Why R. Kelly Is Not Enough

I'd like to think of myself as a strong, brave individual—not woman, individual. Despite my adornment for my sexuality and the confidence I feel in my womanhood, sometimes I like to remind myself that identifying as a woman is not something that holds me back. I am a person, the fact that I am a woman should not make my actions or accomplishments more profound.

In these fits of bravery, I always think I can conquer the world. These moments come and go, and an incident is usually what causes them to leave. Despite the my awareness, caution, and determination to protect myself, the hard to swallow pill arrives: there's only so much I can do to save myself. One of the biggest lessons I have learned as an adult woman is my mom was totally right. Of course I would come to this realization about what was appropriate to do at my age, how expensive things are, and things of the sorts. But there's one realization that stunned me—my mom wasn't angrily strict, she was afraid. I consider myself so lucky to have been protected from the dangers that surround children in this day and age. Unfortunately, not everyone can say this.

The music industry is notorious for having suspicions for evil power dynamics—exemplified through cases such as Ke$ha's dispute with her record label and notoriously, the case regarding R Kelly and underaged girls. The LifeTime documentary of R Kelly's pursuit of underaged women is gut-wrenching. Women as young as 12 years old were preyed upon by a powerful, older man. While I absolutely agree that R Kelly should be reprimanded for his actions, one bold fact is evident: R Kelly is not the only predatory celebrity, in music and entertainment alike. When actors were weeded through during the #MeToo movement, profound actions were made. Men that ruined the lives of men and women in the industry were exposed and handled accordingly for their inappropriate and predatory behaviors.

Unfortunately, it seems as though the music industry is untouched, and R Kelly was enough to satiate the minds of those apparently pursing justice. Even moving from sexual crimes, artists are known to be overworked to the point of physical injury and declining health. While pursuing justice in one regard is a great step in the right direction, it is vital to continue these conversations and refuse all cases of maltreatment in the music industry—not just the famous ones.

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