R Kelly’s announcement to tour NZ – White Ribbon comments

R. Kelly will tour Australia and NZ next year. Picture: AFP / Getty

The death and vigils for Grace Millane gave New Zealand an opportunity to do more than mourn for Grace and the 14 New Zealand women killed by men this year. We have a chance to put these feelings of horror to a practical use.

White Ribbon’s Manager is asking people to think about the media they are watching and using.

“White Ribbon is asking men who are not violent to get involved in violence prevention,” says Mr McCann. “To make getting involved easy, we have created eight actions which support Respectful Relationships (which is a prevention against violence) and that get people off the side-lines and active.”

“When people take the online White Ribbon Pledge to stand up, speak out and act against men’s violence towards women, they are asked to choose an action. In the case of R Kelly we would ask that people think about the media they use and that includes the music we listen to.

“Is it sending all the wrong signals? Does it treat women like objects? Is it sexist?

“We would ask people to consider what signal they want to send to their friends and colleagues and children. Do you want to listen to a man that has multiple accusations of harrowing sexual, mental and physical abuse brought against him?

“It’s a personal choice, but if it were me, I would not go. I would not want my sons to think that I believe the alleged behaviour of R Kelly is ok.

“The time for vigils is drawing to an end. Now it’s time for action.”

White Ribbon wants to make a difference by getting people actively involved in violence prevention by taking the online pledge at www.whiteribbon.org.nz and choosing one of eight actions.

 

  1. Listening and believing women.
  2. Reflecting on and changing their behaviour.
  3. Disrupting other men’s violence towards women.
  4. Treating women as equals.
  5. Choose how to be a man and how I will act.
  6. Talk to a young man about breaking out of the Man Box.
  7. Think about what they watch and the media they use.
  8. Talk with young men about respectful relationships and pornography.

 

These actions all support Respectful Relationships (which is a protection against violence) and get people actively involved in preventing men’s violence towards women.

Each action is linked to videos which may be copied or shared.

 

Notes from The Courier Mail

While Kelly was R&B royalty in the 1990s, in recent years he’s become embroiled in a series of sex scandals.

The singer dropped a 19-minute single titled I Admit in July to “set the record straight” on multiple allegations of sexual misconduct he has been facing for years.

In the song, Kelly admitted that he’d “made some mistakes” but said he did not abuse or sexually assault women. R. Kelly has been accused by multiple women of running a “sex cult,” brainwashing and sexually abusing women, including some teenagers.

He has repeatedly denied the claims.

In May, a woman named Faith Rodgers alleged the I Believe I Can Fly singer “mentally, sexually and verbally” abused her during a roughly year-long relationship, according to a civil claim.

She alleged Kelly sexually abused and demeaned her, locked her in rooms and vehicles for punishment and infected her with herpes.

A three-part docuseries about the singer, Surviving R. Kelly, will air on US television in January, just a month before Kelly’s Australian tour. The series will give voice to many of Kelly’s alleged victims, who are set to detail harrowing accusations of sexual, mental and physical abuse against him.

contact@whiteribbon.org.nz