the singer's most candid reflections yet on her decision to reunite with Chris Brown, who plead guilty to assaulting her nearly four years ago.

Psychoanalyzing Rihanna's choices has become a blogger cottage industry—and also exhausting and counterproductive. But one excerpt from the interview reminded me of how Rihanna is not necessarily representative of domestic violence victims:


And Rihanna says that if Brown were ever to display a hint of his past behavior towards her, she is ready to walk. "He doesn't have the luxury of fucking up again," she says. "That's just not an option. I can't say that nothing else will ever go wrong. But I'm pretty solid in the knowing that he's disgusted by that. And I wouldn't have gone this far if I ever thought that was a possibility."

Rihanna, of course, can walk if she wants to. She's independently wealthy, so can easily and immediately find a new place to live—if she doesn't have a second or third home already. She has people working for her who can get her a new phone or hire more security. Because Brown's assault on Rihanna was so public, and because the Los Angeles Police Department found itself in hot water when photos of Rihanna after the beating were leaked, it's hard to imagine that any requests she might make for a restraining orders or protection wouldn't be fast-tracked.

This isn't to say that, as the past and possible future victim of abuse, Rihanna is lucky. Just that we should be doing more to ensure that women who are trying to leave dangerous relationships can do so with at least a fraction of the logistical ease Rihanna will have. The emotional ease, or lack thereof, is another story.

Alyssa Rosenberg writes about culture and television for Slate’s “XX Factor” blog. She also contributes to ThinkProgress and theatlantic.com.


Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case

Even When They Go to College, the Poor Sometimes Stay Poor

Here’s Just How Far a Southern Woman May Have to Drive to Get an Abortion

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Marvel’s Civil War Is a Far-Right Paranoid Fantasy

It’s also a mess. Can the movies do better?


Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada

Space: The Next Generation

An All-Female Mission to Mars

As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.

Watching Netflix in Bed. Hanging Bananas. Is There Anything These Hooks Can’t Solve?

The Procedural Rule That Could Prevent Gay Marriage From Reaching SCOTUS Again

  News & Politics
Oct. 20 2014 3:53 PM Smash and Grab Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?
Oct. 20 2014 5:39 PM Whole Foods Desperately Wants Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 1:10 PM Women Are Still Losing Jobs for Getting Pregnant
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 5:03 PM Marcel the Shell Is Back and as Endearing as Ever
Future Tense
Oct. 20 2014 4:59 PM Canadian Town Cancels Outdoor Halloween Because Polar Bears
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.