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Mixed reaction on Twitter to Rihanna speaking out about domestic abuse on 'Good Morning America,' forehead trending topic

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Message from Montie

Shamontiel is the author of two novels: "Change for a Twenty" and "Round Trip." Check her out at shamontiel.com.

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In this publicity image released by ABC, Diane Sawyer, left, interviews singer Rihanna about her relationship with ex-boyfriend Chris Brown in New York. The interview aired on the morning program "Good Morning America," Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009, and will also air Friday on the prime time news program "20/20: Good Morning America". (AP Photo/ABC, Ida Mae Astute)

A week before Valentine's Day, R&B singer Chris Brown was being investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department for assault on his then-girlfriend pop star Rihanna. After the February 8 notorious fight that put Rihanna in the hospital with a bruised face, an image of her face taken by LAPD was then posted on TMZ's Web site. Nine months later, Rihanna finally spoke out after Chris Brown had already issued a public apology on his Web site and gone on CNN's "Larry King Live." In the interview on ABC's "20/20: Good Morning America" on Nov. 6 at 9 pm, Rihanna talked about what a woman goes through after being physically abused.

 

The terms "Rihanna" and "Chris Brown" immediately became trending topics on Twitter.com, but another topic to hit the top of the trending topics was "#rihannasforehead." Rihanna had finally decided to talk to the public about how horrifying, embarrassing and personal this tragedy was between her and someone she was in love with, and Twitter users treated it like a joke with tweets like "While driving up #RihannasForehead, I had to fill up twice and got lost three times!" (1:53 am) and "Can #rihannasforehead compete with #tyrasforehead" (1:53 am). Some Twitter users were not amused by this trending topic, declaring "#rihannasforehead This is the most mean and hateful thing ever. You people have no hearts. Rihanna is beautiful inside and out" (1:53 am) and "I C #rihannasforehead is trending, wow, people can be so rude, how do you think she's gonna feel when she C's this." (1:52 am)

According to The Associated Press, Rihanna stated that when her bruised face photo was released to the public by female officers, "I felt like people were making it into a fun topic on the Internet, and it's my life." Apparently Twitter users felt like the topic of her forehead was more important than the topic of domestic abuse because before "20/20: Good Morning America" was over, the Twitter trending topic #rihannasforehead skyrocketed past the trending topic names "Rihanna" and "Chris Brown" making a mockery of a woman who was trying to explain why it's not okay for men to hit women and how she felt.

 

Indignant Chris Brown fans proclaimed that they were still going to support him and were ignoring the ABC "20/20: Good Morning America" show while others tried to play neutral. One Twitter user stated, "Chris Brown fans, im not tryna tell u to boycott his album, I just want you to release the hate you have for Rihanna b/c he did it, not her!"  

 

Reading this kind of immaturity on Twitter was mind-blowing for me, it's hard enough for someone to speak out publicly about a personal topic, especially one that effects so many women on an everyday basis, but to ignore her traumatic experience and choose to talk about her forehead shows just how insensitive some of these people really are. It's never funny to make fun of a woman who has been abused. Not only does domestic abuse hurt a woman physically but it can really hurt her mentally. And if other women who are watching Rihanna on "20/20: Good Morning America" see how people are taking her issues as a joke, this type of foolishness can discourage them from speaking out too.

 

According to the American Institute on Domestic Violence, 5.3 million women are abused each year, 85 to 95 percent of domestic abuse is to women and 1,232 women are killed each year by an intimate partner. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women.

 

Rihanna stated on "20/20: Good Morning America" that it takes a woman nine times to leave, but her reaction: "When I realized that my selfish decision for love could result into some young girl getting killed, I could not...I could not be easy with that part. I couldn't be held responsible for telling them to go back. Even if Chris never hit me again, who's to say that their boyfriend won't kill these girls? I could not...I just didn't realize how much of an impact I had on these girls' lives until that happened." She then continued to state, "Don't react out of love. F love."

 

After seeing how childish Twitters users reacted to Rihanna speaking out on an extremely sensitive and important topic, I was thinking "F Twitter too!" I don't care how much of a Chris Brown or Rihanna fan you are, the topic of domestic abuse is bigger than the both of them, and Rihanna did not deserve that type of response.

 

 

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