“Don’t focus on the speck in your brother’s eye while ignoring the log in your own eye.” – Matthew 7:3
Surviving R. Kelly, the American docuseries that took a sweeping look at allegations of sexual misconduct against the singer, has sparked discussions on both his misconduct and that of other men swept up in the #MeToo movement.
As more women come forward about the misdeeds of men in their lives, the narrative has transformed from ‘R Kelly is a sexual predator’ to ‘all men are sexual predators’.
The finger pointing, mobilization, and subsequent publicity of women coming forward has turned what should be a moment of reconciliation into a one sided manhunt.
As a male victim of sexual abuse at the hands of multiple women starting at age 11 (my first abuser was 31), I cant help but feel like the #MeToo movement and its #MuteRKelly cousin is a one sided spectator event to see who will be exposed, castrated, and tried in the court of public opinion next.
In the process, men who were victims themselves seem to be left out of the narrative since, hypothetically, such a narrative runs counter to that of the male sexual predator image.
Before you continue: It should not need to be written, but this article is in no way defending R. Kelly, female or male sexual predators, or abuse of any kind. Gender equality is as much a part of the Pan-African Alliance platform as it is a part of the organization of our original cultures.
‘I was molested at the age of 10’
In a recent Twitter post by Olasile Sotuminu, star of Nigeria’s reality television show Made In Gidi show has revealed that he was sexually molested at the age of 10 by his parents house help.
Tweeting this morning, he wrote, ‘I really don’t like getting too close to ladies, because the moment you get too close and start sharing secrets, you become vulnerable and an average woman will always think good of herself before considering you at every point’.
He went on to say, ‘guess the genesis was when our househelp started molesting me at age 10. It all began with checking out Pee-Pee, till when she started taking me at every quiet angle of the house, and the fear of maximum beating from mum won’t even make me voice out’.
After his tweet, Black men in Nigeria and around the world started sharing stories of women that had abused them. One commenter responded “…that’s how women have been raping young boys for years and the world keeps quiet about it. Later same women come out as saints and make it look like rape is a male thing, “men are rapists”. It’s becoming ever evident that rape has nothing to do with gender. Again, it is a human problem.”
Nowhere is the ‘human problem’ of rape more evident than in the case of R. Kelly – himself a victim of rape at the hands of a woman.
The Woman Who Created R. Kelly
As the firestorm around R. Kelly swirled, one notable testimony was stricken from public scrutiny: that of R. Kelly’s brother.
Carey appears in Lyric R. Cabral’s Lifetime series, discussing the alleged sexual abuse of himself and Kelly as children. In the footage used in the series, Carey doesn’t get specific about the alleged molestation. In an interview with Tasha K last month, however, Carey alleged that it was his and Kelly’s older sister Theresa who abused them starting when they were “around” six and 10 years old. Theresa was “maybe 15” or 16 at the time and the abuse is alleged to have continued for years.
“She didn’t have anything on up under the robe and she told me to come over to her,” Carey said of the first time he was allegedly molested by his sister around eight minutes into the video above. “As a kid, in my mind, I’m confused because I know this my sister. I’m six. I know this wrong. She’s way older than me. At first, I thought she was playing . . . I was hesitant so she grabbed my arm.”
To date, Theresa Kelly has not been confronted, nor has she made public statements to confirm or deny the allegations.
Are Female Predators Just As Common As Male Predators?
Former Detective and Staff Writer for Thy Black Man had this to say:
In a society where Me-Too is going after men (and some rightfully so), a culture where men are often looked at as the predators, perpetrators and “bad guys”, there is often a lack of balance involving the truth, the victims and the perpetrators. Men are presumed to be the villains and women are presumed to be the innocent victims. But statistics say different…
We are seeing case after case after case of character assassination of men in general and African-American men specifically. And yet because male victims of women predators do not come together and protest, society assumes they do not exist.
African- American men are being tricked, deceived, seduced, framed, blackmailed, harassed and otherwise victimized every week in America. Dishonest women seem comfortable in doing the job of the oppressor, the slave master and the biased justice system all at the same time.
As a former detective I make no excuses for predators – male or female. But we don’t hear about the gold diggers who chased the man with the money, had the script flipped or their gold digging backfire and were beat at their own game. Then presto, these women suddenly become victims.
The woman who preys on the man’s wallet, the man’s emotions, the man’s property, keys his car, falsely accuses him, sets him up, Police departments, DAs and the courts know the truth but they are often forced to ignore it because feminist groups are too powerful, connected and well funded.
If you walk into a bad situation freely because you have an agenda, are you a victim?
What about when the woman is the culprit, the predator, the perpetrator? You will not likely here in the news how the woman struck the man first. Nor how the woman blocked the man when he was trying to leave. Nor how the woman and her friends conspired to create lies that would leave the man incarcerated. Nor how the women violated the court orders and disappeared with the man’s children even though he was never labeled a threat by the court or law enforcement. I have seen it a hundred times in one form or another and the truth is out there. Yet women are almost always still seen as the innocent victims.
Cases and opinions like those of the above make it clear that there are as many deviants among women as there are among men. But facts are not what motivate many modern social justice movements. More often than not, darker parts of human nature are manifesting themselves with the potential to become deadly cultural revolutions. This is not hyperbole – during Mao’s cultural revolution in China, more than 10 million people lost their lives.
If you think the same thing cant happen in this day and age over something so petty as gender infighting, you are wrong. And the callout culture that has taken root in the Black community is as much a threat as any of the weapons of white supremacy.
