The recent documentary series "Surviving R. k=Kelly" has given rise to a conversation centering around sexual predation. For those who are unaware, the docuseries, centered around r&b phenom Robert Kelly, highlighted family members and victims personal accounts and descriptions of his predatory behavior and manipulation tactics to control women.
In accounts provided by those who were most acquainted with Kelly, it was exposed that he targeted not only underage women, but black women and other women of color in particular. This exposé has opened the doors for much conversation surrounding the prevalence of not only sexual predators themselves but attitudes that condone and perpetuate the hypersexualization of young women.
These conversations are long overdue. If we ever dream of achieving progress in reprimanding these types of outrageous sexual violence, it's essential that we have these tough conversations.
It can be downright infuriating when certain people simply do not understand the significant of victims of sexual violence speaking on their stories in hopes of achieving peace and heightening awareness to prevent future occurrences for others. As a culture, victim blaming attitudes are extremely normalized, and it can be difficult to call them out when they are weaponized to disarm victim arguments.
But we as a people can and should become more aware of what we can do to make those who practice predatory sexual behaviors extremely uncomfortable. People who perpetrate these crimes should in no way be supported in any regard. Some try to paint it as a dicey, "grey-area" in which those who perpetrate sexual violence should have their actions separated from their products (such as their art or music). But these products are undoubtedly a result of their lifestyle choices and behaviors, and the two go hand in hand and thus cannot be separated.
It's paramount that we double down on those in our life who exhibit predatory sexual behavior, no matter how harmless it seems. Stopping things at the root can lessen these occurrences and teach others that sexual violence is completely unacceptable in any form.