November 4th, 2009
12:14 PM ET

Rihanna: Woman of the Year?

Glamour magazine  has just revealed it is naming  Rihanna a “Woman of the Year.” She is being honored alongside the likes of Euna Lee and Laura Ling, Michelle Obama and Maya Angelou.

Glamour says  it is giving Rihanna this award because, in  Glamour's  November issue, Rihanna talks openly for the first time about domestic violence. Rihanna tells Glamour, “Domestic violence is a great big secret. I want to give as much insight as I can to young women… to help speak for them.” As is a sad fact by now, Rihanna was brutally beaten by ex-boyfriend, Chris Brown in February, right before the Grammy Awards.

I, along with many other women, have been waiting for the moment when Rihanna would publicly discuss her personal tragedy. Whether she likes it or not, she is a role model to the young women who buy her albums and emulate her style. Her silence for the last 8 months is a decision I respect – it is her business. But the fact is, that silence has sent a mixed message to her young female fans about domestic violence.

Rihanna should be commended for finally speaking out about domestic violence. I imagine it took a lot of courage for her to discuss such a personal tragedy so publicly. But that doesn’t qualify her to be honored in Glamour Magazine’s “Women of the Year” issue. Yes, it’s a good first step that Rihanna is finally ready to come forward and talk about her experience on that terrible night in February. Yes, Rihanna has every right to talk about this experience in her own due time and in her own way. We’re all ready to support her in this endeavor. But that doesn’t make Rihanna a prime candidate to be celebrated in Glamour Magazine with Maya Angelou and Michelle Obama.

Let’s see how Rihanna grows into this role and how she reaches out to these young women she speaks of. Let’s support her as she continues to speak out about domestic violence. But celebrating Rihanna simply because she has spoken out for the first time about this incident does not make her a “Woman of the Year.”


soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. John

    Yeah I honestly think Rihanna is a bunch of bull. Taylor Swift and Beyonce should of been above Rihanna. She went back to chris brown right after she got her tail beat. on top of that! she didnt want to file charges on Chris Brown! she didnt file charges City of Los Angeles file charges on him. not her. she and chris brown met up at p. diddy's place for a getaway from the frenzy. and yes. the only reason why she is speaking out now is bc she has her lame album coming out. which is by the way not even good as her past albums. emo. not what ppl want. she should reconsider and shouldn't have accepted to nomination of being Women of the Year. Glamour! you guys dont make sense. you aren't credible in giving the rights of titling women.. WOMEN OF THE YEAR. if anything Oprah should give that nomination out. RIHANNA does not deserve woman of the year.. I am a man. and i dont tolerate domestic violence what so ever I support an organization for battered women. and you are NO ROLE MODEL to young women who fell victim to domestic violence. sorry thats disappointing. Beyonce shows female empowerment through her music and Taylor Swift knows how to hold composer for a young women after being publicly victimized by a jerk rapper. okay.

    December 3, 2009 at 6:44 am | Report abuse |
  2. Tiff

    I agree with you THB

    November 6, 2009 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. THB

    I disagree with the statement that Rihanna's abuse was brutal, yes she was beat up but I wouldn't use the word "brutal" to describe her abuse...I've seen brutal and that's broken bones, ribs, legs, missing teeth, or plainly misfigured. It's sad this occurred but come on "Woman of the Year" and putting her on the level of the first lady Michelle Obama or the well know poet Ms. Maya Angelou is a far reach. I'm glad she's finally telling her story (which I think is tady late) and she should be commended for it...but not "WOMAN OF THE YEAR" she needs to do much more before she gets that title attached to her name.

    November 6, 2009 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. HMC

    What has she done to deserve this honour. She is a young singer who unfortunately was beaten by a boyfriend. Has she spent years to enlighten and educate others? Has she put in the time and effort to improve the lot of others? No, she has not. A few songs, a media circus and she is woman of the year????

