Sexual assault is an issue that has been making headlines in mainstream news for the past couple of years. I've written endlessly about different figures and ramifications of sexual assault cases; like Harvey Weinstein, James Franco, and many others. I openly condemn sexual assault (and any decent person should). There is also a lot of news surrounding men that are being abusive, both mentally and physically.
We all remember the abusive relationships revolving around Rihanna and Chris Brown, Bobby and Whitney, Ray Rice, and recently the former Attorney General of New York, Eric Schneiderman. Abuse and assault is a blight on our country, but I have to question where the line is drawn on some of these issues.
Last week, allegations came out against Ameer Vann, a member of the rap group/boyband BROCKHAMPTON, saying that he had mentally abused (and possibly sexually abused) some of his ex-girlfriends. There are also allegations that he is involved in pedophilia.
On the surface, all of this sounds damnable. On closer inspection, Ameer Vann seems like an insufferable douchebag, but I'm not fully convinced that he is a pedophile or an abuser.
The majority of these allegations are coming from a girl named Rhett Rowan, an ex of Ameer's, in a live video she made. Other allegations have come out from girls that were loosely connected to Ameers friend group or were in loose relationships with him.
First, one of the girls that had a loose relationship with Ameer, named Gigi, claims that Ameer cheated on her around 2014 with a high school student. She reiterated in her tweets that this girl was a minor, but never released the age of the girl. If the timeline is correct, Ameer would have been 18.
I'm not trying to make concessions for Ameer, but there if he was around 18 at the time and had sex with a girl that was about two years younger than him, I don't see much wrong with that. The age of consent varies in a lot of states, and unless this girl was extremely young, I don't see how it's so different from a 21-year-old dating an 18-year-old.
In Rhett Rowan's livestream, she talks about how Ameer would yell at her on occasion for simple mistakes like going to the wrong terminal in the airport or washing his dishes with cold water. She also talks about how she posted a picture of bruises she had as a result of rough sex with Ameer. As far as Rhett lets on, the rough sex was consensual, it wasn't linked to a form of abuse, but she still says she wasn't happy with having bruises from sex.
The allegation that has the most backing is all the girls involved saying that Ameer made them feel guilty or possibly manipulated them. All of the girls, besides Rhett, were vague in their characterizations of Ameer being a manipulator. Ameer has also come out with an apology to these girls, denied being a pedophile, and doesn't try to deny that he knows/dated these girls. The lowest common denominator that arose from this mess was that Ameer was a serial cheater (and probably still is).
I say all of this so that I can go back to my initial question. What is the line between a man being an abuser, or just being a total jerk?
Some men are total asses. We all know guys that are terrible people. The guy that cheats on every girlfriend he has, the guy that doesn't appreciate his girlfriend like he should, the guy that likes bragging about how much sex he's had with countless girls, the guy that thinks women are the weaker sex.
Those guys are general douchebags, but that doesn't mean that they are abusers or pedophiles.
I ask this question because I honestly would like to know what the line is. I don't like the types of guys that I listed above, but I don't think that these men need to put with the ranks of Harvey Weinstein or Bill Cosby. No one should have to be in a relationship with a jerk, but sometimes you pick the wrong person to be with. I'm not saying that Ameer wasn't potentially abusive, or a pedophile, but the facts, as they are right now, point to him just being a run-of-the-mill dick.
I harp on this subject so much because, in the age of the internet, allegations are a slippery slope for both parties, and allegations are hard to erase. Social justice is one of the biggest justice systems right now, and social justice doesn't wear a blindfold. Social justice is always rigged in someone's favor, and that isn't how justice is supposed to be implemented. I don't defend Ameer at all, but I really want us to draw a definitive line so that a potentially innocent person isn't labeled as a pedophile.