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Dear Lena Dunham: What if Kesha is lying?

By February 25, 2016 3
Ke Performs at 1 Oak Nightclub at The Mirage Resort and Casino Las Vegas

Featuring: Kesha aka Ke
Where: Las Vegas, NV, United States
When: 02 Sep 2013
Credit: Judy Eddy/WENN.com
Ke Performs at 1 Oak Nightclub at The Mirage Resort and Casino Las Vegas Featuring: Kesha aka Ke Where: Las Vegas, NV, United States When: 02 Sep 2013 Credit: Judy Eddy/WENN.com

I know. This title alone makes half of you hate me. I sometimes fight myself because I know I shouldn’t, and yet– ugh. Here I go again:

So unless you’ve been sitting under a rock during the last two weeks, you are obviously aware that our collectively over-privileged American consciousness has been seized, yet again, by two life-altering, events.

  1. Beyonce’s 1 minute dance during the Superbowl halftime (regarding which, I’ve made a sincere attempt to compose an article about it’s ridiculousness, but can’t seem to get it under 3000 “what the fucks”, which my Editor has deemed ‘unpublishable’).
  2. The #FreeKesha, suddenly-viral campaign.

If you have actually been living under a rock during these last two weeks and genuinely have no idea as to what I am possibly referring to, then I applaud you. You have saved yourself from the observation of what it both looks and sounds like when a severely under-cultured society that has honestly never lived through anything (I repeat, fucking ANYTHING) meaningful, decides that it must exercise it’s first amendment rights by boycotting and hash-tagging NON-ISSUES.

However, if you have not been so fortunate as to be vacationing under a rock, and you have instead dabbled, quite possibly shed a tear to, or even dared to use the hashtag #Freekesha, then namaste while you have the chance, because this article is really going to piss you off.

Let’s just start from the beginning shall we?

#FreeKesha.

Free Kesha? Kesha the fantastically drunk pop-music star? Free Kesha from what, exactly?  Those are the questions I found myself asking aloud one morning when every status from the depths of my Facebook mini-feed to the peaks of celeb-Instagram accounts, was hysterically reflecting and republishing thoughts regarding the as-of-lately irrelevant pop star, who’s music had made my college pre-game experiences worth twerkin’ to.

I wondered nervously: Did the bottle of jack Kesha had been waking up and brushing her teeth with finally get the best of her? 

Were her teeth now rotting inside of her mouth? Is she perhaps being held captive by that bottle of Jack until she agrees that the party must, at long last, TIK-TOK to a full stop? Does this mean she’ll be forced to make the switch to Colgate, or Crest, like the rest of us?

No no, I immediately put those ideas out of my head. I mean, brushing your teeth with an alcoholic beverage and singing about it is definitively controversial, but it couldn’t be the reason that Demi Lovato was ranting on twitter against Taylor Swift? It certainly couldn’t be the reason that Taylor Swift was donating a quarter of a million dollars to cover Kesha’s legal fees, or the reason that Lena Dunham wrote an open letter about how the legal system was not designed to protect women?

Women? Oh wait now I was really confused—because why was this about women at all? Was it because the bottle of Jack was a guy? Would it have been different if it was a bottle of Jane? Why was it that this seemingly innocuous pop-star was suddenly the plight of feminists the world over?

I begrudgingly took to TMZ and a few other celebrity-stalking platforms to investigate further and was shocked to discover that this was no laughing matter. The issue was that Kesha, by her very own admission, had been drugged and raped by her producer, Dr. Luke (who I feel compelled to clarify for our rock dwellers, is not really a doctor, and therefore unable to provide drugs to anyone, legally). The issue was that as a result of this attack, Kesha had wanted out of her contract with Sony (of which she has 6 more years remaining), and the more explosive issue at hand was that the judge had just denied that request.

On the surface, that all sounds fucking horrifying right? I mean, that’s why Lena Dunham publicly lambasted what she described to be “systematic misogyny” in the court system, as well as the  “legally necessary but sickening use of the word ‘alleged’ over and over in reference to the assault [Kesha] says she remembers so vividly —”.

In my heart I wanted to applaud Lena Dunham.

