JM | Feb 25, 2023

Here to stay: Supportive partners no fad amid ‘Rihanna-Vogue’ furore

/ Our Today

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Pop superstar Rihanna holding hands with partner A$AP Rocky for the spring edition cover of British Vogue, released in mid-February. (Photo: Twitter @BritishVogue)

As Bajan business mogul and pop superstar Rihanna, partner A$AP Rocky and their one-year-old son stunned in a British Vogue photo shoot last Wednesday (February 15), the growing family was instantly met with a particular strain of backlash. 

Fresh from her NFL Super Bowl LVII performance, Rihanna was criticised for attempting to subvert traditional familial roles by ‘leading’ A$AP Rocky in the March 2023 spring issue. 

Detractors further called out the pregnant hitmaker for ’emasculating and decentralising’ the father of her two children.

The Harlem rapper, nine months younger than Rihanna, was also on the receiving end of flack for ‘abandoning’ his position as the man of the house. 

Rihanna’s British Vogue feature unintentionally polarised social media as the photo shoot morphed from a celebration of love to an inspection of gender roles, the male ego, modern families and black masculine expectations. 

While conversation still swirls around Rihanna amid the black community’s fevered reaction against the cover, those coming to her defence maintain A$AP Rocky was not diminished in his role as the father. Continuing, many argued that instances of supportive husbands/partners are increasingly common today. 


Our Today presents a list of shining examples: 

  • Portia Simpson-Miller & Errald Miller 
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller congratulates her husband, Errald Miller, after he was conferred with the Diploma of Fellowship of the City and Guilds of London Institute. The ceremony was held in March 2015, at the residence of the British High Commissioner in St Andrew. (Photo: JIS)

As one of the ‘pioneer couples’ locally, former Cable & Wireless chief executive Errald Miller held no qualms about being a supportive husband to former prime minister Portia Simpson-Miller during her tenure as minister and eventual first female leader of Jamaica. The pair married in 1998 and remain together well after Simpson-Miller’s 2016 exit from representational politics. 

  • Kamala Harris & Douglas Emhoff
Kamala Harris is sworn in as U.S. Vice President as her spouse Doug Emhoff holds a bible during the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

American attorney Douglas Emhoff has openly expressed contentment with being “overly her husband” to history-making US Vice-President Kamala Harris. As recently as November 2020, Emhoff has repeatedly put Harris’ career ahead of his—even quitting a law practice just before the inauguration ceremony in Washington DC.

  • Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce & Jason Pryce
In celebration of her 33rd birthday, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce immortalises the milestone alongside husband Jason Pryce and son Zyon Pryce in December 2019. (Photo: Facebook @ShellyAnnFraserPryce)

Jason Pryce plays an integral role in the success of reigning women’s 100-metre World Champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who he married in Hanover 12 years ago. Pryce and their son, Zyon, are the most important support system for Jamaican ‘Mommy Rocket’ and elite athlete sprint as she competes on the global stage.

  • Serena Williams & Alexis Ohanian

American entrepreneur and co-founder of Reddit, Alexis Ohanian, is openly supportive of retired tennis great Serena Williams. Ohanian, who married in 2017, is not dishevelled by Williams’ superstar factor and is always in her corner alongside their daughter, Olympia. 

  • Lisa Hanna & Richard Lake
Lisa Hanna and Richard Lake. (Photo: Contributed)

Business executive Richard Lake often adopts a peripheral approach, handing much of the public spotlight to Lisa Hanna, his wife of nearly five years. Hanna, People’s National Party (PNP) Member of Parliament for South East St Ann and opposition spokesperson is the de facto face of her marriage to Lake. 

  • Marlene Malahoo Forte & Ian Forte
Retired Justice Ian Forte congratulates wife Marlene Malahoo-Forte on her appointment as Attorney-General at a party in her honour at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St Andrew in May 2016. (Photo: Contributed)

Ian Forte, former president of the Court of Appeal, may be retired but that has not impeded the respected attorney from supporting the exploits of his wife, Marlene Malahoo Forte—a senior lawmaker, minister and MP within the Andrew Holness administration. 

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