Who or what is to be blamed?

After Dr. McCoy mentioned in class that Lil Wayne was raped as a boy as he explained on Late Night with Jimmy Kimmel, I quickly turned to the internet to find out more about it and was shocked at another video wherein Lil Wayne bragged about the incident. To me, he was glorifying ‘rape’ as if it was a good thing. On his show, Kimmel interviewed Lil Wayne and asked him about his virginity. The body language and reluctance of Lil Wayne was to refrain from answering the questions, yet it seemed Kimmel was unable to see that and even to go as far as to compel Lil Wayne with a curious manner as if to say “having sex [involuntarily] at that age is a good thing for a male or a female.” That is a problem. Samhita’s article brings up a good point about black [bodies] being “always [a] consenting vessel.” This is seen in Kimmel’s attitude to get answers from Lil Wayne who answered reluctantly. Frankly, I think his questions seemed like they were coming from a stand point of disrespect which invoked Wayne’s surprised as he says “wowww.” Wayne’s body language is proof. Kimmel violated Wayne’s privacy. It reminds me of what Nicholas Brady stated in an article which can be read here: “it is not improper to violate the black. It is in fact the definition of the proper itself.”

Birdman, who Wayne calls Baby is not off the hook, as he had been the one who coerced the young girl to be intimate with Wayne. Both parties, who were children, had no say in the matter. Would she be considered a rapist since she was forced to act upon Lil Wayne involuntarily? Though Lil Wayne seems a little apologetic in the video as he says “it did [hurt him negatively]” in response to Kimmel and that it impacted his adult years, nonetheless, in both videos a ‘goodness’ about rape can be observed.

This creates a major rift in society between men and women and the act of getting raped and being raped, and as a result of both men’s actions, it becomes utterly difficult to highlight the issue of that disdainful act. So how can we “ensure that we maintain these rights” of sexual autonomy for us and others as Stephen J. Schulhofer writes in his article “Taking Sexual Autonomy Seriously?”(274). Lil Wayne, at age eleven, did not willfully enter into the sexual act with the girl who he says was fourteen years old while on Kimmel’s show. The young girl did not willfully enter into the act either. She was forced by Birdman (Baby).

Schulhofer claims that the law does not include sexual autonomy – willful acceptance and rejection of sexual intimacy with another. In the video wherein Wayne speaks toward Twist, the laughing in the background signifies acceptance of his comments which belittles Schulhofer’s request for the needed action of the law to protect sexual liberty. If artists like Wayne whose implications to young people like Twist are to embrace the desire as a boy to be raped while seeming to disregard themselves as a role model to their fans, are they saying to their fans that they should desire being raped? I wonder about that, nonetheless it sounds like that is what he is saying. And though it may not be what he is saying, the fact that he says he “loved it” [being raped] and “never pressed charges” at eleven years old translate to fans that rape is probably enjoyable and perhaps the fans, which include young boys and girls, should set themselves up, either to be raped or to get some sexual experience. Could this be a reason why society “blaims the victim.” Damn. This is just shameful.

Even worse, as I watched the video of Wayne’s bragging, I felt sympathy for the young man. The males, who should be setting a better example for him who were laughing impacted him, thereby and possibly compelling him to feel inadequate because he has no sexual experience. Imagine all the possibilities that could result from that experience and perhaps he could go about things the wrong way in receiving some sexual gratification from another person.

As I reflect on the culmination of the Patternist Series, I thought about the amount of times Butler mentioned ‘rape’ in the series. The one part wherein Butler writes, from the chapter “Present 26” in Clay’s Ark that “There was a twelve-year-old son. Rane had heard that some of the car rats had raped him, too” (595) made me wonder if Butler was trying to emphasize that rape does not only happen to females. Seeing the rape scene of a boy only once made me wonder if she was trying to say that it is not brought to light as much because of the accepting behavior of males like Wayne who it happened to and Kimmel who seemed to wish it upon himself. Either way, it is a problem, and the glorification of it is what is lessening the fact that it is an issue that needs to be addressed.

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