All Articles Tagged "rape"
I’m Not Going To Desert Him Because Of A Mistake: John Legend Explains Why He Kept Rick Ross On His New Single
John Legend is gearing up for the release of his new album, “Love in the Future,” next month, and if you haven’t heard the leading single “Who Do We Think We Are,” you are definitely missing out. The soulful slow jam brings all types of sexay — much like the sensual video that accompanies it — and thankfully for the Springfield, OH, singer it didn’t bring controversy despite the feature rapper on the track, Rick Ross.
Madame Noire got a chance to chat with John Legend today and we asked him whether he considered removing Rozay from his new track in light of his rape lyric controversy on U.O.E.N.O and he told us plainly, “no.”
“The track was already out when that controversy happened,” John told us. “It was already done, released to radio, and we had already shot the video. Plus I felt like I wasn’t going to completely drop somebody I had been working with for years because they made a mistake. We’ve done a lot of great work together and he did make a mistake — he effed up — and he rightfully got criticized for it, but I’m not going to desert him completely because of that.”
John and Ross do have a rather long history together. John Legend appeared on Ricky’s track “Magnificent” off of his “Deeper Than Rap” album in 2009, and he was also featured on “Rich Forever” on Ross’s mixtape of the same name. Apparently the two might strike magic again this time around, if people are still tolerating Ross after his slip-up.
In other John Legend news, the singer told us he and fiancée Chrissy Teigan have set a date for their big day and they will be jumping the broom this year! John told us of the upcoming wedding ceremony:
“It will be this year. We’re not really discussing a date or location any further, but we do know when and where and it will be this year.”
Although we know the pair likes to keep the details of their relationship under wraps, we did ask the Grammy-nominated artist if he and his wife-to-be would ever consider doing a reality TV show. Thankfully, that answer was a “no” as well.
“We get presented with that all the time, but I just feel like that’s not for us,” he said.” Some people do fine with it, but it’s hard enough to be in a relationship in general. There are always challenge, but to live out those challenges on television every day I think is unnecessary and we’re going to stay out of that.
Smart move on their part.
Check out the video for John’s new single “Who Do We Think We Are” below, if you haven’t seen it yet. What do you think?
Morehouse Basketball Players Facing Sexual Assault Charges After Being Accused Of Rape By Spelman Student
An out of control spring break celebration has resulted in the lives of four Atlanta students being dramatically changed forever. Three Morehouse College athletes are facing a host of charges including sexual assault after an 18-year-old Spelman student accused them of raping her, 11 Alive reports. Chukwudi Ndudikwa and Malcolm Frank are facing rape and aggravated sodomy charges, while teammate Tevin Mgbo could be facing sodomy, kidnapping and reckless conduct charges.
According to WBSTV, one witness said they saw the victim consume alcohol and Molly on the night of the alleged assault. Others say that she was very “flirtatious and sexually aggressive” at the party. One of the victim’s friends described the 18-year-old as “not recognizing her friends” on the night of the party and went on to say “she picked up a knife and tried to stab me.” Several other witnesses say that the victim had sex with multiple men in different rooms that night.
While the victim, witnesses and even the accused agree that sexual intercourse did occur that night, whether or not the sex was consensual is what’s being questioned. The capability of the victim to consent to sex considering her alcohol-induced state is also being investigated.
Court documents reveal that the victim admits to drinking alcohol, but says that she did not take any drugs.
“If you voluntarily drink to the point that you’re still conscious, that’s one thing. But if you drank so much to the point that you pass out and then someone takes advantage of you, that’s a different thing. In this particular case, it appears that she was conscious and not unconscious. That would be tough for the prosecution. What this boils down to is whether the defendants in this particular case thought that she had given a valid consent,” said Fulton County prosecutor Al Dixon.
‘Suck My D**k Or I’ll Kill You’? Petition Created To Stop DJs From Playing Chief Keef At School Functions Following Murder-Rape Lyric
It was only a matter of time before a petition like this was created and, truthfully, I’m surprised it took this long, but Girls Like Me Project, Inc. is finally taking a strong stand against Chicago teen rapper Chief Keef.
The 18-year-old is no stranger to controversy, having been as much on the radar of rap fans as the police since Kanye took his local song “Don’t Like” and made it a global hit. Not long after he became a recognized name, there was concern that he may have ordered the death of another Chicago teen, Lil Jojo, due to some things he said on Twitter, and now the rap newcomer’s words have him in hot water yet again — the Rick Ross kind. Chief Keef just dropped a new single, “You” which has listeners up in arms due to this threatening lyric:
“You aint gonna let me f**k and I feel you, but you gone suck my d**k or I’ll kill you.”
