Celebrate #InternationalWomensDay All Weekend Long! Tune In to Episode Two
“Topics of misogynoir, toxic masculinity, whenever those conversations come up in this space, it’s usually met with a lot of vitriol. My co-founder Oronike and I have really experienced some disgusting backlash over this.” - Kenyette Barnes
This International Women’s Day, we’re launching episode two of Intersectionality Matters with Kimbelé Crenshaw!: "I Believe I Can Lie, R. Kelly (Still) in Denial" to celebrate Black women like Kenyette Barnes, Oronike Odeleye, dream hampton, Tarana Burke, and countless others who have forged new platforms for survivors of sexual violence to resist against adultification, false narratives, and cycles of abuse that relegate Black women and girls to the margins and subject them to untold violence.
On this timely and trenchant episode of Intersectionality Matters, host Kimberlé Crenshaw (@sandylocks) dives deep with #MuteRKelly co-founder Kenyette Barnes (@legisempress) to rupture the rhythm Kelly has used to give Black women and girls the blues for decades.
R. Kelly’s serial abuse of Black women and girls has been one of the entertainment industry’s worst-kept secrets for the entirety of the 21st century. In the mid 90s, Kelly was romantically linked with and even briefly married to 15-year-old singer Aaliyah, for whom he wrote and produced the incriminatory hit “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number.” An explicit bootleg tape which appeared to feature Kelly abusing yet another teenage girl circulated on street corners as early as 2001. In 2017, a Buzzfeed exposé alleged that the man who famously crooned “I’m a bad man / And I’m not ashamed of it” held several women captive in his home in a cult-like harem. Yet it took the convergence of the #MuteRKelly movement, the January 2019 release of documentary Surviving R. Kelly and popular culture’s broader reckoning with the pattern of sexual violence perpetrated by powerful men for the self-proclaimed Pied Piper of R&B to face consequences for orchestrating his salacious symphony. At long last, Kelly has now been charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four women, three of whom were minors at the time.
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