3 years ago1,000+ Views
Rita Ora is a British singer and X-factor judge. With her new album Hot Right Now about to drop Ora has interviewed numerous times, but her interview with The Sun a British tabloid is most noteworthy.
She admits that her first real (and sexual) relationship was when she was 14. The man she was with....26.
And while the interviewer told her that is now considered sexual assault, Ora did not see it that way.
She responds to the interviewer;

"It's child abuse, really, isn't it? I don't want to say that I suffered it, because I wanted it. I don't want to say that I was forced to do it."

And I have to say; there are 3 serious problems in her response.

1. Just because you "wanted it" doesn't stop it from being Rape.

At 14 you aren't even old enough to drink, drive, or be out after 10PM. Please, at that age your parents are still driving you to the movies so while you may have wanted a much older man (like most preteens want One Direction), it doesn't make it okay that a fully grown adult took advantage of your innocence and naïvety.

2. The idea of "wanting it" just adds more fuel to the victim shammers fires.

Victim shammers aka the worst people ever to walk this earth believe that most of the time a rape victim actually wanted it because they either because aroused (the bodies natural reaction to forced trauma to ease the blows), flirted too much, or wore a certain outfit. So using the phrase wanting it, especially when referencing child sexual abuse pushes victims so far backwards in their fight for justice, because as a child, you don't know what you want. So it isn't your fault.

3. You are famous and people look up to you.

Teenagers, children, adults, all listen to your music. They follow you on social media, they LISTEN to you. If you are preaching that at such a young age statutory rape is okay then your fans, some of whom are victims themselves will start to believe that maybe they "wanted it" too, and that is not okay.

A personal note to Rita Ora.

I get it, you might have never thought about your first time, your first love, as sexual abuse. No one wants to be a victim of sexual abuse and coming to terms with even the violent act of rape is difficult so I can not imagine what it must be like to realize a man that you loved sexually assaulted you.
But 14 and 26 is not okay and it is not consent.
You have an obligation to your young fans, many of whom will be victims themselves (unfortunately) to take a minute and educate yourself. Because you promoting that idea of "wanting it" will hurt thousands of girls who don't understand what is happening.

You are beautiful, you are strong, and you can do better.

Every girl out there who needs a better role model.
I honestly don't agree with the perception of Rita's comment. If she had actually said it's okay to do things like that then it would be different. It's her own personal experience and, if she didn't see it as rape, then she didn't. Sure, she was very young at the time, but then explain to me how there are ten- and eleven-year-olds who are out here having sex because they want it and having children just because. Not everyone is considered a victim. An individual is allowed to say that, at the time, it was what they wanted. It doesn't seem like she's condoning behavior like that at all. She simply stated a fact of her past. She didn't view it as rape and that's it. I mean, I understand how it can be seen that it might give victim shammers a case to use as an example but it would be taken out of context. Each individual situation isn't always the same. There may be similarities but that doesn't at all mean that all younger partners want it and it doesn't mean that they all don't want it. Just because she was young and it may seem like she wouldn't have known what she wanted, doesn't mean that it's true. I have a cousin that is eleven and he is honestly one of the most intelligent people I have ever met. He still acts like a kid from time to time, but he knows what he wants and what he likes and the kid is into philosophy and things like that. If someone were to hear him say he wanted a house all for himself, it wouldn't seem all that ridiculous, unless he told you he was serious. No one can judge or assess an individual's wants unless they are in their head.
Wow. I think if that's not how she wants to see her past relationship, it's her right but even if she feels like what happened was okay, I think she could have been more careful about what she was saying. I don't think she intended to say that across the board those kinds of relationships are okay- that's not what it sounds like but I could be mistaken? But of course you're right to point out that she's on a platform. And while it's not really fair that she's there, people are going to hear her words. And there are going to be people out there that are suffering- or inflicting suffering upon others- and not realize that what they're going through is wrong and that the red flags they're seeing are real. Honestly I'm a little appalled that an interviewer asked her about this. What if she'd been really traumatized? Was the interviewer planning on exploiting that? What answer were they looking for here?
@LizArnone The thing is though that it's really society that says whether someone is of age to do something. Personally, there's no way I would have a relationship with someone that's twice my age when I was 14, let alone a sexual relationship. I probably wouldn't even now and I've got less than a year until I'm 23. But as far as the 26 year old goes, we don't know exactly how things went down in their relationship. Who knows why he decided to have a relationship with a girl pretty much half his age? But just because the law says it, doesn't mean it's correct. What seems okay for some people just may not be okay for others. In her case, it wasn't actually rape. Besides, the statutory rape law is all about age and numbers anyway. I'm glad it's there to actually protect rape victims but, if there really is consent, it seems weird to apply it to every situation just because of the age. Ah, thank you. Lol Yeah, I think he will. @shannonl5 Looking at the reporters is definitely a good perspective though. It makes you wonder why they'd even bring it up in the first place. If it's for a story centered around relationships like that or just relationships with interesting circumstances or etc., it would make more sense for that to even been a question. But I wonder why they even thought it was okay to get that intimate with her about her past. I personally don't find relationships like that okay, but I think it really is a matter of circumstance. Who's to say that the guy didn't actually love her even if she was young? Maybe he just really needed a companion of sorts and she was his supporting beam. It really is a matter of who's around the kids. In different stories, sometimes the younger kids aren't even having relations with someone over 18 or 21. It can still be someone their age to even 16 or 17. In situations like that, they're both minors but they still decide they're going to divulge in intercourse and have children together and whatnot. I guess in my opinion, I just feel like sometimes kids don't get as much credit as they're due. Sure, kids are maturing faster and faster as the years go on because of different things in their environment. But, at the end of the day, even if society views something as wrong, it doesn't mean that every case is the same.
@shannonl5 @nicolejb I 100% agree with you guys about what the interviewer said!! Like maybe she didn't think about it before, even tho again yes she might have loved him but as a 26 year old man he should have known better, but being called out publicly as a victim of sexual assault could not have been easy! She deserves a little slack but she also needs to take a moment and think about what's happened. Because even if she wants to continue to believe it wasn't sexual assault she needs another way of explaining it besides "I wanted it".
wow this is powerful to read! thanks for the card. I think in her case though it’s an educational difference. she probably doesn’t understand why this was wrong (and still doesn’t). Especially for victims like this, it was really bad job of the interviewer to have that as a public conversation, because it is exposed to other listeners. like you said, because she is famous she has the ability to influence others. and because she really didn’t understand WHY, it harms others. I would like to hang with Rita and have a personal convo with her. then maybe this wouldn’t happen at her next interview...
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