Will #MuteRKelly Cause You To Stand Up and Speak Out? Part 3 and 4

Riddle me this? 

Imagine this was the world reacting to colonisation, ‘Why did black people agree to be slaves?’ ‘Maybe they wanted it!’ ‘They should have just left if they didn’t want it to happen.’ 

Sound Insane? 

Well so does this: 

If you missed part 1 and part 2 go back and check them out.

Let’s talk about part 3

In the first few minutes of part 2, we learn this, ‘Robert (RKelly) feels like he can’t be touched and in hindsight in society we made me him feel like he can’t be.’ 

A little while back a local artist in Zimbabwe started a sexual harrastment campaign in the arts industry and what should have been clear cut right and wrong was clouded society showing disbelief and even a step further just blantly refusing to listen and blaming it on the female as we often do. 

By the end of the part 2 we are introduced to the 14 year old girl from the famous sex tape that led to charges being brought against RKelly for 4 counts of child pornography. 

In the video RKelly is described to have engaged in a money transaction with this girl who was the niece of one of his back up vocalists before proceeding with this 14 year old girl and performing various forms of sexually degrading acts including peeing and urinating on her. 

Now we’ve already mentioned the rise of young women in our country who are as young as 11 who are performing sexual acts for money but let’s talk a little on why he got away with it.

Charges were filed and despite a lot of women stepping up and speaking out including some of his employees who alluded that this was not the only tape were he had recorded himself having sex with a minor and well the fact that this was intact RKelly in this video (concrete proof if there ever was) RKelly was found to be not guilty! 

First all this tape was copied and circulated in the streets and I’m not even going to point out how many school girls tapes have been circulated grown men and women alike in our own country instead of outrage and putting a stop to it we see alot of people engaging in gossip and calling it a trend instead.

Even after all this people were still not willing to cut ties with RKelly and see him for who he truly was, why? 

We always blame the victim! 

After RKelly pleads not guilty (he hadn’t been aquitated yet)he went straight back to performing for little kids, protected the church and civil right leaders he didn’t skip a beat but the people whose life changed for ever were the victims. 

When you experience rape/ abuse and or sexual trauma, ‘your trust in the world and belief in right and wrong is shattered too, at least mine was. Before you were raped, you understood if you didn’t go down dark alleys at night you wouldn’t get raped. You knew rape happened, but you also knew it wouldn’t happen to you because you knew what a rapist looked like. In America that stereotype is a black or minority male or if a white male he would be covered with tattoos. You knew where rape happened too, in those dark alleys and dangerous looking places, so you just had to avoid those places.

Much of our society clings to this feeling that we can prevent rape because we know how to avoid it. We think we know what rapists look like and where rape happens. It’s why judges give clean-cut white male offenders lenient sentences because it couldn’t have really been rape or at least not a “bad rape” if he doesn’t look like a rapist. If our society actually started handing out equal sentences to all rapists a lot more clean-cut looking men and women would be behind bars. Our society would have to grapple with the idea that anyone can be a rapist, and that’s a pretty scary place to live.’  Citizen Truth

Coming back here at home we have a hard time talking about sex let alone admitting that things like rape even exist because if they did then maybe we would have to admit that even good men can be wrong and that maybe we can’t teach girls how not to get raped because she isn’t a danger to herself, her abuser is! 

In part 2 we talked about the fact that 8 out of 10 rape cases are done a relative or someone that the victim knows this allocating to 8 out of 10 cases happening in the home were the victim feels safe or even at school were she should be receiving an education.

What this should tell us is that there is no way to protect yourself from rape or abuse. Nothing you can do right, no way for you to be safe but somehow a large amount of internet comments are about the victims and how they shouldn’t have been complacent in their own abuse?

In part 4, When one of the jurors present in RKellys case was asked why he didn’t find him guilty, he had this to say, ‘I just didn’t believe them, the women, I know it sounds ridiculous the way they sound, the way they act, I didn’t like them, I disregarded all what they said.’

In the court of public opinion it seemed for years RKelly was winning and despite how many women came up, including his ex wife Andrea, noone had sympathy for the women including those that were underage at the time. 

Time time after time on social media we see that people are more than prepared to scold the victim but not as nearly able to hold the abuser accountable for his actions.

And why is that can we choke it all up to lack of respect of the African women? Or fear of the African man? Patriarchy? 

According to Psychology Today, ‘This sort of victim blaming is not unique to bullying cases. It can be seen when rape victims’ sexual histories are dissected, when people living in poverty are viewed as lazy and unmotivated, when those suffering from mental or physical illness are presumed to have invited disease through poor lifestyle choices. There are cases where victims may indeed hold some responsibility for their misfortunate, but all too often this responsibility is overblown and other factors are discounted.

Why are we so eager to blame victims, even when we have seemingly nothing to gain? 

Victim blaming is not just about avoiding culpability—it’s also about avoiding vulnerability. The more innocent a victim, the more threatening they are. Victims threaten our sense that the world is a safe and moral place, where good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people. When bad things happen to good people, it implies that no one is safe, that no matter how good we are, we too could be vulnerable. The idea that misfortune can be random, striking anyone at any time, is a terrifying thought, and yet we are faced every day with evidence that it may be true. 

In the 1960s, social psychologist Dr. Melvin Lerner conducted a famous serious of studies in which he found that when participants observed another person receiving electric shocks and were unable to intervene, they began to derogate the victims. 

The more unfair and severe the suffering appeared to be, the greater the derogation. Follow up studies found that a similar phenomenon occurs when people evaluate victims of car accidents, rape, domestic violence, illness, and poverty. Research conducted Dr. Ronnie Janoff-Bulman suggests that victims sometimes even derogate themselves, locating the cause of their suffering in their own behavior, but not in their enduring characteristics, in an effort to make negative events seem more controllable and therefore more avoidable in the future.

Lerner theorized that these victim blaming tendencies are rooted in the belief in a just world, a world where actions have predictable consequences and people can control what happens to them. 

It is captured in common phrases like “what goes around comes around” and “you reap what you sow.” We want to believe that justice will come to wrongdoers, whereas good, honest people who follow the rules will be rewarded. 

Research has found, not surprisingly, that people who believe that the world is a just place are happier and less depressed. But this happiness may come at a cost—it may reduce our empathy for those who are suffering, and we may even contribute to their suffering increasing stigmatization.’

“We want to think that if we do the right thing, it’s all going to be OK,” says Ham. “It’s threatening to see other people not be OK, so we want to come up with an explanation of why that experience won’t happen to us.”

According to the guardian, ‘The fact that we have this victim-blaming tendency, which is enhanced when people fear threats to their group or society, does not mean that it is immutable. The authors found that there was a simple way to begin to minimize it. In another experiment in their study, Niemi and Young compared victim-blaming among people who had been exposed to stories that spotlighted either the perpetrator or the victim. 

When the language focused on the perpetrator’s actions – victim-blaming decreased.

Instead of focusing on victims’ behavior, we need to ask more questions about why perpetrators continue to commit acts of violence, and why some are allowed to take far more than their fair share in a world that most of us would prefer to see as just.’

Can we do better? 

By Amanda Marufu

Part 3: https://www.facebook.com/latasha.harris.102/videos/2524705027558826/

Part 4: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1851039571690603&id=100003537346653

Citations: https://amp.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/feb/27/victim-blaming-science-behind-psychology-research


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