Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Bowie Problem

If you read feminist or activist sites, it's probably popped up on your newsfeed that Bowie was a rapist. Ignoring the opportunistic certainity of a lot of these think pieces, understanding that your heroes are not always wonderful people is a sign of being a grown-up. Ladies, especially those of you who call yourself feminists, look at your iPhone, your Ipod, your vinyl collection, what have you. I'm pretty sure you've got a few rapists there. What are you supposed to do with that information? Frankly, I'd rather not perform ideological purity tests on myself and purge my iPod of everything gross, wrong, or illegal. I think I'd be left with a single LeTigre song and a Beyonce cover. But back to Bowie.

Dear Coquette wrote a lengthy piece on Bowie's past sins and why we need to consider context when talking about them. This is what gets lost in the black-and-white thinking that permeates the social justice and feminist blog world. For all the talk of centering victims' narratives, many refuse to center a woman's right not to label herself a victim. The woman in question, though underage at the time, says it was consensual, and while falling under the legal definition of statutory rape, she gets to define her own experience however she sees fit.