Social media has given our community the power to spread our ideas, connect with members of the Diaspora, and rightly expose behavior that damages our community.
However, what makes social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram so successful and dangerous are built in feedback loops. When certain actions are performed on social media platforms (users post content), they receive feedback (likes, favorites, retweets, reblogs, and followers). For frequent content creators, monetization is added to their feedback loop to further incentivize their behavior.
At first, this positive feedback makes users feel good. But over time the positive rewards reach a point of diminishing return. The pride of recognition that 10 ‘likes’ that once made you feel now seem insignificant. For deep narcissists, a cycle of increasingly trashy and damaging behavior begins.
For some deep narcissists, they expose their bodies to raise their numbers. For others, they work tirelessly to create a virtual life of perfection that hides their real and less than ideal surroundings. And for some deep narcissists, they launch holy crusades against an evil doer or group of evil doers. These crusaders can play the victim or elevate themselves to a moral high ground above others. After all, who would question their virtue as a victim?
Then they go on the attack – exposing this person and that person. Shedding their tears in front of television camera screens. Making the media rounds as the ‘Founder’ of this social justice campaign or that ‘movement’. Telling their stories over and over again. Adding more nuance and more drama with every interview. Seeking ever bigger stages, more likes, more followers, more coverage. Because they rely on external feedback for their self esteem, deep narcissists are completely dependent on the attention that they get from others. The bigger the target, the more attention they stand to gain.
When questioned about their motives, these deep narcissists will claim their campaign is a moral one. That someone should call out evil. That they are exposing evil doers so that no one else becomes a victim.
But when we look beneath the surface, we come to realize that these crusaders are not working on behalf of the public or victims, but for their own ego gratification. They want the recognition, the prestige, and the rewards that come with it (some of the victims have signed lucrative book deals, and are selling #MuteRKelly merchandise).They want the spotlight.
They want to feed off the same attention that is given to their targets – even if that means tearing down the culture in the process. And when others see the prestige and recognition that these victims get, they too jump on the bandwagon. They create entire communities that feed off of (instead of correcting) evil.
And when the original target has been exposed for all its worth and no one is left to consume, they turn on one another. Creating factions that repeat the process over and over again – “an orbiting cycle that turns on its own axis forever”.
The real issues, and real solutions, are sidelined. When asked what should be done, the mob and its leader reply with the immortal words of Jean Jaques Dessalines “Cut off their heads and burn down their houses.” (Dessalines himself being a deeply narcissistic leader who ‘exposed’ Toussaint L’Ouverture and handed him over to the French).
Important conversations that could further our understanding of human nature and develop a shared vision for a more prosperous future are subordinated to tabloid style shit talking.
Nothing is achieved besides higher ratings for Lifetime, more ad revenue for Youtube, and stronger profit margins for Facebook. And these companies in turn create a monetary incentive to create content that damages peoples character – whether the allegations are true or not.
Callout culture becomes more about money, recognition, credibility, and prestige than about steering the ship towards better conditions.
Truth And Reconciliation
Narcissism, the need for ego gratification, violence, sadism, passivity, aggression, and the willingness to both dominate and be dominated are all parts of human nature. So too is sexuality, and as a result, every human being falls on the sexual spectrum from what is considered to be acceptable behavior to deviance.
- Robert Greene
- Publisher: Viking
- Hardcover: 624 pages
From pedophilia and incest to bestiality and sexual blackmail, the same dark behavior can be found equally across every sexual category and every gender. There are women who can be brutal, manipulative, dominant pedophiles. It is common to find men who are victims of manipulation, exploitation, and the narcissistic traps laid by women.
What is not common and unequal is how women are treated when they are discovered to be the perpetrators rather than the victims.
Male rape victims are rarely, if ever given justice. In fact, In the Rome Statute [which established the International Criminal Court] you have a definition of rape that is wide enough to include women and men, but in most domestic legislation, the definition of rape involves the penetration of the vagina by the penis. That means if a man comes forward, they’ll be told it wasn’t rape, it was sexual assault. (Source)
And when they are caught, Female sex offenders receive lighter sentences for the same crimes than males says a study recently published in Feminist Criminology, a SAGE journal and the official journal of the Division on Women and Crime of the American Society of Criminology.
All this may be the result of societies that reward boys and stigmatize girls for their sexual exploration. Neither approach is conducive to developing healthy sexual boundaries – creating both victims and perpetrators of both sexes in the process.
The truth is that everyone can be called out. Every human being has elements within their nature that if exposed would compromise their standing within the group that they have aligned with.
We can choose to keep feeding the callout culture – exposing each other and forming lynch mob movements in the process. The witch hunt for sexual deviancy can devolve into everyone being ‘exposed’, incarcerated, publicly shamed, stripped of their accolades, and convicted in the court of public opinion with nothing more than an accusation.
Or, we can acknowledge that human sexuality is multi-dimensional. We can define or re-define the boundaries of sexually and socially accepted behavior. We can discuss – and equally enforce – gender roles (or eliminate them altogether) and the power dynamics associated with them. We can avoid a destructive societal upheaval akin to Mao’s Cultural Revolution in China or the Salem Witch Trials in the colonial United States. We can be truthful about who we are as human beings and reconcile those truths toward a more productive future.
Whether you agree or disagree, comment below. But wherever our discussion goes, the #MeToo manhunt ends in 2019.