Immediately Girls Like Me Project sprung into action and drafted a petition calling on Chicago Public School officials to ban this young man’s songs from all school functions, writing.
As an artist on a national label, Interscope Records, Chief Keef and his label mates have the ability to mass-produce messages that glorify rape and murder of girls. His platforms allows him access to influence minds and psyches of impressionable students in CPS. While it may be a challenge to stop radio stations from promoting this message, school officials have the authority to exercise their moral obligation which calls for the boycott of music that promotes rape or any kind of gender violence. Many DJ’s claim students aggressively demand Chief Keef be played, however, you can set the boundaries to the type of music your students are exposed to.
Therefore, we are asking CPS to take a stand and limit the exposure your students have to this destructive music. In a city where violence disproportionately halts the potential of our young people, we cannot afford this type of influence in our schools. If no where else in this city, our girls deserve to feel safe from sexual violence and misogyny in their school communities.
We are pleading with you to ban DJ’s from playing this music during your assemblies, dances, proms, sports activities, or any variation of school functions.
Honestly, that’s the least school officials could and should do and I’d like to see radio stations, like 103.7 The Beat which recently banned Lil Wayne and Rick Ross, follow suit. It’s been apparent to me since day one that Chief Keef is a guy who has zero concern for his own life, not to mention that of those around him and that’s just not an approach to living that impressionable teen boys need to be encouraged to follow — let alone the blatant threat this poses to young girls.
So far, the petition only has a little more than 100 supporters. Here’s hoping more people get behind this act and incite real change behind the DJ booth.
NEW YORK — A day after Reebok ended its relationship with Rick Ross, the rapper acknowledged that his lyrics on Rocko’s song “U.O.E.N.O.” were “offensive.”
In a statement Friday, Ross said being a musician is “a great responsibility” and that his choice of words in the song “does not reflect my true heart.”
In the song, Ross raps about giving a woman the drug MDMA, known as Molly, and having his way with her.
“Put Molly all up in her champagne, she ain’t even know it, I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain’t even know it,” he raps on the track released in January. It gained traction in recent weeks after women’s groups and rape victims issued petitions.
“Before I am an artist, I am a father, a son, and a brother to some of the most cherished women in the world. So for me to suggest in any way that harm and violation be brought to a woman is one of my biggest mistakes and regrets,” his statement said.
Read more on BlackVoices.com.
It may have taken them a hot minute — make that a month and a half — but Reebok has finally gotten the message and dropped Rick Ross as a spokesperson. According to TMZ, the shoe brand gave them an exclusive statement that read:
“Reebok holds our partners to a high standard, and we expect them to live up to the values of our brand. Unfortunately, Rick Ross has failed to do so.
“While we do not believe that Rick Ross condones sexual assault, we are very disappointed he has yet to display an understanding of the seriousness of this issue or an appropriate level of remorse.”
By now, you’ve surely heard the upsetting lyric Rozay dropped in rapper Rocko’s song, “U.O.E.N.O,” in which he bragged: ”Put molly all in her champagne, she ain’t even know it/ I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain’t even know it.” Though the rapper may not have used the word rape — which was the defense he offered when ish hit the fan –it was clear to everyone who listened to the track that that was exactly what he was alluding to.
Though “U.O.E.N.O. dropped in Mid-February, it wasn’t until Michigan radio station 103.7 The Beat refused to play the track (and any other song by the rapper or Lil Wayne — which is a separate discussion altogether) that the song garnered national attention. Soon after, women’s rights group Ultraviolet began calling on Reebok to drop the suspect rapper, protesting in front of the company’s flagship store in NYC with posters reading, “Hey Reebok: Want My Business? Stop Promoting Rape. Drop Rick Ross.” They also amassed more than 70,000 signatures on a petition demanding the same.
Though Ross, or the Boss, as he calls himself, thought a Twitter apology to UltraViolet and Reebok would be enough, it’s now become clear that it’s not. First Rocko dropped the rapper from his track, now Reebok is dropping him from their roster. I wonder who will be next.
Question…and this is embarrassing…
What if we, you and me, are to blame, at least partially, for what happened in Steubenville, what we hear on “U.O.N.E.O.,” and the unfortunate rape culture within Hip Hop?
