We Need To Talk About What Kesha’s Judge Said About Rape
Because I’m really angry.
The past few months must have been excruciatingly hard for singer Kesha.
All she ever wanted was “to be able to make music without being afraid, scared, or abused.” Instead, she found herself trapped in a multi-million dollar contract with Sony and a producer who allegedly bullied, drugged and raped her.
She decided to do something about it, to speak up and let the world know how she was treated by Luke Gottwald in an attempt to get a different producer so she wouldn’t have to work with her abuser, so Kesha went to court. What followed can only be described as despicable rape victim shaming.
On Wednesday, the singer was made to once again relive the horror of being violated by her abuser, and the justice system, as she lost yet another legal battle against the producer. Not only did the court dismiss Kesha’s case with the judge saying her “instinct is to do the commercially reasonable thing.” (what a useless instinct), but the Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich also made this very disturbing statement:
“Although [Luke’s] alleged actions were directed to Kesha, who is female, [her claims] do not allege that [Luke] harbored animus toward women or was motivated by gender animus when he allegedly behaved violently toward Kesha. Every rape is not a gender-motivated hate crime.”
My first feeling after hearing this was confusion, followed by utter outrage. I am not sure what Kornreich’s intention was, but what she said is wrong and completely irrelevant for two reasons.
First of all, saying that not every rape is a gender-motivated hate crime implies that there are different kinds of rape, some less harmful than others. Let’s dissect this for a minute. According to Kornreich, a woman being raped by a sexist man who is against gender equality is a crime. A woman being raped by a man who supports gender equality is not. Makes sense? No it doesn’t.
The thing is, every rape is gender-motivated as forcing a person to sleep with you, or do anything they don’t want to do, goes against gender equality – or any form of equality for that matter.
Secondly, even if we were to believe for a minute that Kesha’s rape wasn’t gender-motivated, why would that even matter? I am pretty sure Kesha doesn’t care what Gottwald’s motivation was for raping her, because it does. not. matter. Kronreich clearly disagrees on this and is basically saying, ‘Sorry Kesha, but your producer didn’t rape you because he doesn’t like women, he just didn’t like you, therefore, it’s fine and we can’t do anything about it.’
It’s shocking and disappointing that we have to accept court rulings and inappropriate comments like Kornreich’s in this seemingly modern day and age and in a highly developed, first-world country like the US. This treatment has nothing to do with ‘justice’ and is devastating for any assault or rape victim out there that might not have had the courage yet to speak up about their experience.
Continuing work with the man that raped you must feel like imprisonment, if not worse, and I sincerely hope Kesha and her legal team won’t give up, but will continue to fight for her freedom. This is no longer just about a celebrity’s record deal. This is about every single assault victim who has been belittled, not taken seriously, or silenced.
Image via instagram.com
Comment: Do you think it was reckless for Kesha’s judge to say what she did about rape?