A couple of weeks ago, Katy Perry was in the news again, but not for her music. This time, she was put on trial for kissing 19-year old "American Idol" contestant Benjamin Glaze. The controversial scene occurred after judge Luke Bryan referenced Perry's hit "I Kissed a Girl." Bryan asked Glaze if he had ever kissed a girl, and Glaze responded, saying, "I have never been in a relationship, and I can't kiss a girl without being in a relationship."
I would say he was pretty clear, but Perry didn't seem to get the message. She had him move closer to her and kiss her cheek. Then, she asked for a second one, moving her face around and planting one on his mouth.
Unlike the audience and the singer, Glaze was not amused. He commented in an interview with The New York Times that if he had been asked, he would not have consented to the kiss. In fact, it made him uncomfortable.
Let's be clear here: It doesn't matter how lighthearted everyone else thinks that kiss was. To Benjamin Glaze, it wasn't, and that's what matters. Men are just as susceptible to sexual harassment as women are. We would be lying to ourselves if we said there wouldn't be a backlash if Luke Bryan decided to make this same move on a young girl who said she didn't want to be kissed.
It doesn't matter how attractive or respected the celebrity is -- it's never okay for them to encroach on someone else's bubble. The idea that someone should be grateful for a celebrity's time and attention is outdated and absurd.
Katy Perry didn't do Glaze any favors; she took an experience from him that he won't ever get back. To some, this doesn't seem like a big deal. It's just a kiss, right? Completely harmless! This is a dangerous mindset and a slippery slope.
After watching the video, one could argue that Glaze took it all in stride, laughing it off with the judges (who high-fived each other) and the rest of the audience. This young man was on stage in front of countless people all staring at him, as well as facing three prominent musicians. Let's not forget the cameras that were trained on him from the moment he walked on stage to the moment he left. It's easy to put on a front when you're in a crowd. In his shoes, I can't really say for sure how I would have reacted either.
Perhaps you think this story has been blown out of proportion, but if you take away anything at all from it, let it at least be this: Respect each other's decisions as if they were your own. It doesn't matter who you are -- you aren't exempt from acting like a human being.