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Let’s Stand Together and #MuteRKelly

A recent Lifetime documentary mini series, entitled Surviving R. Kelly, has revealed many allegations of sexual abuse against the well-known singer.

Despite the incredible number of accusers and their detailed accounts of abuse, Kelly denies the events ever took place. Additionally, Kelly’s lawyer has stated that the docu-series contains false allegations against him.

However, it’s not just the Lifetime series that has presented these allegations. Women have been coming forward about their experiences with the singer for decades, only to be ignored.

Surviving R. Kelly investigates how Kelly was able to get away with his actions against these women. His music and stardom resulted in power that allowed Kelly to manipulate and abuse his victims for years without any consequence.

Many survivors have described their desire to achieve a career in the music industry, which Kelly recognized, and used it against them. He was able to control and abuse women with the false promise of a successful music career, one that only he could help them to obtain.

These women and their families were not necessarily wrong in believing that Kelly could be the answer to a successful career in the industry. With his success in the male-dominated business, he had valuable connections that made him appear as a great resource for young, hopeful artists.

After all, his influence is essentially what lead to R&B singer Aaliyah’s rise to stardom. He produced her first album and is often credited for her success.

However, the series has since claimed that Kelly married Aaliyah when she was only 15 years old and was having sex with her while she was still underage. Both Aaliyah’s mother and Kelly deny these claims.

In contrast, Jovante Cunningham, former backup dancer for Kelly, has alleged seeing the two partaking in sexual intercourse.

The allegations against Kelly are a classic example of the way in which hopeful women are exploited. Ambition is seen as a deadly trait for women, resulting in men with more powerful positions doing all that they can in order to hold them back.

Surviving R. Kelly also takes the time to discuss how Kelly’s abuse of these women often went unnoticed because of their skin color. Society’s stereotypes of black women, combined with Kelly’s power in the music world, resulted in horrific claims of sexual assault being brushed off as untrue or unimportant.

In fact, many believed these women were “using” Kelly for their own gain.

Kelly is yet another example of a powerful man using his influence for his own narcissistic gain and manipulating innocent women in the process. His evil actions have resulted in widespread pain and trauma for the women he abused.

As a society, we must #MuteRKelly. No one, regardless of power, should be able to inflict pain and trauma onto others without consequence.

Featured Image by andrew steinmetz on Flickr
Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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