Kesha, Credibility, Logic.
With multiple, credible sources (RAINN, The Australian Bureau of Statistics, ABC Australia) confirming the fact that less than 3% of reported rape accusations are false, it is well established amongst sane and reasonable people that rape survivors have the weight of statistical inference (if not outright evidence) on their collective side when they come forward with claims of sexual assault. This is particularly the case when victims make accusations in a public arena, especially if they happen to be celebrities, and even more so when their charges are against a perpetrator who holds a position of power/enjoys a similarly high profile to themselves.
These are all factors which generally (further) preclude women from making official statements to the authorities in what is deemed by armchair-juries to be a “timely” manner (see the spiels of criticism levelled at Bill Cosby’s victims regarding their historic accusations). That all of these factors apply to Kesha actually adds to her credibility, contrary to the despicable reports in the press (The Washington Post in particular), and the crude and vile taunts of rape-apologists on social media.
Not to belabour the point, but statistically speaking, there is more than a 97% chance that Kesha is telling the truth, and so I invite the inevitable sceptics to acknowledge the variables above, think outside of the tired cultural trope that all women are intent on destroying innocent men’s lives with our spurious accusations, and consider what it means for anyone to publicly accuse someone of rape.
Be, to use that word favoured by internet-detectives and the curiously compassionateless world-over (the overlap between these two categories is also intriguing), logical.
Now reflect on what it means for a high-profile celebrity to stand in a court of law and accuse a celebrated and powerful music producer of this most misunderstood and salacious of crimes.
Is it truly plausible to think that a woman of Kesha’s profile would happily submit herself to the embarrassing, emotionally and financially taxing, year’s long process of a rape-trial, leaving herself vulnerable to all manner of public scrutiny, ridicule and harassment, which would knowingly stall her career at best, if not ruin any and all future prospects within the industry, just to get out of a recording contract?
Logic tells me otherwise.
Rape victims don’t enjoy special protected status in our culture. On the contrary, we are pariahs to the decent but unaffected and therefore clueless people in our lives, who find our (vocal) existence to be embarrassing and uncomfortable. Though it forever colours the most mundane and intimate experiences of our existences, we are not supposed to talk about it. Ever. And when we do, we’re perpetually charged with accusatory questions about our character, morality, judgement and credibility.
Women, who make up the vast majority of rape victims (contrary to the fraudulent claims of MRAs and anti-feminists), intrinsically know that we will not be believed. We spend our entire lives trying to prove our credibility and competence in contexts and arenas far less combative than the average courtroom, over matters which are much more trivial than rape.
It is therefore unsurprising that the vast majority of rape victims never come forward, with several studies from the EU, Canada, India, and Australia sketching a frightening, global pattern of silence, to the figure of only 1 in 10 rapes being reported to the relevant authorities. Less than half of these reports will ever make it to trial, and fewer than 3 to 5% will result in a guilty verdict for the accused.
These dizzying figures are why I, personally, do not give much thought to Kesha’s supposed avowal that she was not raped by the man whom she now states drugged and assaulted her repeatedly. It does not seem strange to me that a woman might not have been ready or equipped to confess all that she had endured at the hands of man who still yielded such influence and power over her career and life. Or that a woman might go on the record denying that such a thing ever even occurred.
Women often protect their rapists (the majority of which are known to the victim) in much the same way that any abused person in a position of deference defers to and defends their abuser.
This is not psychologically groundbreaking stuff.
What good would it have done Kesha to say that she had been raped then?
What good has it done Kesha to say that she has been raped now?
Aside from this “avowal,” that Kesha assumed and celebrated an unapologetically sexual persona in her professional capacity as a performer seems to be the most damning piece of “evidence” damaging the credibility of her character, and the veracity of her accusations.
To put it succinctly: she acted sexy, dressed provocatively, sang about one-night stands, partying with guys and drinking too much, therefore surely she’s one of “those kinds of girls” who is always “up for it.”
In recent days I have seen and heard dozens of people use these exact “reasons” and these exact turns of phrase to unwittingly admit that something untoward probably did happen, but at the same time, shift blame for the event away from the perpetrator and onto Kesha herself.
And what of the accused, Dr Luke?
What sort of man wants to remain professionally bound to a woman and client who has supposedly lied about him raping her, multiple times, to the entire world?
A very domineering sort of man who views women as things to be had, controlled, and exploited. A very conniving, calculating and manipulative sort of man who knows exactly how to sway the public’s perception of the case in his favour.
That’s what sort of man.
The same sort of man who we might reasonably assert is capable and guilty of raping a woman who he thought of as his property or charge, and is now capable of denying it repeatedly.
As nearly all rapists do.