Today in news, the criminal justice system proves yet again that they are unwilling to provide justice for women. I’ll start with an update from the Kesha saga. Earlier this week Kesha happily announced that she would be performing for the first time in forever at the Billboard Music Awards. Billboard had announced that Kesha was able to come to an agreement with her producer Dr. Luke which allowed her to perform.
In case you’ve been in a hole for the past year, Kesha has a pending lawsuit against Dr. Luke to try and get out of her contract with him, which is contingent on another lawsuit she’s filed claiming that Dr. Luke raped her. Earlier this year a New York court ruled against Kesha’s contract lawsuit stating that Kesha could work with other producers under the Sony label, therefore Dr. Luke did not have a stranglehold on her career as she claimed.
Back to current events. Two days ago Dr. Luke revoked his permission for Kesha to perform at the Billboard Music Awards. Because she’s bound by her contract to him, the one she tried to get out of by petitioning the legal system which is supposed to provide justice, Kesha legally can’t perform unless Dr. Luke lets her. So her rapist is allowed to dictate whether she’s allowed to pursue her career. Even worse, the New York courts have refused to hear any appeals on her contract lawsuit until the rape lawsuit is resolved in California. That lawsuit has not gone anywhere since it was filed because that court claims the contract lawsuit should be resolved first. So, both courts are stalling and Kesha’s life is being controlled by her rapist. No justice for women.
Meanwhile in Oklahoma, the House of Representatives has passed a law that would effectively outlaw abortion in a really devious way. Basically the law states that abortions can only be performed by physicians licensed in the state of Ohio. On the surface this looks like any of the countless other abortion restriction laws throughout this country, but it gets worse. The law also says that the state medical board can revoke the medical license of any physician who performs an abortion in a situation where the woman’s life wasn’t in danger. So basically, doctors who want to keep their licenses will start to refuse to perform abortions, effectively making abortion illegal in the state of Oklahoma. I know there’s a lot of debate about what constitutes an “undue burden” as outline in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, but I’m pretty sure the Oklahoma law constitutes an undue burden, which makes it unconstitutional. Unless the governor vetoes the bill next week, Oklahoma will succeed in passing an unconstitutional anti-abortion law, putting us right back to pre Roe v. Wade when women literally died in alarming numbers from illegal abortion procedures. No justice for women.
Meanwhile in my own home state of Vermont a law was passed stating that sexual assaults can’t be pled down to prohibited acts. This seems like a real win, but after this law was passed instead of having sexual assault pled down to a prohibited act, a recent sexual assault case was pled down to simple assault and disorderly conduct. The perpetrator drugged and raped an acquaintance of his and he was only convicted of simple assault and disorderly conduct; misdemeanors. His punishment was counseling. I’m glad he’s getting mental health services, but he should also be in jail. Rape is not disorderly conduct, it’s a violent violation, and it should be punished as such. No justice for women.
Over and over the criminal justice system proves that they are more willing to support the patriarchy than provide justice for women. This is unacceptable. The court system should be providing real justice for every victim, regardless of gender, race, color, creed, gender identity, or sexual orientation, but this is clearly not the case. We should all talk about this more often and as loudly as we can so the criminal justice system can see how unacceptable we find their actions.