CeeLo Green's Views on Rape Paint a Terrifying Picture of the Continued Existence of Rape Culture
Rape remains a tricky topic in our society because there's still so much confusion on what exactly constitutes rape. Rather, there's so much confusion on the subject of consent and it's terrifying to realize that most people still don't understand the basic principle of "no means no." In fact, all too often, the subject of rape is being made light of, whether it's Ariana Grande's brother Frankie making a rape joke about a Big Brother house guest or Kanye West comparing media scrutiny to being raped, two examples of things that undermine the fact that rape is one of the most horrifying crimes that can be perpetrated against another human being and is never a joke. That's why, when CeeLo Green tweeted a sickening definition of rape that earned him so much backlash that he was forced to delete his Twitter entirely, it's hard to feel sympathy for him. But let's look back at the facts.
Green recently pleaded no contest to giving a woman Ecstasy without her consent in 2012. According to the victim, she woke up in bed with Green and without any memory of the night before. On the other hand, Green's lawyer insisted the two of them had had consensual sex — even though she couldn't remember having it. After the case, Green went on Twitter to begin replying to people who were talking about it, and although his Twitter has since been deleted, nothing disappears on the Internet.
"If someone is passed out, they're not even WITH you consciously. So WITH implies consent," read the tweet preserved by BuzzFeed. "...so if I TRIED but did NOT succeed but the person said I DID then what really happened?"
For anyone is confused for one reason, "what really happened," in Green's question, is sexual assault and/or attempted rape. For anyone who is confused for another reason, Green's baffling logic went on to include the phrase "people who have been raped REMEMBER," which just goes to show exactly how pervasive rape culture is in our society, even in 2014. The fact of the matter is, there is no such thing as implied consent and a woman's presence anywhere ever is not an "implied" indication that she wants to have sex with you. Not only does every woman not go everywhere with the explicit desire to have sex with any man in that place, but it seems to be a little known fact that every woman has the right to withdraw consent that has previously been given.
Essentially, it seems like Green's argument is that the woman was in the room with him and conscious and thus their sex was consensual, even though he is accused of slipping her Ecstasy beforehand. A woman whose judgment is impaired cannot give consent and a woman whose judgment is impaired due to being slipped drugs without her knowledge or consent is definitely not consenting to sex. The fact that these things even need to be said is genuinely terrifying.
After making these offensive remarks, Green first deleted the tweets and then replaced them with an apology before deleting the Twitter entirely. The statement, according to BuzzFeed, read, "Let me 1st praise god for exoneration fairness & freedom! Secondly I sincerely apologize for my comments being taken so far out of context. I only intended on a healthy exchange to help heal those who love me from the pain I had already caused from this. Please forgive me as it was your support that got me thru this to begin with. I’d never condone the harm of any women. Thank you."
Green's apology is problematic in and of itself. In the first place, he apologized not for his flawed and offensive argument but for the fact that they were taken out of context. As if there's a way to take these comments out of context. In and out of context, they're terrible comments to make. In the second place, he claims that he'd never condone the harm of any woman and yet belittled their experiences by claiming that only people who remember having been raped can have been raped and that being conscious implies consent. His discussion on rape was ignorant and his apology for it was unacceptable. Overall, to say this was an incredibly disappointing act from the singer would be a severe understatement.Image: Getty Images