    Let's give her 20 years of campaigning for the protection of women and children, before she gets a woman of the year award. Let's see her get her hands dirty at the side of women and children; families truly suffering as she works to make improvements. When she has done that – stepped up to the plate..than she can get woman of the year.

    November 6, 2009 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. LG

    I feel terribly about what happened to Rhianna. No one deserves to be treated that way.

    However, even after the incident with Chris Brown, she was still sending the message that she loved him and they were still seen together.

    In my opinion, if she were woman of the year, she would have sent a clear message to women and young girls everywhere that "love doesn't hurt," "abuse is never okay" and "I do not love him and he clearly does NOT love me." To me...THAT is heroic and deserving of "woman of the year."

    November 6, 2009 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Debra R

    K. Brown: I am so sorry to hear that about your mother. As the victim of abuse myself, I feel deeply for you. It is a sad thing that sometimes those of us who have been abused are overly sensitive to remarks that appear to negate abuse is wrong...and as an added consequence in your case your version of brutality may be different as you witnessed it in your childhood.

    November 6, 2009 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. mespace

    No one talks about the fact Rihanna slapped and punched Chris Brown multiple times before he lost it and started punching her back. Or the fact Rihanna chose to date him in the first place. I don't care who you are, if you slap or punch me, I'm going to hit back. Violence doesn't just come from out of the blue. Women get with violent men, allow them to move up the scale from verbal to physical abuse, then play the victim role for all its worth. It's like going to the zoo, jumping into the lion's pit, then running to the media and complaining that you were attacked. People need to take responsibility for who they date, and the results of those actions. Chris Brown should have never done what he did, but Rihanna shouldn't have been stupid enough to put herself into that situation in the first place.

    November 6, 2009 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. K. Brown

    @ Donna M.: My mother was abused throughout my childhood so I do have intimate knowledge of abuse.

    @ Debra R.: I was disputing the severity of the way her abuse was described. I wouldn't characterize Rihanna's injuries in the photo we all saw as brutal simple as that.

    November 6, 2009 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  9. Franky, Land of Lincoln

    *shaking my head*

    No offense but she ain't no saint and not even close. Hey, I'll be fair and say that she has time and space but just for opening up about a serious issue that 1) costs taxpayers money, 2) has devastating psychological trauma, 3) let's just I can go on and on.

    I ain't no fan and never was but this is serious, as I talked before. This ain't no joke and just cause she gets a reward for doing something that affects ALL Americans should take note? You're right Ralph, I wasn't a fan of my boy winning the award but at least he has authority, like it says in the Constitution and last time I checked, the only authority Rihanna got is being on the record books like the other girls who get abuse.

    You can not compare or elaborate, you just can't. You'll be a fool if you did and shame on you if you did. Abuse is a serious issue in this country, it ain't no secret. And just because she talks about it don't mean that she's best suited for it and by the way, who do abusive girls talk to? Magazines? News anchors? Please, I ain't to judge but all I'm saying is you gotta watch what you say, this is very dangerous.

    Like I said, I wish her the best and nope, she ain't no saint and never will. I ain't no saint as well, so don't look at me like if I have authority but I have knowledge and brilliance, you people have jobs, $$$, and an economy that will look at deep yourselves and wonder how far we have come. Now that's honesty worth into policy.

    Boy, I am evil, huh? :)

    November 5, 2009 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ralph Lallan

    Kudos to Ms. M. for telling it like it is.

    This situation is reminiscent of President Obama's recent winning of the Nobel Peace Prize. Is this another award handed out to someone who has the potential to make a difference but hasn't quite achieved tangible results?

    This will make Rihanna "Woman of the Year" in Glamour's eyes when the issue sells a kajillion copies!

    November 5, 2009 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Donna M.

    K. Brown seems to have a very intimate knowledge with abuse. Abused or abuser?

    November 5, 2009 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Debra R

    I see...so a little beating is OK..but to be brutally beaten is not? interesting...