That is, of course, until I saw it.

And suddenly, I wanted Lena to shut up, immediately.  Because those weren’t the real issues she took with this circumstance.

And I wanted Demi Lovato to have a seat. Because she had no real issues with the matter either.

And I needed Tay Tay to reroute her donation and apologize—because the powerful stance she took had absolutely nothing to do with her die hard, 6-ft-barbie-doll idea of feminism, either.

Nope. The real issue these women are having, really boils down to a photo. And I really hate to cut through the bullshit that everyone is perpetuating and trying to repackage and sell as a feminist popsicle, but the issue was THIS fucking picture:

kesha-crying-zoom-b857d95c-0287-435c-a6a9-baafb08a5f4e

Because the court case that Kesha was going through for the last year and a half did not disturb or illicit the support of any person in the entire world until this picture hit the mainstreams. This picture of this white girl, with blonde hair, sobbing in the back of a courtroom because she wanted out of her contract and was not granted it– and yes, her appearance and status as a celebrity is a HUGE part of the reason why everyone from Adele to Taylor Swift is blindly jumping to her defense.

Because it hits just a bit too close to home.

She is blonde, she is american, and she is crying, and so she is innocent and deserves to be relinquished from her contract– am I right?

No. I am completely fucking wrong.

Am I the only feminist that remembers why the feminist movement began altogether? It was a much needed effort to make people understand that we women are NOT a weaker sex, but an equal one. It’s been a continued and steady push for us to prove, despite popular depictions, that we do not in fact run high on emotion, which is the very reason that men think we are unfit to run companies and countries. Feminism is the support of women solidifying our place as equals to our sexual counterparts, a plight which includes and is not limited to our ability to make decisions–absent haste or irrational emotion.

And yet what exactly did all of these self-proclaimed “feminists” do when they saw this picture of Kesha crying?

They got into their emotions. They felt sad, and bad, and all kinds of mushy and started screaming and crying from the top of their lungs that Kesha deserved to be ‘freed’. Absent any facts of course, because who needs facts when a woman is crying?

I do.

The facts surrounding this trial, are at best, murky. And do not jump down my throat with your feminist babble of “this is why victims don’t come forward. No one believes them”, because the only reason these facts are grey is because of who? Oh, Kesha herself. That’s right. Kesha gave a video testimony, swearing under oath that Dr. Luke did not rape her, and that she did not have any sex with him. Her mother confirmed this, and gave the exact same testimony under sworn oath, so in the case of Kesha then vs. Kesha now, there is plenty of room for debate.

So yes Lena, despite your desire to “ask [your] Uber driver to pull over so [you] could throw up in a New York City trash can” (which, holy pretentious–did you really type out that sentence?) the word “alleged” is incredibly valid in this particular circumstance.

These facts alone should have silenced people from immediately jumping to Kesha’s defense. Because if die hard feminists are looking, there are millions of other women available who have never once strayed away from their testimonies when reporting their rapes. I imagine these women could have certainly used a $250,000 donation in their support, or even a simple tweet drawing attention to their cause.

In fact it was just the other week that a 14 year old spoke out against being raped, and having her virginity stolen by a violent man, and yet my twitter feed remained silent. Why is that? Was she not famous enough to start a viral hashtag?

I’ve been dating a guy a few months now and we, like the rest of America, were discussing this very predicament last night. He said something that terrified me, and that every woman in the world needs to hear. He said;

“It’s difficult not to be sexist toward women when 9 times out of 10, when situations like this arise, they ‘PMS’. – I’m kidding with that term, but what I mean to say is that they simply fulfill the notion that they aren’t capable of thinking rationally, which is exactly what top-level management, at high corporations are supposed to do. For some reason, women struggle with it”

I want every women who felt angry as they read those words to take a second, and think rationally. Lay down your pitchforks, and really think about the implications of that statement, upon which I could quite possibly pen a novel.

Because he’s right.