I’ve seen and heard many response from artists, consumers, readers, bloggers, journalists, etc. who are not happy with Rick Ross’ lyrics. Things like“He’s misguided.” “He took it too far.” “He hasn’t offered a real apology.”
To them I say: We have misguided him.We have allowed him to take it that far. And he’s not the only one who needs to really apologize—although mere remorseful words alone won’t change the entire culture.
For the record, the rape culture is not exclusive to Hip Hop. Many have adamantly expressed that point. And they are obviously correct. But if we want to be proud of Hip Hop for its presence on the global stage, let’s not downplay the influence it then has, whether deservingly or not, on popular culture. The culture of rape that exists within the broader society needs to be attacked, but it is also reasonable to challenge people with respect to their influence. Platforms should bring expectations because platforms give power. Sure, it’s not fair for mainstream society to demonize a culture (hip hop) rooted in the black community when society at large faces the same issues. But our double standard arguments can be distracting. We want the blame to be shared for the rape culture, great; but let’s not argue that so much so that Hip Hop becomes a victim of mainstream media, and we forget the issue at hand! What would make Rick Ross think he could rap those lyrics? Did he really think no one would catch them? Or did he not think there was anything to catch that was troublesome?
By no means am I suggesting, as he did, that the lyrics are being misinterpreted. Because if they were, he would have told us what he really meant. Then again, can you imagine? A Hip Hop artist having to explain his lyrical content? That might be shocking enough considering a good beat is all you really need to distract people from your bad (in multiple senses) lyrics. So, why did he say it? Better yet, why did he think it, then write it (pardon me if he goes off the dome), and have no qualms about even recording it? Not to mention, everyone else who let that verse make the final master.
Maybe it has something to do with the fact that in the early ’90s the Supreme Court decided Uncle Luke and the 2 Live Crew could be as As narsty As They Wanna Be. And guess what? President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan, defended the 2 Live Crew in this landmark decision. Or maybe it was back in the late ’80s when we allowed N.W.A. to glorify brutality against the police in response to police brutality. (They were speaking truth about police injustice, but two wrongs will never equal right.) Then again, it could have been in 2004 when we dismissed Spelman students for not allowing Nelly to hold a bone marrow drive at their school without addressing his “Tip Drill” video at the event as well. Better yet, maybe it’s because so much of what is in popular Hip Hop songs, in general, already revolves around sex. And their videos leave not much to the imagination. Everything points to sex. But it’s not just the male rappers; from Foxy Brown and Lil Kim before to Nicki Minaj today, sex permeates the content. Meanwhile, we’re all for free speech, and artistic liberty, but what is it doing to the culture? Do we not realize that what artists say and do trickles down to our youth?
In Cameroon, the breast, one of the most conspicuous signs of a woman’s femininity, is a target for ritual mutilation. Breast ironing, a practice that involves flattening a young girl’s breasts with highly-heated stones, pestles, spatulas or coconut shells among other objects, is typically carried out by an older female relative.
According to Friends of the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA), one out of every four girls in Cameroon has been affected by breast ironing, equating to nearly 4 million young women. Breast ironing is primarily practiced in the Christian and Animist south of Cameroon, and less frequently in the Muslim north, where only 10 percent of women are affected. It is also practiced in Guinea-Bissau, Chad, Togo, Benin, and Guinea among African countries.
Read more about this on TheGrio.com.
If you’re a fan of vlogger Franchesca Ramsey, you know that she keeps it pretty light in her videos. If she’s not making viral skits or other comedic, little shorts, she’s teaching women how to style their locks into something gorgeous. But this past weekend, she strayed away from her formula to talk about something very personal and unfortunately, very prevalent: date rape.
The video came about as a response to vlogger Jenna Marbles’ video “Things I Don’t Understand About Women: Sluts Edition.” In the video Marbles’ goes on about what she considers “loose” sexual behavior for women, like one-night stands, women who sleep with other people’s boyfriends etc. There was one almost-valid point. Jenna mentioned that when you see a woman who’s blackout drunk on the street, as another woman, it would be a great idea to at least ask if that woman is ok, so she doesn’t end up in a dangerous situation. But in the midst of that conversation, she calls those women, who just so happen to get blackout drunk, sluts as well.
