Nearly a month ago twitter and hip-hop blogs were flooded with the news that rapper Danny Brown received head from one of his fans right in the middle of his performance in Minneapolis. Everyone from Kitty Pryde, his opening act, to the Huffington Post had something to say about the incident. Everyone, of course, but the rap artist himself (and I will get back to that a little later).
What has surfaced from the incident that Pryde says everyone on tour refers to as “the thing” is a much needed talk on sexual assault, consent, masculinity, and race. In the midst of a performance you have a white woman performing oral sex on a black man in front of about 700 people. At face value, what does that mean to you?
First, let’s get a clear understanding what sexual assault is. Under Michigan law there are four degrees of Criminal Sexual Conduct which covers a range of sexual acts and includes different levels of force. Not only is the CSC gender neutral (so it applies to both men and women) but it also doesn’t use survivor resistance as factor (which is important when taking about what happened with Brown as he didn’t resist – probably due to the fact that it was in front of a large part of his fan base).
From media sources (click here, here, and here) the act of this female fan happened so fast during Brown’s performance that there is no way that he could have agreed with the act. More questions have been raised about the way in which he responded to her putting his dick into her month. One source said he placed his hand on her hand (I guess helping her out), others say he backed away. Honestly, I don’t know if anyone really knows that happened, but it’s clear that given the environment, there is no way he could have given this girl clear consent.
Masculinity & Race
This situation of assault goes against anything that we are “normally” used to in American culture, let me explain. With white women always stereotyped as innocent and black men as hypersexualized, overly aggressive, with huge penises, it is uncomfortable for us to even begin to think that a black man can be assaulted by a white woman. Is this troubling? Yes, it is. By law sexual assault in gender neutral, but it seems as though society has constructed both a racial and gendered understanding of what it means to sexually assaulted. As a result it does not allow Danny Brown, a black male rapper to be a victim of sexual assault. People speculate that the reason as to why he has not said anything about the assault other than the tweet he posted is because it is a threat to both his masculinity and reputation as a rapper.
What do you think?
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