Standing With Kesha Is A Feminist ActThose who have publicly supported pop star Kesha in her fight against her abusive producer have proven the existence of 4th wave feminism. #FreeKesha

I remember on several occasions while taking Women’s Studies in university, being told: “Really? You’ll never use that degree,” and, “Should you maybe double major, to cover your bases?” It was as if to say women were equal. The battle had been won, and I was a day late and a dollar short. It’s interesting that I never heard these words fall off the lips of women.

Maybe “they” were trying to set me off track. Maybe “they” believed because women weren’t legally property anymore, that we were truly free. I can tell you confidently that feminism is still needed in a big way.

Women are still not close to being equal, because society hates women in a real way. Sorry to lay it on y’all like that, but we need to know where we live.

One of the number one ways women are abused is by economic violence. This is something we are extremely vulnerable to because we earn on average 23.5% less than men. Industries occupied by women are also undervalued and grossly under-compensated. Think retail sector and hospitality. Women occupy the lowest paying jobs in these fields: not because cleaning hotel rooms isn’t as labour intensive as many construction jobs, but because as a society we don’t value women’s labor.

Take data entry.

At the inception of the tech era, data entry was a prestigious and well paying job in the tech industry. As the industry progressed, women were invited to do data entry. Suddenly, data entry was a “mindless job” and only worth minimum wage. Women only get assigned sectors and jobs that men don’t value or don’t want to do. What isn’t valued by men also happens to be poorly paid.

There is an entire task force in the Canadian federal government dedicated to evaluating the true value of labor activities. I spoke with a source this week and was told, “When apples are compared to apples, industries occupied by women come up less every time!” This is a serious cultural problem that runs deep into the fabric of our society.

Affluent women aren’t immune to financial abuse either. Last Friday, the Supreme Court denied singer Kesha a preliminary injunction that would have allowed her to work outside of her unconscionable 10 year contract with Sony records and one time producer Lukasz Gottwald – aka Dr. Luke. The Singer came forward in 2013 with “allegations” that Dr. Luke had been drugging, raping and emotionally abusing her for years.

I use the word allegation in quotations here because of the intense public and media scrutiny Kesha has endured since telling her story, which is a whole other problem in itself. Why do we never believe women? Why does it take more than 50 women coming forward about Bill Cosby to believe the victims? The problem we have in society isn’t women lying about rape. The problem is a society that doesn’t value and protect women. The problem is institutions that serve and protect men to an illogical degree.

Kesha continues to be bound to an employment contract with a man that she says, “I know I cannot work with. I physically cannot. I do not feel safe in any way.” Kesha is being held legally captive. Her entire livelihood and ability to support herself remains controlled by her abuser, who also happens to be heavily protected by Sony’s wallet and the American legal system.

In Kesha’s testimony, she told the court that Dr. Luke had warned her: “If I ever tried to get away from him for any reason, he would tie me up in litigation until my career was over.” What’s most disturbing about the producer’s threat is that he was consciously and arrogantly using his power, male privilege and institutional protection to abuse and manipulate the singer. Still, the court system protects him and Sony backs him.

For now, Dr. Luke gets to continue to exhaust control over Kesha.

He continues to cause her harm, punish her and is protected and supported while doing so. Meanwhile, Kesha’s wellbeing, happiness and resources will continue to erode.

Kesha and other women are not all ‘out to sea’ however. We are in the midst of sisterhood revival! Thanks to young celebrity feminists like Lena Dunham, Demi Lavato, Jennifer Lawrence and Ellen Page, to name a few, public opinion on feminism is beginning to sway, and feminism is being rebranded as chic and exploding in popularity. The masses are “liking” 4th wave feminism in viral numbers.

The evidence: After the decision on Kesha’s injunction was released on Friday night, a social media war was unleashed on Sony. More than 2 million people took to Twitter in an organic social media campaign using the hashtags #FreeKesha and #BoycottSony. While Sony may have won in court, they have certainly lost in the court of public opinion. Not all publicity is good publicity. Several notable musicians have lined up behind Kesha.

Taylor Swift has even shown financial support for Kesha by donating $250,000 to help with her expenses during this time.

While Kesha’s legal battle with Sony continues to “Tik Tok” on, she’s not alone. Women are behind her. And in the words of Kesha, “If you’re one of us, then roll with us.” Stand with Kesha and help end systemic violence towards women.

“Tonight we’re going har har-har ha-ha-hard. Just like the world is our our-our our-our-ours.” – Kesha

Got that boys Sony?!

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