    November 5, 2009 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. K. Brown

    Yeah I have to dispute the fact that she was brutally beaten. I mean everyone saw the pics right?? I don't know about you guys, but I've seen first hand...what a brutal beating of a woman is...and Rihanna wasn't nearly it! And yeah she did like a bunch of other women do, go back...I think if it wasn't so public she would probably still be with him. At least for a little while.

    Again both othem are so young...so hopefully they have learned some valuable lessons.

    November 5, 2009 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  14. Debra R

    More like Victim -taking – advantage – of the -situation -to -sell -albums of the year

    November 5, 2009 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  15. TDIVA

    Why not Marge Simpson? After all she did Playboy.

    November 5, 2009 at 2:55 am | Report abuse |
  16. TDIVA

    she makes a song titled "russian roulette", and she is named woman of the year? Is this a joke? She is sleeping with a married man,wears clothes that shows her body,takes naked pictures on her cellphone that has been all over the net, and she's glamour's woman of the year? LMAO

    November 5, 2009 at 2:50 am | Report abuse |
  17. T

    I can not believe that Glamour is on this nonsense. Without trying to repeat some of the past comments posted here, WTH? I agree, not buying Glamour or even glancing at it anymore. Rihanna's voice has irked me since this incedent. She is not a brave woman for this, I agree completly w Doris E, real women are going through this. I believe that she manipulated that fight and it has been a publicty stunt since. Never will buy a album of her's. Anyone seen her new guy? Looks a lot like Chris, not too tramatized I see.

    November 4, 2009 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  18. OldV

    And that is one of the reasons I do not BUY Glamour anymore. Rihanna is pulling a fast one on ya Glamour.

    November 4, 2009 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Emily

    Uh uh. Glamour never had cred to begin with but they seriously messed up. Rihanna was beaten by a boyfriend that she took back. She only decided to speak up because of her new album coming out. Didn't she even refuse to testify in court? She's hardly a role model for young women. Michelle Obama, Lisa Ling, Maya Angelou, or Hilary Clinton would be way better choices. If they wanted to go with someone in entertainment, they would have been better off choosing Stephanie Meyers or something. Or what about Jaycee Dugard or Elizabeth Smart who both had to stay alive and strong during extremely bad circumstances.

    November 4, 2009 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Phung

    Doesn't it seem coincidental that she's finally speaking out about this and her CD is coming out soon? I mean her speaking out is just business and well calculated I might add. Its unfortunate that Glamour couldn't pick someone who is more worthy of this title.

    November 4, 2009 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  21. J

    What has she done this year to deserve that honor? Maybe if she spent the next year speaking out against domestic violence I could see her getting an award, but simply being a victim does not make you a hero. I agree with everything you said Kristen. Let's pick someone who has actually shown their worth through action.

    November 4, 2009 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Doris E

    I don't believe she should be celebrated because of this. she has not spoken about and she actually went back to him with in a couple of days. The only reason why she decided to speak out about it is because she has a new album due to come out. To hell with Rihanna she should have spoken out soon and not to boost your album. This is a sensitive issue to women who are actually being abused. This is not a joke Rihanna. This is life for some women.

    November 4, 2009 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Michele C

    This is a joke . Your kidding? Right!!!

    November 4, 2009 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Raquel J

    Thanks Kristyn, well said!!

    November 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Debra R

    Or even Michelle Obama...first black FLOTUS

    November 4, 2009 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Debra R

    Even tho I cannot stand her I think that Hillary Clinton would be a better choice.

    November 4, 2009 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  27. TN

    Oh please....NOT in the same league as the First Lady, Ms. Angelou nor of Ms. Lee and Ms. Ling. Please...Glamour who?

    What a joke!!! She was seeing the 'boy' soon after...whatever!

    Here's my 'hand'....

    People please don't support Glamour on this one for they know NOT!

    November 4, 2009 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Mike

    I couldn't agree more with this article. Thanks Kristyn.

    November 4, 2009 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Bob Jones

    Tell it to the hand!!

    November 4, 2009 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |

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