Kesha vs. Dr. Luke: Should We Blindly Believe All Rape Accusations?

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No court is corrupted as easily as the Court of Public Opinion.

The current legal battle between singer Kesha and producer Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald represents an interesting conundrum, one that bears itself out via social media, and it once again shows why real courts are important.

Fans and feminists everywhere reacted with shock and anger when a New York judge ruled in favor of Dr. Luke in a lawsuit where Kesha sought to break her recording contract by getting an injunction, which would allow her to record music elsewhere despite owing Dr. Luke and Sony Records six more albums.

Kesha's desire to exit her contract is related to a previous suit from 2014 in which she accused Dr. Luke of abuse and cruelty, including drugging and raping her during the beginning of their collaboration 10 years prior. Much has been made about those accusations, including the notion that the allegations were fabricated as a way for Kesha's mother to take control of her career.

In fact, Kesha gave testimony in a 2011 deposition that she was never raped or drugged by Dr. Luke. One could argue that if she was ever going to successfully bring her alleged rapist to justice, that would have been the moment.

The problem is that for so long, women who have fallen victim to sexual violence have had no voice, and are often ignored when they find the strength to talk about what happened to them.

That being the case, women have, in the past, gone as far as lying under oath in order to protect themselves, which might seem a bit backwards. But in some cases, living in fear of losing everything is something that transcends a court deposition.

Conversely, knowing this, we have entered a stage where we now, in the social media public, arbitrarily accept any accusation of rape as being true, regardless as to whether or not we're privy to all the facts.

Welcome to the pendulum.

Situations like reporting rapes were handled and treated one way for so long in society that now, in order to prove that we're a more evolved society, we handle accusations of rape in another, equally harmful way. A sad reality is that in a social media society full of snap judgments, few on either side of any issue are all that interested in critical examination of the facts of a situation to guide their beliefs.

When someone claims they were raped, the instinct is to believe them without question, while at the same time savaging the accused rapist. It seems like the right thing to do, but the reality is, how do you really know they're guilty? Whether you like it or not, it matters.

I, no more than you, know what happened between Kesha and Dr. Luke to say without a shadow of a doubt that he's guilty or she's lying. We don't know. 

And thing is, it's not enough to say that you don't need to know. It's not enough to say that you have to believe the victim, even if you aren't 100 percent sure there's an actual victim.

You cannot avenge the scores of women who were silenced and ignored throughout time by letting even one innocent person fall victim to the pendulum. You cannot make a victim out of someone you've decided you don't like in order to help a victim you do like.

I don't know if Dr. Luke raped Kesha. By saying that, I'm not a rape apologist. I'm not trying to protect Dr. Luke, a man that I don't know personally, nor am I trying to impugn Kesha, a woman I also don't know. If Dr. Luke did indeed rape or abuse Kesha in any way, he should've faced the full weight of the law, something that Kesha herself refused to levy when given the perfect opportunity to do so.

That said, if no rape or abuse occurred, then everyone who uses "free Kesha" as a rallying cry has been used as a pawn in a contract dispute - and that should bother the hell out of you.

More importantly, you should be concerned that in an age where public opinion can crush pretty much anyone not named Donald J. Trump, that your sympathies would be used to further someone's greed.

Often, when passing judgment on a situation, we use our own experiences as testimony, and that too is wrong. Sometimes we get too wrapped up in things that have nothing to do with us while trying to lump it into an overall situation.

The legal battle between Kesha and Dr. Luke isn't the hill that any of us on the outside looking in should die on. This isn't about you or your pain or what happened in your own life that was triggered by the very thought that maybe Kesha was raped  because you don't know.

This is about money, and you should stop being so willing to be a pawn on social media. You deserve better, and so do the women who still have to remain silent about their pain.


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