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.