It didn’t really sit well with quite a few people. Many argued that there’s nothing wrong with having your own sexual standards; but trying to impose those standards on others, becomes problematic. Futhermore, this business of calling women sluts perpetuates the tendency society has to blame rape victims, that somehow their behavior, whether it’s wearing a revealing piece of clothing or being drunk in public, is almost an invitation to be raped.
Franchesca has a story just like that. She was once the drunk girl in public and unfortunately, that night she was raped. In the video below Franchesca recounts that experience and why calling women sluts actually hurts more than helps.
The recent spate of GOP callousness towards rape victims is part of a broader rape culture in our country in which victims of sexual assault are frequently blamed for their own attacks–by gossip, by the media, and also in some cases, legally.
Witness this perfect example of rape culture coming from legal papers filed in California . Here’s what happened: the Moraga school district has responded to a suit by adult victims who were underage at the time. One perpetrator, having gone to trial, has been found guilty of offenses specifically against Kristen Cunnane, but that didn’t stop the district from laying the blame at her feet in its filing.
In fact, they actually claimed she was careless and negligent–yes, when she was a preteen being molested by a teacher.
The district and three other defendants claim Cunnane “was herself responsible for the acts and damages of which she claims,” in the Oct. 24 legal filing.
“Carelessness and negligence on (Cunnane’s) part proximately contributed to the happenings of the incident and to the injuries, loss and damages,” they claim.
When she read the legal response, Cunnane, 30, said she was floored.
“It felt like I got punched in the stomach, and I stood up and thought about how young I was when I was 12 to 13 years old at the school,” said Cunnane, whose suit was filed in September. “For them to use words like ‘negligent’ and ‘responsible’ just broke my heart.”
The district’s legal counsel says that by using this language, it’s simply exhausting every avenue for defense against these allegations, but lawyers who work with these kinds of cases maintain that this kind of excuse doesn’t hold:
A youth law attorney said he understands the district’s need to include many affirmative defenses in its legal response to the suit but said that assigning responsibility to Cunnane for the abuse was inappropriate.
“I think it is reprehensible to place the blame on the young girl who was victimized,” said William Grimm, senior attorney with Oakland-based National Center for Youth Law. “The district’s defense has to be plausible … and this doesn’t even pass the smell test, in my opinion.”
As Cunnane says in the story, and as advocates who work with victims know, it’s very difficult for many victims, whatever the circumstances, to stop blaming themselves because they’ve internalized rape culture.
Actions like the district’s only make these problems worse.
When victims are blamed instead of perpetrators and denied agency over their bodies, it’s no wonder that politicians feel they can say things like Washington congressional candidate John Koster did, the latest in a long line of Republicans.
“[I]ncest is so rare, I mean, it’s so rare,” Koster says in a recorded interview with an activist from Fuse Washington, a liberal group. “But the rape thing … you know, I know a woman who was raped and kept her child, gave it up for adoption, she doesn’t regret it. In fact, she’s a big pro-life proponent. But on the rape thing, it’s like, how does putting more violence onto a woman’s body and taking the life of an innocent child that’s a consequence of this crime, how does that make it better? You know what I mean?”
These people can’t even give victims agency in their language about assault.
*Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
Here is a conundrum worthy of attention from Detective Stabler and Benson from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Is it really rape when a woman is the perpetrator and the victim is a man?
In fact, I am pretty sure I have seen this episode before. It involved one male exotic dancer, a bachelorette party and three high powered professional women. The answer was yes, however that was television and this is real life. From Dan Savage, by way of Jill from Feminste,
“I accidentally raped my boyfriend. What happened was I awoke to find my boyfriend rubbing up against me. After a little while, he pulled my hand, motioning for me to get on top of him to have sex, as he has done many times before. I obliged, and all was well, until he apparently woke up and pushed me off of him. I did not have any indication that he was asleep, since he was an active participant the entire time and was NOT lying there like a dead fish. In the morning, he expressed his displeasure about being woken up with sex. He said that he felt really violated. I apologized and explained my understanding of the situation. Now he says he feels really weird about what happened and he can’t stomach me touching him. What should I do?
