|Ke$ha. Image source.|
[trigger warning: rape and victim-blaming]
So, here's what's going on with Ke$ha: she says that her producer, Dr. Luke, drugged and raped her when she was 18, and also continued to abuse her after that. But because of her contract, she has to keep working with him. She challenged this in court, but the judge ruled that she could not get out of her contract.
As a feminist, I believe her, because statistically, women don't just make up rape accusations- in fact, it's much more common for rape victims to not report it because so often, victims aren't believed, or they're questioned about what they may have done to cause it, etc. And this case is interesting because it shows how acting "neutral"- not intervening to change Ke$ha's contract- would actually be harming the victim. Similarly, I have heard of situations where a person is raped by a roommate, and their landlord won't force the rapist to move out, so the victim ends up being the one who moves out, so they don't have to live with their rapist. This is something we need to think about when we talk about how to fight rape culture and make the world safer.
But anyway, I came across this pretty terrible video, called Kesha Cries in Court - After Realizing Selling Her Soul to Satan was Wrong Choice. Sounds super-compassionate, right? [sarcasm]
I mean, you don't have to watch the video, because it's so terrible. Here's the main point: Look how sad Ke$ha is. Well, that's what happens when you sell your soul to the devil.
Umm, okay then. It seems this person believes that the music industry is controlled by satan, and that by entering into a contract with Sony, Ke$ha sold her soul to the devil, which was obviously a bad choice and so OF COURSE it would end badly for her.
That's EXACTLY what victim-blaming is. When something bad happens to someone, and instead of caring about them, you say "see I told you it was a bad idea to do ABC, now look what's happened to you."
The creator of this video doesn't care about Ke$ha. Yeah, sure, he says he cares about her. But he doesn't. Instead, he cares about how this situation can be spun as evidence to support his ideas about how satan totally controls the music industry. He's happy to have an opportunity to say "I told you so."
The video says that this whole situation is Ke$ha's fault- she shouldn't have signed a music contract in the first place. THIS IS VICTIM-BLAMING. Nowhere does the video say that hey, maybe it's the accused rapist's fault. Maybe it's Sony's fault. Maybe it's the system that is forcing her to stay in the contract.
And instead of saying, "hey let's make the world safer for female musicians, so that they're able to sign contracts and be successful without the risk of being stuck with a rapist", the creator of the video wants to see bad things happen to Ke$ha, to show that his claims about satan were right.
It's a pretty good example of how someone's pet theory about "don't do ABC because bad things will happen to you" can be a motivation for victim-blaming.
note: Okay let's just talk about the demon stuff a little bit. In my experience in Christian culture, nobody talked like the guy in the video. This is really really extreme and not normal for Christians, in my experience. [I'm saying this because I usually have examples on my blog where I say "a Christian said this, and it sounds really extreme and fringe, but actually it's totally consistent with everything about the Christian culture I used to be in- people just don't usually say it out loud." This is not one of those times.] Like, people in my church definitely believed in demons and shared anecdotes about how somebody tried to copy a spell in Harry Potter and then terrible things happened to them, but mostly the belief in demons was very vague and not often mentioned- I never heard anyone point to a specific event and say a demon caused it, or point to a specific person and say "this person is possessed by a demon", or warn against a specific action because that action could cause satan to come into your life. I know some people who talked about "spiritual warfare" a lot, and I was never sure if they literally believed that satan was personally affecting events in our lives, or what. It felt too ridiculous to actually say that out loud in order to ask them.