Feminism for the sake of feminism, which is blind feminism void of a thorough understanding, is not what propels our progress, it is what slows it. It’s the detrimental difference between Lena Dunham saying that she threw up outside of her Uber, and penning an essay wrought with fury and pointed divisiveness on an issue—and Dunham’s producer-boyfriend, Jack Antonoff, tweeting out:

“hey Kesha. Don’t know what the legal specifics are, but if you want to make something together & then leak it for everyone I’m around”

Antonoff’s response was careful and rational. It supported Kesha without blaming Dr. Luke, because (and I’ll ask again in case you are missing my point) what if Kesha is lying?

I suppose that under such a scenario the Leas, and Taylors and Demis would look emotional and hasty. They could of course argue that the issue is not whether or not Dr. Luke raped her, but whether Sony will do the right thing and release her from the contract— because no one should be forced to work with someone under such volatile circumstances and I have to say, I wholeheartedly agree with that intrepretation. I am left wondering though, where those same voices have been as rapper Lil Wayne has also been in court for over a year, trying to be relinquished from his Young Money contract. Is the court systematically built to harm men as well then– or is it perhaps just making a fair decision with the facts and contracts that are set in place?

My veins are not ice cold. I too felt an immediate pang of sympathy and anger when I first saw the image of Kesha crying. Because I am a human being, and when any person cries, I feel a twinge of regret inside of me. A twinge of regret, yes, but I do not then jump off a cliff with feminism. Do you know why?

Because tears are not a direct representation of anything other than human emotion. You can cry when you’re right, you can cry when you’re wrong. Hell, You can even just cry to cry. 

I should clarify that despite this title, I am not insinuating that Kesha is lying. I am instead emphatically stating that I do not believe in a trial by the media.I do not believe in a trial by Lena Dunham, in a trial by Taylor Swift, or in a trial by any other celebrity, without an informed and true perspective.

It seems that the only news source that has been reporting responsibly on this matter is, unsurprisingly, VICE news. The women of their female run chapter have factually reported upon the numerous celebrities who have worked with Dr. Luke in the past and are, for some unknown reason, remaining silent. Artists like Katy Perry, who was close friends with Kesha—why isn’t she speaking up? I find her silence, someone who actually knows both parties intimately, to be much louder than any of the self-proclaimed feminists who have never been in the room with either side.

And I’d like to remind those feminists of something; These monsters that you seek out? These men, that you immediately cast in a negative light, absent any facts?  I want to remind you that they will one day be our sons. That they are not separate from us—we birth them, and we raise them. They are also our husbands, and our boyfriends, but most importantly they are our sons. We are not only connected to them, but irrevocably responsible for them.

If nothing else, this week leant a hand in revealing to us that the voices of women in America have never been more powerful, and more loud. If nothing else then, let’s be sure to keep the structure of those voices righteous. Not emotional, not angry, not trigger-friendly, but collectively informed and righteous.

 

Comments

  • Ross

    Candace, the actions that you describe that people like Lena and Taylor Swift and Demi do, IS Feminism. THAT is not the exception. If you are the exception to that Feminism then I would say firstly congratulations and secondly I do not think you are Feminist, because you are doing it wrong.

    Its no wonder at all that women and girls are dropping the term quicker than they are embracing it.

    The Kesha case IS murky. No rational person wants to be the one who did not believe a rape victim BUT was she? Its a Hell of a big “BUT”. Its not that false rape claims for all the 2% figure we see Feminists throw around is an accurate “exception to the norm” figure either. More an more case on campus are being exposed as fake rape claim fakery and in EVERY instance the sympathy in the Liberal Press is that this is a “one off” or was “good because it highlights the issue of rape” or “the poor woman needs psychiatric help”. The people who campaigned against the men involved suddenly go quiet and disappear. The male victims are expected to sue and expect the vindication of truth and monetary compensation will counter the months or years they had an onslaught of abuse against false charges and damage to their reputation and lives.

    The second worse thing is the fact that people who make these accusations are never punished because of an idea that women won’t come forward. I say punish them and encourage bad actors NEVER to come forward.

    The worse thing. It makes a mockery of rape. It hurts society and us all as a people. We need to accept that the word victim applies to men too and UNTIL we know the reality and the facts we do not know WHO the victim really is. We need to suspend a quick judgment.

    • ParasamGateZero

      Well said.

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