R Kelly had sex with underage girls and is a pedophile and a rapist.
That should be the end of the conversation. A grown man, taking advantage of young girls who are unable to fully understand right from wrong at this point in their lives. I mean the guy married Aaliyah when she was 15 and he was 27. That should've been the end of his story.
The documentary on Netflix that exposes him for the man he was *not so* behind closed doors, has surprisingly come with altering opinions on who is at fault.
In conversations I've had with both men and women, I have been surprised to hear people either coming to the defense of R Kelly or saying that these girls knew what they were getting into.
I guess even in 2019, sexual harassment and assault still isn't so black and white.
The opposing opinions I have heard are:
"Blame the parents, they knew who their daughters were with and they didn't do anything about it."
"If those girls didn't like the way they were getting treated, why didn't they just leave?"
"If they were old enough to have sex, they were old enough make better decisions for themselves."
Alright, so where to begin...
Men have been given an unbelievable amount of leeway when it comes to their sexual desires and what they are willing to do to make these desires come true. It has been like that since anyone can remember.
So this thought of women actually having the courage to make decisions based upon a man's actions, isn't as easy as it sounds. Just think about what happens whenever sexual assault allegations arise against a man.
Instead of people coming to the defense of the woman, people question her morals and her actions. Was she inebriated when this man took advantage of her? What is her angle against this man (Money, Extortion, Defamation)? Is she lying?
And in the criminal defense of these men, these are always the questions that must be answered in court. It is nearly impossible for men to get convicted of sexual assault crimes unless physical evidence exists. And even in those cases, a man may spend as little as a few months in a jail cell.
So knowing that women have little power to begin with when allegations are brought upon a man, why on Earth would these victims come forward and make these accusations if they are untrue? The answer is, they wouldn't.
I have been one of the people who unknowingly enabled this behavior in the past. I have a specific example in my mind that I can remember.
I am a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan, and their quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was twice accused of sexual assault. And I specifically remember my stance on the situation. I believed that he was innocent and that these women were just either after his money or were trying to drag his name in the mud because of the fact that he maybe never called them back or something.
As if heartbreak was a reason for these women to accuse a man of sexual assault. I'm not sure why I was so quick to defend him, but in all honesty it was probably because so many people had the same stance.
It was almost as if he was viewed as the victim and he was defended as such until he was found not guilty in both instances. For all we know, maybe he was innocent.
But it doesn't change the fact that the real victims in these situations never get the benefit of the doubt. Theres always a million questions that they must answer to the world.
Maybe someone out there reading this has been a victim of sexual assault and has had to go through these issues. But if you haven't, try to put yourself in their shoes for a second.
You've just been sexually assaulted by someone you have come to know and trust. You are scared to come forward with this information for a number of reasons.
Maybe its because you're scared of the repercussions this person will have to go through. Maybe you're scared of what people may think of you and your sex life. Maybe you think people won't believe you.
And then when you do finally build up the courage to come forward, you are bombarded with a myriad of questions. "Why didn't you say this sooner? What evidence do you have? How do we know you didn't enjoy or want this to happen?"
Here you are trying to recover from what has happened to you, and yet you're expected to act like the bigger person.
Look, I'm not here to tell you right from wrong. But the thing is that this shit should already be perfectly clear what is right and what is wrong. Stop giving men reasons to try to get away with sexual assault. Stop giving pedophiles a way out by blaming the victims parents.
If your argument is that a child's parents should have been better at monitoring their children, the you're an enabler. Sure, you can blame the parent for not being more involved in their child's life. But is that really a reason for a grown man to take advantage of a young child?
The key term is "taking advantage", and the shit has got to stop.
And if you still have an argument or would like to debate this with me, I am willing to have anybody join me on a podcast to discuss this topic.