Journalistic Misogyny, Cee Lo, Ecstasy and Date Rape

Photograph: Chris Rank/Polaris

I realize the title implies I am calling TMZ a journalistic entity, but I feel even gossip rags and bloggers should be less lazy about commenting on the facts and possibilities surrounding this situation. When a woman files a police report alleging rape or sexual assault, she has a lot to prove. In the case of accusations against “Cee Lo Green” (whose mother named him Thomas DeCarlo Callaway) the alleged victim is fighting an uphill battle due to information from TMZ (who broke the story) that Cee Lo supposedly admitted in a phone conversation meant to bait him into admitting the crime. MDMA (better known as ecstasy) is reportedly the drug Cee Lo referred to in the conversation, leading people to speculate it must have been the only alleged drug used by either party that night.

Now, additional reports are surfacing, claiming Green had a “long history” with the alleged victim who was reportedly interested in obtaining expensive gifts. Although TMZ reports the two met in February of this year (9 months ago), Daniel Levine of thecelebritycafe.com claims this “long history” included long-distance dating for a year and a half (twice the amount of time TMZ reports they knew each other).

I (like everyone else reading about this situation) have no idea what actually happened, but I do know bad, misogynistic assumptions due to terrible “reporting” when I read them. I also know that media outlets and blogs are not capable of acting as crime experts, detectives, judges or even a jury. Each and every article I have read about the possibility of an assault in this case states that illegal drug MDMA does not normally cause black-outs or losing consciousness as a “side-effect.”

Let’s review some of what should be common sense facts for those reporting on this situation:

1) If this woman called Cee Lo (after filing a police report, and on the behest of the police) and he mentioned MDMA, it doesn’t necessarily mean that was the only drug (besides alcohol, who Notre Dame names the most popular date rape drug on college campuses) in play that night. He could have given her a cocktail with MDMA and something else to help make the night even more exciting. Maybe there was no ecstasy involved at all, and that was just a story Green used to sound more innocent than he is (to think, the man in the situation could actually be lying!).

2) A quick Google search for “ecstasy and date rape” let’s the curious online student of sexual violence know that MDMA is quite popular when it comes to designer drugs and sexual assault. Perhaps the date rapers know something from experience the scientists do not.

3) Illegal drugs are not regulated – there is no “regular” way illegal batches of ecstasy affect human brains. To say MDMA does not “generally render people unconscious” (as TMZ did when they broke the story) in a case where alleged sexual assault occurred is irresponsible and quite frankly, disgusting. Like most illegal drugs and substances that affect the brain, ecstasy affects each person differently.

4) Fainting is a known “side effect” of MDMA.

5) Memory loss is a known “side effect” of MDMA. AskMen.com warns that large doses can cause “dissociation in vulnerable individuals” due to the brain reacting to an increase in stimulation caused by the drug. Trauma expert Belleruth Naparstek explains that dissociation, especially during a traumatic event, can lead to memory loss of an entire event,
But there are forms of dissociation, especially during times of extreme threat to life and limb, where a person drops into a classic, mammalian, survival-based, freeze state, and all memory of the event is gone, because they were barely “there” at the time.”

6) TMZ’s report from today alleges the singer meeting his out-of-town accuser in February of this year constitutes them having a “long history” which they paint as cutting against the credibility of her sexual assault allegations. The between-the-lines assumption by the misogynist media is that this woman, because she knew her famous accuser for more than one night, is a money-obsessed whore who potentially had sex with Cee Lo in the past and could not have been sexually assaulted in July because of it. Less than a year of knowing a person who you are not exclusively dating and does not live in your state equals a “long history” now? Is TMZ using Kim Kardashian’s marriage as the litmus of what constitutes a long relationship? Perhaps TMZ is asserting wives also can’t get raped during their marriages because of this “long history.” Are first dates the only dates eligible for sexual violence now?

I will end by summing things up in easy to understand questions and answers:
*Did a woman file a police report against the man best known as Cee Lo Green for sexual assault?
– Yes.
*Is it possible the illegal drug MDMA, better known as ecstasy was involved the night in question?
– Yes.
*Is it possible other drugs (besides alcohol) were involved the night in question? – Yes.
*Is it possible MDMA helped cause the accuser memory loss and dissociation about the night in question? – Yes.
*Is it possible alcohol helped cause the accuser memory loss, a black out and/or a loss in consciousness during the night in question? – Yes.
*Is it possible the woman is lying about the sexual assault she filed a police report about? – Yes.
*Is it possible Cee Lo is lying about the sexual assault he is accused of? – Yes.
*Is it possible people using journalistic misogyny are painting the alleged victim as a gold-digging slut (as usual) in the court of public opinion, and by doing so are delegitimizing all police reports claiming sexual violence involving people who knew each other before the alleged assault? – Yes.

These accusations make The Lady Killer as a concept seem much more sketchy.

with love,
Lady T

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