Comedian Russell Brand has been accused of rape, sexual assault and abuse by four different women. Brand denied the allegations and said all of his relationships were consensual. As news headlines and fans uncover the accusations, one name continues to find its way into the conversation: Katy Perry.
Perry and Brand have been divorced for over a decade and she has made eyebrow-raising comments in the past about how he treated her during their brief marriage. But her name shot up in Google searches Monday, and dozens of articles were republished chronicling her relationship with Brand.
More often than not, when men are accused of horrible things, many turn to the women closest to them and eagerly await their comments. Even if the story has nothing to do with them.
“Speak up Katy!! #RussellBrand you need to (speak) for ALL women, they are abusive predators,” wrote one user on X (formerly known as Twitter).
Perry’s demand to respond publicly reflects the impossibility of women’s position in a culture of endemic sexual violence. Women are more likely than men to be victims of sexual abuse, but they are also expected to speak out against this violence in a way that men are not.
Why are we talking about Katy Perry right now?
Brand married Perry in 2010 after meeting on the set of “Get Him to the Greek” in 2009. The two divorced in 2012, with Perry claiming in her June 2013 Vogue cover story that Brand filed for divorce via text message .
“At first when I met (Brand), he wanted an equal, and I think a lot of times strong men want an equal, but then they get this equal and they’re like, I can’t handle equality. He did. “I don’t like the atmosphere where I’m the boss of the tour,” Perry said in 2013. “So it was really hurtful, and it was very controlling, which was overwhelming. I felt very responsible for how that story ended, but then I found out the real truth, which I can’t necessarily divulge because I keep it locked in my safe for a rainy day. »
It should be noted that some of the allegations against Brand include the period in which he and Perry were married. And Perry also faced an accusation of sexual misconduct.
But does that mean she owes the public anything?
“The perception is that women are responsible for protecting other women. … We expect them to take more responsibility and take ownership of other people’s actions,” Laura Palumbo previously told USA TODAY, director of communications at the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. . “But we don’t expect men to sympathize with all of women’s painful experiences. Every time men express themselves and show up in a positive way, it seems like they are going above and beyond.”
Nicole Bedera, a sociologist who studies how universities cover up sexual violence, previously told USA TODAY that the patriarchal aspects of our society mean that “no matter what men do, it’s women who are burdened by their actions, let this be the burden they bear.” sexual trauma or having to cover up what they did or deal with pressure for what they did. We place the burden of sexual violence on women in every case.
What sexual abuse allegations mean for those speaking out
One woman claimed Brand raped her, while three others accused him of sexual assault, according to a joint investigation by the Sunday Times, the Times of London and Channel 4’s “Dispatches.” women also said he had been physically and emotionally abusive.
Following the rise of the #MeToo movement and a societal shift regarding the importance placed on consent, many people have dealt with someone they know, socialize with, or even like being accused of inappropriate behavior. And sometimes that person is a public figure.
Russell Brand’s allegations pile up:Comedian fired from agent, faces calls for investigation
“A constantly evolving social report”
During the 2020 presidential election, Stacey Abrams, a national name in the Democratic Party and current candidate for Georgia governor, was asked to respond to sexual assault allegations against then-presidential candidate Biden. Abrams said “women deserve to be heard,” but also that “I believe in Joe Biden.”
Bedera recalled that some survivors viewed Abrams’ response as not going far enough. Others sympathized with the double bind she found herself in.
Perhaps our time would be better spent analyzing why Abrams was asked this question in the first place.
Palumbo hopes that as more survivors continue to come forward, the public will increasingly demand that men also have their opinions on sexual violence.
“We have been faced with an ever-changing social situation,” she explained previously, “and we accept the fact that sexual harassment, assault and abuse are as pervasive as the statistics have always told us .”
Contributors: Alia Dastagir, Naledi Ushe and Associated Press
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