She’s been known as a wildchild, an eccentric and an anthem cryer for misfits. But recently, she’s been labeled as something else entirely: a victim.
Kesha is in the midst of an intense legal battle as she tries to escape her contract with Sony and producer “Dr. Luke” Gottwald, a man who doubles as her alleged abuser and rapist. Her plea to make music outside of her contract with Sony has been denied. With this, her right to create art and make a living that doesn’t benefit a man who allegedly raped, drugged, and emotionally abused her into an eating disorder that resulted in months of rehab, has also been denied.
Since Kesha bravely stepped forward to tell her story, there has been a firestorm of speculation and countless accusations that she’s made the entire trauma up in order to escape a contract she is simply not happy with.
Kesha’s devastating struggle is one that speaks to the much larger societal issue of victim shaming. The raped and sexually abused are often called liars, exaggerators, the causes of their own abuse. They are asked “Were you drinking?” or “What were you wearing?” Told to give it a name or forget it happened. The first question never seems to be, “Are you okay?” but instead, “What proof do you have?” Intentional or not, all of this leads to making that person feel as though they have done something wrong, shameful, dirty.
But the shame of sexual abuse is not the shame of the victims to carry; the shame belongs solely to their abusers. Yet, they seem to be the only ones having their rights vehemently protected.
In Kesha’s case against her contract with Sony, she is the only actual human being in the scenario. She is the tangible, living thing with feelings and ideas to protect. Sony is an establishment, an it, a corporation that needs only to protect finances. Kesha needs to protect her soul, her creation and her state of mind. But the law doesn’t listen to the human aspect.
So in order to protect their finances, the corporation and their legal team will defamate Kesha. They will call her a liar and a fraud. They will try to make her regret speaking up about her victimhood in order to protect the man she speaks against and the money she is supposed to earn them.
This is one more story victimized girls, boys, women and men can add to their list of reasons why they don’t speak up. Why they carry their abuse around in a box that is so big and so heavy they are almost crushed beneath it as every outside influence is telling them to pretend it’s not there.
Standing with Kesha means standing against the epidemic that is “blaming the victim.” It means giving those who have endured sexual abuse their voices back. Let’s all stand with Kesha.