Since the outcome of Kesha’s court case hit the internet, many celebs have weighed in. Demi Lovato did so with an impassioned twitter rant (which she’s since backtracked on) and Taylor Swift sent Kesha a large sum of money (Lovato didn’t like that). Jack Antonoff (who just so happens to be Lena Dunham’s boyfriend) offered to work with the singer, as did Zedd.
And while all of these responses came from the right place (maybe), they all failed to address the bigger picture. Why is Kesha unable to get out of her contract with Dr. Luke while Zayn Malick can effortlessly slip out of the most successful and lucrative boy band on the planet? And why does someone like Chris Brown still have a thriving music career despite his history of abuse?
Enter Lena Dunham, who just penned a killer, passionate op-ed for her website, Lenny, which not only expresses outrage against the Kesha court decision but also contextualizes and explains it. Some highlights:
On how even when a judge rules in favor of a woman facing physical abuse, she loses:
“Imagine someone really hurt you, physically and emotionally. Scared you and abused you, threatened your family. The judge says that you don’t have to see them again, BUT they still own your house. So they can decide when to turn the heat on and off, whether they’ll pay the telephone bill or fix the roof when it leaks. After everything you’ve been through, do you feel safe living in that house? Do you trust them to protect you?”
And on how the system has failed Kesha specifically:
“The fact is, Kesha will never have a doctor’s note. She will never have a videotape that shows us that Gottwald threatened and shamed her, and she will never be able to prove, beyond the power of her testimony, that she is unsafe doing business with this man. And no, none of this was in her contract. But what man, what company endeavors to keep a woman saddled with someone who she says has caused her years of trauma, shame, and fear? Fighting this fight publicly and in the legal system has already changed the course and tenor of her career forever. The lack of perspective on the part of Sony — the inability to look at the worth of a woman’s platinum records versus the worth of her soul being intact — is horrifying.”
As Dunham points out, however, there is a glimmer of hope. While Kesha’s case just so happens to be in the spotlight on account of her fame, there are countless women being failed by a legal system that’s quick to dismiss testimonies from women facing abuse (and we wonder why so many are scared to come forward?). But hopefully the discourse sparked by Kesha’s case – particularly given the subsequent celebrity engagement – will have a positive impact on how our legal system treats these sorts of cases.
And I urge you to read Dunham’s entire piece here.