Did you hear about Madonna kissing Drake on stage at Coachella last weekend? In case you missed it, click here. At first, it wasn’t entirely clear whether or not the kiss was staged. Drake looked pretty shocked afterward, and he exclaimed, “What the **** just happened?”
As usual, the internet had mixed reactions. Some people thought it was funny. But a few people – including those of us here at loveisrespect – are seeing it from a different angle, and it’s not really funny at all.
What Madonna did was pretty unacceptable behavior. Think we’re being too dramatic? Look at it this way: if a male artist had done that to, say, Taylor Swift, how do you think people would react? This incident really brings to light some of our cultural myths about gender and sexuality. These myths tell us that men always want sex, and therefore any and all sexual activity is always welcome and enjoyed. They tell us that men can’t be assaulted or abused, especially by women.
But that’s just not true.
Drake has since claimed that he’s totally cool with what happened, although according to TMZ, the kiss wasn’t pre-planned. He certainly has a right to his feelings, but what would his alternatives be? What would be the reaction if he admitted that he wasn’t into it and that it shocked and upset him? It’s very likely that people would tell him to “man up” and stop complaining, to just deal with it and move on.
These are the very issues that many male victims of sexual assault and abuse face. When a male victim steps forward, he often isn’t believed, or he’s dismissed, or people treat his abuse like a joke. Did you know that the FBI didn’t add male victims to their definition of rape until 2012? That was only three years ago. No wonder rape and abuse are severely underreported, particularly for males.
Here at loveisrespect, we know that abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, race, age or background. It’s never okay for someone to try to kiss, touch or otherwise violate someone else without their consent. If you have questions about what’s healthy and not healthy behavior, or if you have experienced abuse, we are here to help. Give us a call, chat online or text with us any time, 24/7.
- RAINN provides support to all sexual assault victims, including males.