“The game is rigged to work for those who already have money and power.” The celebrity world is driven by money, fame and power. The ones we look up to, our “role models” aren't playing by the same rules, or even the same game. They are teaching us that money and power protect you from justice and consequences. It is time for the likes of R.Kelly and Brett Kavanaugh to stop hiding their criminal actions behind dollar bills and powerful lawyers.
Sexual assault rips a women's life apart. From a sense of shame to the significant risk of not being believed, the repercussions of sexual assault last far longer than the incident itself. Is it any wonder women rarely find their voice and ask for help? In March 2017 there was a crime survey for England and Wales. The criminal justice system found that the charge rate dropped from 6.8% to 4.2%. They also found that rapes reported to the police rose by almost 13,000 to 54,045 in 2017-18, compared with 41,186 the previous year, in which 11,913 attacks were not recorded as crimes. The fact that women are starting to have the confidence to come forward but it’s being thrown back in their faces is truly heartbreaking. Surely, an educated person can see that an increase in reports should mean an increase in convictions? Justice for women has moved from a right to a rarity. Factor in money and fame as players, and women have already lost.
Celebrity men are getting away with terrible criminal acts simply because they can change the rules of the game. The average high-end lawyer varies between $150-$500 an hour, with some lawyers charging up to $1000 per hour. This immediately puts a person with no limit to their money at a significant advantage. Playing against them are victims chosen because they have no voice. Instead of paying for high-end lawyers they have to pay to keep a roof over their head, keep food on the table and keep the heating going. According to the National Women’s Law Centre, women of colour are over-represented in minimum wage jobs paying $7.25 an hour. That is why they’re easy targets. A prime example of this is R.Kelly having enough money to move a victim, and her family out of the country to avoid criminal investigation. These women have two choices; to take care and provide for their children, or waste money on high-end lawyers and receive no justice.
Social media makes you think you know celebrities because they are so public about their lives. We immediately comment on certain things that, we think, “they wouldn’t do”. But in actual fact, we don’t know these people at all. Social media is the worst culprit in this as we think we have a connection with these celebrities. In a post, “why we grow emotionally attached to celebrities”, on the website “The Mary Sue” a journalist called Abby Norman compared normal people to the “Ancient Greeks” who “worshipped their gods” from down on earth. This shows that she thinks that non-celebrities think we have this connection with these famous people, and that is through the influence of social media and how it makes us believe that we know these people when in actual fact we have no idea who they actually are. Abby Norman discusses the “psychological motivations for developing an intense emotional bond” with a celebrity or fictional character. This leads on to the shame and bullying that woman face for accusing celebrity men of sexual assault, as the public thinks they know the celebrity they will support them and believe that they are innocent no matter how much evidence is piled up against them and how innocent the women really are.
Each day the number of women who come out and accuse a celebrity of sexual harassment/rape increases. So why are women still being put through a lot more hate, harassment and abuse than the men who have evidence piling up against them? The answer; because they have money and power to shut people up and hide who they truly are. Ever since April 2017 over 250 celebrity men have been convicted or accused of sexual assault/misconduct. Out of this number, quite a few of these celebrities have actually been charged with sexual assault and/or rape. But although many more men are being charged and women are being brought to justice there should still be more done to bring justice to these women. Celebrity women like Britney Spears, Miss America, Janet Jackson, Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton have all been embarrassed and made fun of for wardrobe malfunctions, mental breakdowns, nude photos etc. Janet Jackson had a wardrobe malfunction when she was performing on stage with Justin Timberlake, he “ripped a part of her bustier off, exposing her bare breast on live TV.” Although this was his fault, Janet was still the one who was made to feel embarrassed by the public. In another case, Miss America (Vanessa Williams) had nude photos leaked of her several weeks before the end of her reign. She was pressured into giving up her crown for an incident that was, yet again, not her fault. These situations help in the understanding that celebrity women are shamed for every little thing that goes wrong in their lives, whereas celebrity men are targeting women of all ages (mostly younger), victimising them and doing things that are ruining there lives. In situations like these, we have to stop and ask ourselves, why are we embarrassing celebrity women but sticking up for these men who are carrying out these horrific acts of violence?
In addition, female accusers are told to speak out because they will have more chance of being brought to justice. However, when they do come out and share their story more often than not these women are being hated upon a lot more than the men who have been accused. An example of this is Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford. In a news article from the BBC it states that Christine said: “For a very long time I was too afraid and ashamed to tell anyone the details.” In another article by Vox Christine said that she has “been called the most vile and hateful names imaginable.” she also said “People have posted my personal information on the internet. This has resulted in additional emails, calls, and threats. My family and I were forced to move out of our home.”. This shows that this woman has been brave enough to come forward and tell somebody about her situation and try to get justice. However, she is the one being shamed about something that has happened to her. Her life has been turned upside down because she decided that she wanted to get justice for what this powerful man did to her. Also, “All those harassing, mocking, and erasing Ford are telling other survivors that speaking up isn’t worth it, that they should keep quiet or risk having their lives destroyed.” This demonstrates that the people who are shaming these victims are not going to stop so the victims should just keep quiet because they’re going to be worse off telling somebody.
Overall, celebrity men are getting away with sexually assaulting women even though they have a lot of evidence piling up against them. Men like R.Kelly and Brett Kavanaugh are allowed to do whatever they please no matter who it affects and how emotionally and physically damaging it is. The message that these people are sending is that the more money and power you have, according to very strong and undeniable evidence, you are virtually untouchable in terms of justice for your victim. money and power you have, the more you are going to get away with. Things like lying and even as big as breaking the law. When you put into perspective all the evidence, you can quite clearly see that celebrity men are going to continuously keep on winning the game, unless we stand up and fight back against these men and stop supporting them; because the reality is, they are not innocent.