Celebrity in the Age of #MeToo

At 19, I was introduced to a 17-year-old girl at a movie theater in Abilene, Texas.  This girl was on point: Latina, dark-haired, noticeable curves.  All-around gorgeous, from her beautiful brown eyes to her full lips.  I was immediately attracted to her.  

We began seeing each other, but even then, I had reservations.  Since I was a young man, I’ve always prided myself on the ability to think beyond my dick.  That could have been because I never regarded myself as particularly handsome.  I was something of a nerd.  I was never the “player” type.  I was the embodiment of the friend zone.

I had reservations because she was 17 and I was 19 and in the US Air Force.  What did I do?  I approached leadership on base and delved into the legal ramifications.  I got info regarding the military’s stance, per the Uniform Code of Military Justice, as well as Texas’ own laws on the age of consent.  Feeling satisfied that I wasn’t in any legal jeopardy, or that I wouldn’t be making the Air Force look like a den of statutory rapists, I continued dating her.  I eventually gave her my virginity (and subsequently learned she was vastly more experienced than I was).

Have you seen Surviving R. Kelly?  This post isn’t about that.  We all know Robert Kelly is some weird black version of the love child of Donald Trump and Jeff Epstein.  This post is about my least favorite rapper.  Let’s call him Drake.

The focus on celebrities the likes of Louis C.K., Bill Cosby, Kevin Spacey, and Harvey Weinstein has released the kraken of sexual misconduct in the world of celebrities.  #metoo is on point most of the time.  The court of public opinion is often on the right side of the argument about how society regards females of all ages. 

But sometimes I think we miss the mark.  Aziz Ansari’s #metoo reckoning comes to mind.  Next up is Drake.

Since I was about 20, I haven’t looked at a woman younger than I and thought “I’d like to hit that.”  But some men do.  Drake might be one of those men.

A video of a Drake concert resurfaced after the R. Kelly doc.  You can watch it below:

For those of you who rather not see a Drake performance fear you might like it, the video shows Drake pulling a young lady on stage, kissing her and fondling her.  Drake then discovers, after the fact, the girl is only 17.  He seems like he really doesn’t want the trouble, but then admits in not so many words that he’s turned on.  He then fondles and kisses her again, after learning she’s 17.

The video is admittedly creepy, if unsurprising.  On the surface, it appears Drake is openly engaging in what I feel we can safely call statutory rape.  He’s clearly coming on to her. Hard. On its surface, this has child molestation written all over it.

I want to admit that I can’t stand Drake.  It’s not because we’re of similar age and he’s wildly successful while I’m working as a collector.  I sincerely hate his music.  His one good song featured Eminem.  I don’t regard him as an artist and am baffled at how he’s become so popular.  The most pitiful thing about him, besides his unfortunate brows, is how thirsty he is for Nikki Minaj, a woman clearly bereft of the time of day to donate to Drake.

I don’t like Drake.  It’s accurate to say I’ve deep, yet likely unwarranted, contempt of Drake.

My problems with the outrage against Drake: did this concert take place in a state or province where the age of consent is at least 16?  Did the girl consent Drake’s actions if so?  Did she feel abused, or subject to a power dynamic wherein she was the clear victim?

Is the case against Drake anything like the case against R. Kelly?

Let me illustrate from another context.  Are we fine with young men and women signing away their lives at 17? Are they, or are they not, capable of rationally making their own decisions? 

I’m a supporter of #metoo.  I’m a juror in the court of public opinion.  I’m a hardliner when it comes to rape and sexual assault.  Some may call my views draconian or tyrannical.  I tend to side with the woman in all but a few cases.  But I find that most people are not truly objective.  From those in the #metoo movement who suggest you support rape culture if you don’t always believe the woman, to those who openly dismiss and ridicule the allegations of women, nobody seems to be asking relevant questions.

The girl was 17.  She was at the concert of a man whose music caters predominantly to women.  She was brought on stage, a likelihood increased by what I presume was her want to be as near as possible to Drake, as evidenced by her presence in the front row.  She didn’t appear forced (though there is something to be said about the peer pressure of the fans). 

Are we really questioning Drake’s actions based on her age?  Why is it not wrong if she was 18 or 19?  I mean, is it just a question of legality?  If so, can we admit that some laws don’t make sense?  What’s the real problem with Drake’s actions?

I honestly don’t understand.  The conclusion is that Drake is a predator, and that sexual predation of minors and women in general are open secrets in the world of celebrities.  But where’s the line?  Are Drake’s actions crossing the line?  How do we decide one way or the other? 

My conclusion is this: unless Drake violated state or provincial statutes concerning the age of consent and/or otherwise coerced a girl or woman on stage, regardless of age, and had his way with her without her consent, Drake isn’t the bad guy in this one.  In fact, it’s becoming increasingly more challenging to understand who the bad guys are.  The lines are vastly more blurred than a Robin Thicke single.  There’s even a school that allegedly claims that tall men asking out short women is a form of sexual harassment.  So what is the actual line?  What conservation are we really having?  Am I, as a man, complicit in the way society treats women just by fault of biological factors beyond my control?  What of religion?  What of women who castigate women who are victims? 

What’s the real talk?  Is Drake really one more example of what it means to be a monster?  Lacking the necessary legal context and other information, I’m inclined to say not guilty in this case.  What are your thoughts?  Tell me about them.

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