Reeling After Problematic Intimate Sex Transgression”
In Savage’s column, he writes that the anonymous writer, known as Reeling After Problematic Intimate Sex Transgression (or Reeling for short) is indeed a rapist, and goes through great length to call her one throughout his advice. But he also says that her sexual assault was a mistake rather than an intentional kind. He also advises that Reeling should not “dump the guilt-tripping, blame-shifting motherfucker,” especially since he is a sexsomniac, which is a person who initiates sex in their sleep. Jill of Feminste too doesn’t know what to make of it but takes the same approach as Savage. She acknowledges that it is sexual assault, whether she intended it to be or not, however “It doesn’t make her a bad person or a rapist…”
It is true that the lines of consent with a sexsomniac might be blurred. Heck my first reaction was to say, “get out of here, you can’t rape a dude.” However, the more I thought about it, the more I began to understand my prejudice and the less I felt comfortable with dismissing sexual assaults as “mistakes” especially since it was made clear that what she did was basically sexual assault. And some in the comment section of both columns agree, particularly imisslincoln, who writes:
“Actually disagree on the advice to RAPIST. While I don’t disagree that what happened was not rape in the way I’m comfortable defining rape, what happened was certainly traumatic for the man in question. Do we discount this? Do we ignore his embodied experience of violation? I agree that if he remains completely unwilling to see his partner’s side of things, then the relationship should probably end, but perhaps he just needs some time to process what happened and recover.”
And Jadey, who wrote on Feminste: “If this guy feels that he was raped (and he may not be comfortable describing himself that way for so many reasons), I wouldn’t say he wasn’t. Her intentionality doesn’t matter to his feelings of violation. I would feel the same way regardless of the gender IDs of the people involved, which is not to ignore larger social trends in sexual violence and who is most vulnerable to such violence (women and girls, yes, but also people marginalized in many ways, including the economically and racially marginalized, disabled, etc., of all genders), but to recognize that in a given individual instance, men can be and are raped and their consent matters and just because they have had sex with someone before, even in the context of a long-term sexually-active relationship, does not mean their consent can just be assumed or that they are a “guilt-tripping, blame-shifting motherfucker” for feeling violated.”
The traditional notion of rape is reinforced by various misconceptions about male victimization as well as social stigmas. For instance, many people believe that it is impossible for a woman to rape a man because they believe that a man has to sort of function to complete the task. And if there is there an erectile reaction, well then, that has to be voluntary. It is a reasoning, which appears to be backed up statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice, which says that an estimated 99% of offenders of sexual assault are described as male.
Thus stories about men, who have claimed to have been sexually assaulted by a female assailant are usually shrugged off or viewed from a comedic lens. Take for instance the recent story of female Zimbabwe rapists, who would troll the highways in search of male hitchhikers, in order to harvest their sperm. The assailants have so far evaded capture however the story has made its rounds around the news cycle, not in hopes of drawing attention for the purpose of arrest of said preps’, but for clearly pure amusement. Heck, even the perpetrators have been christened with the cutesy name, the Zimbabwe sperm hunters, by the mainstream media. Imagine a seeing a news report about a male serial rapists known as the ovaries stabber? Not so funny now, is it?
But that hasn’t stopped the majority of the comments accompanying the stories from running the gamut of questioning the male victim’s sexuality (because what man doesn’t want it, right?) to accusing the men of having ulterior motives (because they had to be asking for it, right?) Of course, any physical contact with genitalia can stimulate arousal if not ejaculation. This too is a common occurrence among female victims of sexual assault, but we can’t let that get in the way of a good “beautiful women, free sex? I need a one way ticket to Zimbabwe” joke.
The thing about sexual assault is that it is not just reserved for the overpowering physical superior perp we are used to seeing in movies. Sexual assault does cover a wide range of crimes including sodomy, insertion of a foreign object and statutory rape too. And yes, women do commit many of those crimes against men. In fact, the frequency of news stories we read about school teachers engaged in sexual assault and misconduct against underage boys should let us know not to treat this as some sort of freakish occurrence worthy of amusement and ridicule.
According to the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence (NASV), a Washington based association working to end sexual violence; about 14 percent of reported rapes in the US involve men or boys. This equates to one in six reported sexual assaults is against a boy and one in 25 reported sexual assaults is against a man. That just accounts for those brave enough to report it. And that’s the most problematic part of making lightly, or casually dismissing sexual assault against men, is that we create a climate of fear, compounded guilt and shame for male victims to speak publicly or even report about their experiences to the proper authorities. And this is important as sexual assault is not just about sex. It’s about the expression of power, dominance and control over a victim. And whenever we dismiss or make light of male victims of sexual assault because they happen to be the less effected gender, we make it easier for folks to lessen the severity of the crime, regardless of gender.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com.
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