When Women Dont Matter: Kesha Versus the Music Industry

I’m not a fan of Kesha’s music, I actually probably only recognize one of her songs.  I don’t know whether or not she has a massive career in music or even what she’s been doing for the past ten years.  What I do know is that the current system has failed her.  Not just that, but in doing so has also called into question her honestly, her integrity. This isn’t the first time the music industry has failed a female artist, and it probably wont be the last.  The sad fact is that women in the music industry don’t matter as much as the men do.

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It’s a hard pill to swallow, especially for a woman who has brought sexual abuse allegations against her former producer, only to be forced to continue to work with him and the company that employs and continues to stand by him.

If you don’t think that the Music Industry privileges men even after abuse allegations than here is some evidence:

Cee Lo Green has recently pleaded no contest to drugging a woman with ecstasy before having sex with her, even tweeting that people who are raped remember being raped (a blatantly false statement to anyone with half a brain) and saying that if there is no proof, then it didn’t happen.   He has since released an album (that is apparently ‘full of remorse) showing that even sexual assault and drugging women hasn’t affected his chances of making music.

Chris Brown violently beat Rihanna, and was sentenced in 2009, however since has had numerous violent outbursts, and still his career has not been affected, instead he performed in the 2012 Grammy Awards show, released an album ‘F.A.M.E.’ which had numerous collaborators such as Drake and Justin Beiber. It was published by…you guessed it…Sony and has even received countless awards for his music since the attack on Rihanna. Yet he still wins the public over with his whines about losing everything since the attack but its fine because he’s apparently been “humbled” by the experience. All is forgiven it seems.

Posing with babies…’cause that will show us their softer sides!

Except for when it comes to female artists.  The fact that a judge ruled against Kesha’s release from a label that has hired an abuser and worked to keep her under his thumb  goes miles to prove that. It reiterates the fact that women aren’t as important as the men making money.  Since this is what its all about: Money.  Sony have put a lot into Kesha’s music financially and according to  Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich, the production company would suffer irreparable damage if Kesha didn’t see her contract through.  Financial damage for the production company seems to be more important than the emotional and physical damage that Kesha has endured and will have to continue to put up with if she wants any sort of career after this.  She is being forced to continue to work with a company that is standing by the man that abused her, all for the sake of money.  The judge ruling against Kesha’s pleas only serves to empower the man (in the general sense, all men who are in positions of power), reinforcing his idea of privilege.  She is still owned by Dr. Luke and Sony, her body, her emotional health, her talent, her career-all in the hands of the people that abused her.

This blog’s title suggests she is having trouble with the music industry and its corrupt and hideous treatment of women, however she also finds herself fighting the justice system, which appears anything but just and society itself for its dissection of female victims.  The accused, Dr Luke, and his team of lawyers have said that she is simply trying to get out of a contract, the judge has said there is not enough proof of abuse knowing full well that many victims do not report  the assault and therefore proof is not always easy to get.  Kesha’s musical persona is that of the party girl, the rebel and this seems to be making an impact on how she is perceived in the case. But this persona was meticulously crafted in order to sell music. To appear rebellious and fun was important. But this has impacted the ‘perfect victim’ ideal.  Kesha has in the past spoken about her lack of creative input, which indicates control on the part of her producers. But its not just this character or party persona that hinders her ability to be believed, she is a woman, and that’s just another thing that is needed for her accusations to come under question.

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While Kesha has millions of people supporting her, horrified of her being forced to continue with Sony, there are also people out there victim shaming her.  Wendy Williams has spoken out saying that it was Kesha’s responsibility to catch her abuser on camera, her responsibility to prove the abuse because:

Unfortunately, business is business, and it sounds like it’s fair. If everybody complained because somebody allegedly sexually abused them … contracts would be broken all the time.”

This statement insinuates that women are prone to lies about abuse in order to get what they want, and it was uttered by a woman. That’s how deep misogyny has grown in society, now women are victim shaming other women.  She goes on to say that:

“Kesha’s no spring chicken. I mean she’s, like, 30 years old? … So she wasn’t stupid 10 years ago”.

So not only is the abuse less likely because Kesha is and was a grown woman, but she’s also stupid for not filming the abuse?! Nice one Wendy. Not only has Kesha been over powered by her abuser, by her record label, by the justice system, now she is being over powered by people…women…who are calling into question the authenticity of her allegations and declaring that without proof it basically didn’t happen.

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Kesha broke down in Court as her case was dismissed.

 

This entire case has placed monetary value on Kesha, making it more valuable than her well being and autonomy.  But it speaks to all women in the industry, not just Kesha.  Any woman under contract is being modeled into a character, a persona, and they are controlled by the people who, ultimately, own them. Money is paramount, and female autonomy is nothing next to the profit that is possible from her ownership.

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