Imagine being 18 years old. You're reasonably slender, you have the blonde good looks popular culture loves, you have sufficient vocal chops to pass for a singer (thanks, autotune!) and a quirky, edgy, but not threatening persona to go along with those things.
And then you meet one of the most astonishingly successful producers on the planet.
And he signs you to a multimillion dollar album deal with Sony.
He's demanding. He doesn't care what your musical sensibilities are. He knows what makes a great song, and he's invested millions of dollars into making sure you deliver what he knows the market wants.
Meet Kesha and Dr. Luke, at the center of a lawsuit surrounding Kesha's career and future with Sony Records. For those not following the story, the tl;dr is that Kesha has accused her producer, Dr. Luke, of raping and abusing her a decade ago, in the hopes of having her contract with Sony voided so she can presumably renegotiate with a different label, or even, quite possibly, renegotiate the deal with Sony.
Her injunction was denied. The deal with Sony stands.
Before we get into the veracity of Kesha's claim, let's consider for a moment the implications for contract law should Kesha have been successful. A negotiated contract, standard for the industry, is overturned based on the unproven, unsupported allegations of the signee. What can go wrong? Don't like your current mobile phone contract? Disappointed with the finance terms you signed on your latest car purchase? Not happy with the terms of your mortgage? Did your business sign a contract to deliver a product at a specificed time and meet specified conditions and now you're thinking the deal ain't that great?
What to do, what to do.
Kesha is asking the courts to agree that contracts with women can be voided the moment she is unhappy with the terms, with no evidence needed.
Just make an allegation of sexual misconduct, assault or rape, and boom – contract dissolved!
What business would ever enter into a contract with a woman if this were the reality? It boggles my mind that Kesha, her supporters and even her detractors do not seem to grasp that she is attempting to return women to pre-1900 conditions in which single women could not legally sign contracts, because they could not be held accountable for the costs incurred. Married women could sign contracts, of course, because their husbands would be liable. I am catching hella flak on Twitter for suggesting that women should not vote, and yet here are women suggesting that women should be ineligible to sign contracts!
This is beyond ridiculous. The effort of women like Kesha to relieve women of all responsibility and accountability are far, far more grievous than my modest proposal that women should not vote unless they are subjected to the draft, and yet no seems to be flinching. For some unfathomable reason, the idea that women should not be troubled with a little thing like contract law appears to trigger no reflection on what a world in which women could not contract for goods or services would look like.
What bank would agree to lend a woman money for anything if she could get out of the contract simply by screaming rape, with no evidence? What car company would sell a car to women unless it was cash on the barrel? What cell phone company would allow a woman to sign a monthly payment plan? Why even do a woman's dry-cleaning unless it was paid for up front? Why deliver pizza when she can answer the door in her pyjamas and threaten to charge the delivery driver with assault? It's like a bad porn come to life, with the roles reversed and a lot of free pizza.
Until companies wise up and understand that women only pay if they want to.
I can't think of a better strategy to limit economic and social opportunities for women than what Kesha is trying to pull off. It's utterly mad.
Let's get back to her allegations: what did Dr. Luke do to her to make Kesha afraid to work with him? Did they have a sexual relationship and what was it like? Well, according to Kesha's own words, no.
Hmm. Well, perhaps she made sexual advances to him? Perhaps under the influence of drugs he gave her, as Kesha claims now. The story was a bit different then:
Okay, so not coke, but maybe something else? Any questions as to why the judge, notwithstanding the above implications of the decision, might have thought Kesha was trying to pull a fast one, using allegations of assault to bolster her case?
Could Kesha be a woman scorned? Dr. Luke, after all, is not known for having a girlfriend and seems in no hurry to wife up. Darn!
Let's keep in mind that Sony gave Kesha the opportunity to work with other producers, although none can really match the efficacy and professional success of Dr. Luke. This was not good enough for Kesha. Sony would promote Dr. Luke and let her work languish, which prompts the question, ‘if Sony did not intend to make money from Kesha albums, why would they sink any money at all into her?" Kesha doesn't understand how business works, clearly, and assumes Sony would eat millions of dollars for what?
That explanation makes absolutely no sense when attempting to explain Sony's motivations, but it makes a whole lot of sense when it comes to explaining Kesha's.
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
Engage your furies, dear. Let them blaze! They will be as ineffectual as your case against Sony.
This is the world men have allowed women to imagine exists: stamp your feet, thrown a tantrum, squeeze out some alligator tears, tell everyone the mean man raped you and expect success. Success, had Kesha earned it, would have thrown women back a century in terms of rights. Women are practically begging to have all their rights revoked. Perhaps that should give men pause.
Listen and believe, gentlemen.
And then maybe give the lady what she wants?