The Release of Kesha's Deposition Video has Revealed a Troubling New Bias

While it's great that Kesha's female peers are getting on the #FreeKesha train, I'd like to know where the men are.
Publish date:
February 25, 2016
abuse, Kesha, Dr. Luke, Sony

Yesterday, Kesha broke her silence regarding her legal battle to free herself from Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald, the man she says drugged, raped, and verbally abused her for ten years. Though a judge denied her injunction to record outside of Gottwald's label, her first public message was a heartfelt "thank you" to fans and peers via Instagram which she later followed up with a Facebook post.

From Kesha's Facebook:

I'm so, so beyond humbled and thankful for all of the support I've
received from everyone. Words cannot really express the emotions I've gone through reading and seeing how amazing everyone has been to me. I can’t believe that so many people all over the world took the time to show me support and love. Other entertainers who knowingly put their own careers at stake by supporting me, I will be forever grateful.

All I ever wanted was to be able to make music without being afraid, scared, or abused. This case has never been about a renegotiation of my record contract – it was never about getting a bigger, or a better deal. This is about being free from my abuser. I would be willing to work with Sony if they do the right thing and break all ties that bind me to my abuser.

But at this point, this issue is bigger than just about me.

I think about young girls today – I don’t want my future daughter – or your daughter – or any person to be afraid that they will be punished if they speak out about being abused, especially if their abuser is in a position of power.

Unfortunately I don’t think that my case is giving people who have
been abused confidence that they can speak out, and that’s a problem.

But I just want to say that if you have been abused, please don’t be afraid to speak out. There are places that will make you feel safe. There are people who will help you. I for one, will stand beside you and behind you. I know now how this all feels and will forever fight for you the way perfect strangers have been fighting for me.

Yes, I am very much a feminist, but more than that, I am a humanist. I believe in supporting my fellow human beings in being SAFE.

We're all in this together. You are not alone.

I love you and thank you.

This case has been heartbreaking from beginning to end, though the outflow of public support from fellow celebrities has been heartwarming. Taylor Swift donated $250,000 to help Kesha through this tough time, Lady Gaga, Fiona Apple, Ariana Grande, Lorde, Lena Dunham, and Demi Lovato have all expressed their support (though Lovato also maybe weirdly threw shade at Swift for her donation), and, after winning the award for best British Female Solo Artist at last night's Brit Awards, Adele took a moment to publicly support the "We Are Who We Are" singer.

While it's great that Kesha's female peers are getting on the #FreeKesha train, I'd like to know where the men are. As comedian Rhea Butcher pithily pointed out in a recent Tweet, it seems to take a man speaking out about rape to get people to take it seriously:

Adding to this garbage fire of a situation, TMZ released a heavily edited video of a deposition in which Kesha denies having been drugged or raped by Dr. Luke. Kesha's lawyer Mark Geragos has come forward saying the video was made under threat of damage to both her career and body, calling Dr. Luke "his generation's Bill Cosby."

For my part, I both believe and stand with Kesha, and am sickened that Sony isn't doing everything they can to make her feel like she can record in a safe environment. Though Sony has offered to let her work with another producer, she is still on Gottwald's label and is contractually obligated to produce three more records for it. There also seems to be some confusion as to whether her future work will be promoted.

Perhaps the most upsetting thing about is the possibility that it will prevent other women from coming forward about abuse. If a rich, famous, white woman can't free herself from a man she says abused her for a decade, it sends a depressing message about how our legal system handles abuse as a whole. As w can see from her Facebook message, Kesha is acutely aware of this, and her message of love and encouragement shows that she is not beaten. Hopefully the voices of support will grow louder and louder, and Kesha will be able to record her music in an environment in which she feels truly safe and supported.