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a Dom fan's view of his sexy video

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Aug. 14th, 2010 | 06:24 pm
mood: thoughtful
music: Eminem - Love The Way You Lie ft. Rihanna

By popular demand (three is popular!), what I think about Dominic Monaghan's music video, Love the Way You Lie. It involves lots of half-naked Dom kissing and fighting with Megan Fox, while Eminem raps and Rihanna sings. It's meant to present an anti-family-violence message.

I was open-minded at first, and I do like looking at Dom. But when I started looking at it more closely and surfing people's responses, I began to have fairly strong opinions.

As a consciousness-raising anti-abuse video, it's not very successful. It concentrates too much on the cycle of violence within the relationship and has no escape, just a burning house. It would have been a lot better with a helpline number such as 1-866-331-9474 (National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline), and a link to the National Domestic Abuse Hotline.

The good parts: Dom, and bringing up domestic violence

The bad parts: wrong and mixed messages about domestic violence

  • Dom and Megan Fox look pretty hot with the romance, sex, and fighting. It's not real violence, which is horrible and ugly.

  • Most domestic abusers are men, who generally hold the physical, financial, and cultural power in relationships. Though both men and women fight, men do more damage (over 80% of convicted abusers are men). The video makes the man and woman nearly equal in battering.

  • People who recognize Dom as Merry from LotR or Charlie are Lost are predisposed to like him and excuse his actions.

  • Dom's acting Eminem's relationship with his ex-wife (though the director says he meant a more generic couple).

  • Rhianna's chorus includes, like the way it hurts and love the way you lie. Not exactly liberating.

  • Eminem's lyrics end: If she ever tries to fucking leave again / I'mma tie her to the bed / And set the house on fire, and the video has a burning building towards the end. Maybe they meant to indicate it would all end badly, they should split up right away? If so, it fails to work.

  • The video starts and ends with the couple sleeping peacefully all cuddled up together: huh?

More views: A Domestic Violence Expert Weighs In On Eminem's New Music Video. A couple of other analyses, both somewhat positive, at Little Pink Book and Reappropriate.

All the intentions were good and worthwhile. All the people involved are young and may not have known much about the topic. It certainly got attention (the biggest YouTube music video so far) and I hope that the audience learns from it, I just worry they won't.

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Comments {12}

Still learning to be me

(no subject)

from: canciona
date: Aug. 15th, 2010 09:14 pm (UTC)

I have to agree with txvoodoo here, although I've never been through it myself: I don't think it was supposed to be a PSA, but an honest chronicle (excellent description) of the cycle of violence that both artists obviously understand from their own experiences. I can understand the desire to see resources like a hotline number appearing, but at the same time, it rubs me the wrong way to have an expectation of a public service message attached in order for an honest portrayal of an abusive situation to be acceptable (whether the medium is a video, a movie, a TV show or a novel; to me, this smacks of something too close to censorship for me to support). Not every story is an after school special, and I really think the option to add or not add a reference to hotline numbers or other help references should be entirely up to the artists involved. Just my opinion.

Also, the point about how it showed both partners being abusive and how most convicted abusers are men: yes, this is true. It's also true that men are far less likely to come forward or press charges (or even admit) when they're physically abused by women, and to suggest that it doesn't happen or that it's not realistic to me just continues to propagate the stereotype that all abusers are men/any man who could be abused by a woman must be a wimp (to put it nicely)/etc. I actually really liked that it showed both partners being abusive, because it bucks that trend.

I don't know that it's without its faults, and I think a lot of people are taking it the wrong way (either "hey, this is hot" or "they're obviously trying to glorify/justify domestic abuse") - but I also think it's making people talk and think about it, which is usually a good thing.

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