Someone help Kesha

Story by: Maggie Brown, News/Copy Editor

As most people have heard one way or another, pop singer Kesha was recently denied a preliminary injunction, or the right to produce music outside of Sony and her contract with Dr. Luke.

Kesha has made claims that Dr. Luke has sexually, physically, emotionally and verbally abused her since she first signed on with him in 2005. The New York Supreme Court ruled that Kesha did not have enough evidence to legally remove herself from this contract with her alleged abuser, although Sony has cracked under pressure from the public and dropped Dr. Luke from it’s label without any official legal persuasion.

This is disgusting on so many levels. The idea that the legal system allows a woman who identified her alleged abuser to continue to be forced into a relationship with that abuser is horrifying and wrong. Sony Music views this woman, a human being who has been hurt in so many ways, as nothing more than an investment. Kesha had the bravery to step forward and tell her story, even though she must have been well aware of the reaction she would receive, and I applaud her endlessly for it.

This case, while tragic, is not the only one of its kind. Everyday people who have survived sexual abuse are faced with criticism from people all around them, often people they thought they could trust.

Sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes, with nearly 68% being left unreported. According to the website for the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, of every 100 rapes, only 32 will be reported to police. Of those 32, only seven people will be arrested, and of those seven, only two will ever spend a single day in prison.

Rape culture surrounds us, whether we realize it or not. Every time someone teaches a young woman to simply avoid being in areas where she might get raped, they unknowingly promote rape culture. We teach our daughters to carry keys in their hands like knives and download apps to ensure their safety, but why is it we rarely hear anyone teaching anyone else not to rape? It seems like common sense, but the numbers support a clearly different message.

The idea behind “don’t get raped” is often overlooked, because very few people know to look for it. What people who say this are really telling people is “make sure that someone else gets raped instead.” Even if we do not mean to, we make it so that even though our world may be safe, someone else’s might not be. There will always be a girl whose skirt is a little shorter, who had a bit more to drink, who took a sketchy route home, and I want her to be just as safe as I am.

Kesha is shedding light on a subject that remains in the dark far too often. People don’t want to talk about sexual abuse; they believe it’s filthy, it’s the victim’s fault for being drunk or for wearing revealing clothes, or it could never happen to someone like them. But it could, and there is a one-in-four chance that it might.

It is important that we as a society learn to unlearn the aggression and desire for power that we instill in young boys at an early age, to teach everyone of every gender that no means no, stop means stop, and their partner doesn’t owe them their body in any way.

For more information and stories of sexual abuse survivors visit https://rainn.org/ .

A whale of a problem

Story by: Jenna Jones, Opinions and Reviews Editor

SeaWorld is known as a popular theme park where people can interact with sea creatures such as dolphins, whales, and even sharks. What is not well-known about SeaWorld is the way they treat the captive creatures in their care.

For years, SeaWorld has been a source of  entertainment through the exploitation of dolphins and whales by putting them in shows that attract millions of people every year. Unfortunately for the dolphins and whales, these shows and the training for them can be extremely detrimental to their health.

The life expectancy for animals in SeaWorld is much shorter than what it is for those in the wild. SeaWorld has often lied about the life expectancy for these animals to concerned visitors and on their website. This occurred early in March when a 22-year-old male dolphin in SeaWorld Orlando died of unknown causes, despite the life expectancy of dolphins being around 40-50 years.

Mazie Bernard, 10, said, “SeaWorld is awful, and they treat their animals like trash. The animals don’t deserve to be treated like that.”

SeaWorld’s captive animals are unhealthy. Numerous whales have collapsed dorsal fins, and employees often tell visitors that a collapsed fin affects wild orcas, as well. Although this does occur in the wild, a collapsed dorsal fin is seen in less than 1% of wild whales, according to Dr. Astrid van Ginneken, who has been studying them since 1987.

“Blackfish,” a documentary about the illegal and immoral practices of SeaWorld, focuses on the story of one captive whale, Tilikum, who is responsible for the death of three trainers. It is not entirely uncommon for trainers to be injured or even killed on the job, while the number of recorded wild killer whale attacks is far less than that of recorded cases in captivity.

Fortunately, documentaries like “Blackfish” have reached a large audience and more people are advocating for an end to the unjust treatment of captive sea life.