Why Demi Lovato's inspiring defense of Kesha matters for all survivors.

This past weekend, Demi Lovato had a lot to get off her chest when it comes to sexist double standards.

Few realities illustrate this double standard more than our tendency to doubt — and sometimes actually blame — sexual assault survivors when they come forward (because, you know, a woman's short skirt proves she was "asking for it," right?).

And Demi Lovato has had enough.


Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for iHeartMedia.

Lovato took to Twitter to speak out in defense of fellow singer Kesha, who's ensnared in some heartbreaking legal drama.

In 2014, Kesha filed a suit against Dr. Luke, who runs the record label she's signed with, Kemosabe Records. Kesha alleges that Dr. Luke drugged her, raped her, and emotionally abused her throughout their decade-long professional relationship. (Despicable stuff, to say the least.) The case is pending.

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images.

But on Friday, Kesha left a New York City courtroom in tears after a judge denied a request that would have allowed her to record songs and continue earning a living from her music outside of her contract until the case is finalized. To be clear, Kesha is still able to work with different producers on the label other than Dr. Luke, but she believes her music won't be promoted or prioritized by Sony (who owns Kemosabe Records) if she did so.

To say Kesha's between a rock and a hard place is quite the understatement: In order to keep her career intact, she's being forced to work on her alleged abuser's label, of which she's currently contractually attached to for another six albums.

This is what Lovato had to say about that:










Lovato touches on several great points in her tweets, especially when she mentions that survivors are "shot down" and "disrespected" far too often.

There's a societal knee-jerk reaction to question the honesty of a survivor when they come forward. This mistrust is "one of the biggest barriers sexual assault survivors face" when trying to seek justice, as activist vlogger Laci Green points out in one of her videos.

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

Take the reaction to the accusations against Bill Cosby: Even after 35 women say he sexually assaulted them, many fans (including a handful of sympathetic celebrities) have become hellbent on proving he's the victim or have downplayed the survivors' claims. We see survivors being "shot down" time and time again.

Add on that sexual assault survivors face stigma (which may make them hesitant to seek justice) and the restrictive nature of statute of limitation laws (which stop survivors from coming forward if too much time has passed), and it's no wonder only about 2% of rapists spend time behind bars, according to a study by RAINN.

Kesha's situation — which involves a man with a lot of money, power, and influence (as do many cases of rape and sexual assault) — complicates the singer's difficult battle even more so. And keep in mind, she's not even seeking justice for the alleged abuse — she simply doesn't want to work with him any longer.

It's great that Lovato is using her platform as a celebrity to speak out on a story and subject that needs more attention.

And the good news is we can all use our voices and (much smaller) platforms too.

After news spread that Kesha's latest request had been denied, the hashtag #FreeKesha stormed the Internet in support of the pop star. Many celebrities, including Lady Gaga, Kelly Clarkson, and Lorde, expressed solidarity with the singer.


To join the cause, post or tweet using the #FreeKesha hashtag. After all, your words might be seen by someone out there (friend or stranger) who should know you care too.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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Yesterday I was perusing comments on an Upworthy article about Joe Biden comforting the son of a Parkland shooting victim and immediately had flashbacks to the lead-up of the 2016 election. In describing former vice President Biden, some commenters were using the words "criminal," "corrupt," and "pedophile—exactly the same words people used to describe Hillary Clinton in 2016.

I remember being baffled so many people were so convinced of Clinton's evil schemes that they genuinely saw the documented serial liar and cheat that she was running against as the lesser of two evils. I mean, sure, if you believe that a career politician had spent years being paid off by powerful people and was trafficking children to suck their blood in her free time, just about anything looks like a better alternative.

But none of that was true.

It's been four years and Hillary Clinton has been found guilty of exactly none of the criminal activity she was being accused of. Trump spent every campaign rally leading chants of "Lock her up!" under the guise that she was going to go to jail after the election. He's been president for nearly four years now, and where is Clinton? Not in jail—she's comfy at home, occasionally trolling Trump on Twitter and doing podcasts.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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Racist jokes are one of the more frustrating manifestations of racism. Jokes in general are meant to be a shared experience, a connection over a mutual sense of humor, a rush of feel-good chemicals that bond us to those around us through laughter.

So when you mix jokes with racism, the result is that racism becomes something light and fun, as opposed to the horrendous bane that it really is.

The harm done with racist humor isn't just the emotional hurt they can cause. When a group of white people shares jokes at the expense of a marginalized or oppressed racial group, the power of white supremacy is actually reinforced—not only because of the "punching down" nature of such humor, but because of the group dynamics that work in favor of maintaining the status quo.

British author and motivational speaker Paul Scanlon shared a story about interrupting a racist joke at a table of white people at an event in the U.S, and the lessons he drew from it illustrate this idea beautifully. Watch:

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With the election quickly approaching, the importance of voting and sending in your ballot on time is essential. But there is another way you can vote everyday - by being intentional with each dollar you spend. Support companies and products that uphold your values and help create a more sustainable world. An easy move is swapping out everyday items that are often thrown away after one use or improperly disposed of.

Package Free Shop has created products to help fight climate change one cotton swab at a time! Founded by Lauren Singer, otherwise known as, "the girl with the jar" (she initially went viral for fitting 8 years of all of the waste she's created in one mason jar). Package Free is an ecosystem of brands on a mission to make the world less trashy.

Here are eight of our favorite everyday swaps:

1. Friendsheep Dryer Balls - Replace traditional dryer sheets with these dryer balls that are made without chemicals and conserve energy. Not only do these also reduce dry time by 20% but they're so cute and come in an assortment of patterns!

Package Free Shop

2. Last Swab - Replacement for single use plastic cotton swabs. Nearly 25.5 billion single use swabs are produced and discarded every year in the U.S., but not this one. It lasts up to 1,000 uses as it's able to be cleaned with soap and water. It also comes in a biodegradable, corn based case so you can use it on the go!

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