Whether or not you’re a fan of the pop artist Kesha, you’re likely not a fan of sexual assault. In October 2014, the singer filed a lawsuit against her music producer, Dr. Luke, claiming he repeatedly harassed her sexually and emotionally. I was not made aware of this until yesterday, when I came across this Buzzfeed article about her current situation.
This is on the heels of the gross Bill Cosby mess, the rape allegations against James Deen, and sadly, so many others. Reading about the case and how long it’s taken for it to go to trial brought up a lot of feelings for me. I’m not a particularly big Kesha fan. “Timber” is super catchy and I like her glittery style, but regardless of whether or not she’s talented, is deserving of celebrity, or any other aesthetic aspect, she’s a human being. And what she’s accusing her producer of is very serious and very important.
However, I find myself being a terrible ally. As a woman who would like to think of herself as a just feminist, I trip up in many situations. When I find myself reading about rape and sexual harassment accusations by female celebrities, I inevitably find my brain going a dark direction: What if they’re lying?
I hear the voices of the standard narrative saying terrible things:
- Oh, stop being such a victim.
- She’s likely doing it for attention.
- Well, duh, that’s what happens when you make a living being sexy.
- No, he can’t be a rapist. I like him too much.
- If she didn’t come forward then, why should we listen to her now? What does she have to gain?
I find myself blaming the victim, having a knee jerk reaction of giving the accused the benefit of the doubt. Why? Why do I go against my fellow woman to give a potential abuser any leeway? The insidiousness of cultural upbringing scares me a great deal.
But I want to learn. I want to become a better ally. I want to get to a place where I can read about David Bowie having sex with a minor without just jumping to the conclusion that the girl probably seduced him, end of story – and without leaping too far the other direction and directing hyperbolic vitriol at the accused, either. Innocent until proven guilty. Legitimate until proven false. (What kind of person can really believe that every single woman who accused Bill Cosby of sexual abuse is lying?) Let’s seek to get rid of the double standard. There are people, men and women alike, who do throw around false accusations for a variety of reasons. Those sully the waters and make it harder to see the true cases of abuse and misconduct, but that should not stop us from actively sifting through the muck to find a path toward justice.
That shouldn’t stop me from becoming a better and better ally.
What are your thoughts on how our legal system handles sexual harassment allegations? What sort of change to do perceive has to be done to improve the system? What are you reactions?
- Why Is No One Talking About Kesha’s Rape Case? | Bitch Media
- The Saddest Thing About the Kesha/Dr. Luke Lawsuit | The Atlantic
- How to deal with false rape accusations | The Washington Post
- Stoya, James Deen and the New Shift in Rape Culture | TIME
- David Bowie: Time to Mourn or Time to Call Out? | Aida Manduley
[Header image source: stuffpoint]