I am not going to go into the R. Kelly docu-series because I do not have cable and I have not been able to watch it. Instead, I want to go into what a predator really is. First and foremost, all males of any food chain dominant species are predators by nature in some form, including human beings. Rape and incest are not at all uncommon in nature. Human beings are meant to be above all of that. Society as we have built it transforms us from predators into protectors and providers. But that is learned. And if we don’t learn properly, some of us remain predators. And we prey..
It’s behavior that needs to be abolished, at least in its most harmful forms. To put it plainly.. Don’t fuck kids. Don’t try to fuck someone who doesn’t want you to fuck them. Don’t prey on people’s weaknesses. Consent is extremely complex. Much more complex than “no means no”. If a 14 year old girl says yes, that’s still a no. Consent is what really needs to be defined, but that is a much more complex conversation.
As has everyone, I was recently participating in a debate about R. Kelly. It seems the trend is for black men to empathize to a degree with R. Kelly simply as black men or even on a deeper level as sexual beings of the male species. MOST of R. Kelly’s music is made up of fire sex music. Guaranteed every black man with a sex playlist has a handful of R. Kelly joints peppered throughout.
I personally am trying not to defend R. Kelly. For one I haven’t seen the documentary and I don’t want to be associated with defending someone who is viewed as a sexual predator. However, when it comes to having a discussion with black women about this subject, there is the question of the role of women in these situations. Naturally that can easily cross into the territory of victim blaming.. A phrase that I hate by the way. I am not saying that any victim deserves blame for anything done to them. That blame most definitely lies with the predator. But given that we know predators exist, it’s almost too easy to tell a victim to simply be careful what you do when you are out, because the predators are out as well. It’s never a victim or survivor’s fault. But please let’s not shut down the whole of the discussion by pretending there are never any safeguards for being just a little bit safer in an unsafe world.
Anyway, that’s when consent comes back into the discussion. A respectable man will try to understand and respect consent. A predator will not. A predator will attempt to force and manipulate consent or disregard it all together. That is why it is important that we learn to figure out what defines predator behavior, and where the line is.
If I go to the bar and I buy drinks for a woman with the sole intent of taking her home and having my way with her for the evening, is that predator behavior? Technically speaking, yes. But is it acceptable? Well that’s not for me to decide. The Me Too movement is the time for men to shut the fuck up and listen to women. All we should be doing right now is asking questions. We need women to teach us what is appropriate at this time and adapt for the sake of eliminating this problem and keeping everyone protected. So with that said, I am going to stop typing and instead share a story that I feel sheds pretty good light on how a predator can operate and manipulate a young girl as told by the survivor herself. This and similar stories need to be shared and remain in the minds of all of us in order to ensure we are more aware and awake and take the extra steps to protect those among us that are unable to protect themselves. Because the fucked up thing is that all of us probably know at least one woman who has had something like this or worse happen to them.
This is her story as told to me:
I met my daughter’s father when I was 17 and he was 26. He waited till I was 18 to really get in my head. But once I turned 18 he talked me into moving to Hawaii with him. He then talked me into stripping to make money for us. So we could start building “together”. Then he talked me into prostitution. Watching that [R. Kelly] documentary was like watching my life. Aside from being starved for days I felt everything those women and girls felt! I was with that man for 4 years. I knew he was bad for me. But he was the only love I knew and I thought it was what love was. He changed my number multiple times after learning I kept giving it to my mother and family and friends. We moved at least twice a year. Different cities, and states. With me being as young as I was and him being as old and knowledgeable as he was, nothing he did was fair or right! And to this day, I’m 38, he’s 47 and his current girlfriend is 19! Men like this prey on young naive women!!!! Period! It’s sad, disturbing, and sick! And if any grown man tries to prey on any of my girls I’m shutting that shit down!
Maybe I have a soft spot because I’ve been in these girls’ place! The manipulation and controlling the girls entire lives is where I have a problem. Thank God I had my daughter when I did which made me look at my life and my worthiness in a new light! I didn’t want the life I was living for myself anymore and definitely didn’t want her to follow my footsteps. Having her is what gave me the courage to get away from that man. And when I did, I did it when he was gone. I had my mother get me a plane ticket, and I snuck away while he was running an errand. I even went back after 3 days, and he beat my ass for trying to leave. I turned around and left again the next day and I’ve never looked back!