| 03.21.2018

Failure on all counts – Kesha falls victim to failure of legal system, music industry culture


It may be 2016, but the culture of the music industry hasn”t changed much when it comes to how it treats cases of sexual assault. This can be seen in many cases, like the accusations against Bill Cosby and Kesha”s accusations against her producer.

Formerly known as Ke$ha, the pop singer filed a lawsuit against Dr. Luke for drugging and raping her, and emotionally abusing her. The suit, filed in October 2014, requests a release from her contract.

Tess Fox

Lukasz Gottwald, known in the music world as Dr. Luke, filed a countersuit, claiming the story was fabricated.

Kesha requested a preliminary injunction in the case so she could record songs outside her contract until the case is finalized. On Feb. 19, the judge denied her injunction.

Her case isn”t over though. This just means that she can”t record any music or make money unless she works with Gottwald.

According to a report from the Washington Post, the judge said Kesha”s suit would require the court to “decimate a contract that was heavily negotiated and typical for the industry.”

But just because something is typical, doesn”t mean it shouldn”t be changed.

Kesha and countless women have experienced something “typical” in the music industry – rape.

Kesha”s story follows an eerily similar story arc of Jackie Fuchs” rape.

Fuchs, a member of The Runaways, an all-female “70s rock group, accused Kim Fowley, the infamously sleazy manager, of rape.

Fuchs was the bassist for the band. Multiple witnesses saw the rape taking place and didn”t say anything.

In an interview with Bitch Magazine, Fuchs said she believes that the culture of the music industry allowed Fowley to get away with the behavior.

“I didn”t speak up for fear that not only would it be taken away from me, but from my band mates,” Fuchs said.

Indeed, the nature of the music industry allowed the sexual assault to happen without consequence. But the industry is only partially to blame.

The U.S. Justice system is failing its citizens – specifically its female citizens. Kesha is yet another woman who has been failed.

Women are not cash-cows, groomed to be successful and make money for men. Kesha should not be forced to work with men who make her so uncomfortable.

No one should have to live like that. That”s not a new concept, nor is it one that is particularly hard to understand.

Fuchs also made a great point about the treatment of women, like Kesha, who dared to come forward.

“I looked at the way the media was treating her allegations and how they were just pointing out the evidence against her, asking why someone would stay friendly with someone who raped or abused her,” Fuchs said. “They didn”t look at it from her point of view at all. It just sickened me.”

Last December, Lady Gaga opened up about being raped when she was 19 by a music executive. Taylor Swift is in the midst of a lawsuit with a radio executive who groped her at a public appearance in 2013. Rapper Dee Barnes wrote an essay for Gawker about being held down and beaten on the floor of a women”s restroom by Dr. Dre.

There is a pattern here. Some men in powerful positions are taking advantage of young women who are trying to make their dreams come true. Because of the contracts and social pressures of accusing celebrities of rape, many women do not seek legal action. Contracts like Kesha”s keep the survivors in close contact with their abusers and give abusers even more power.

Maybe one day a woman will be taken seriously when she comes out with a story of assault. Maybe one day male bosses will be held accountable for their actions. Maybe one day the justice system will serve its citizens fairly.

But today is not that day.

Tess Fox can be reached at arg-opinion@uidaho.edu or on Twitter @tesstakesphotos

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