What’s Current: R. Kelly groomed a 14-year-old girl as his ‘pet’

What’s Current is Feminist Current’s daily news roundup.

  • In a new BBC3 documentary, R Kelly: Sex, Girls and Videotapes, R. Kelly’s former girlfriend, Kitti Jones, accuses the artist of abuse and of grooming her as his “pet,” beginning at 14-years-old.
  • Detective Constable Jim Fisher, formerly of the VPD’s Counter-Exploitation Unit, pleads guilty to three sexual offences, two involving a minor.
  • Liberals push to legalize surrogacy for profit. The Chair of the Women’s Caucus claims that limits on paid surrogacy “criminalize women’s bodies.”
  • Women to protest acquittals of all four Ireland rugby internationals accused of rape.
  • Police are looking for other potential victims after a kidnapping and sexual assault in London, ON.
Jess Martin
Jess Martin

Jess Martin is a public relations professional, an aspiring writer, and an assistant editor at Feminist Current. She prefers to write about feminist topics, disability, or environmental issues, but could be persuaded to broaden her horizons in exchange for payment and/or food. In her spare time Jess can be found knitting, gardening, or lying in the fetal position, mulling over political theory that no one in their right mind cares about.

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  • Re surrogacy: if women’s bodies are a commodity then restrictions on access to this commodity is regarded as criminal.

    Women, as a class, are not commodities despite choosey choice feminism.

    Surrogacy is just human farming and perpetuates the idea that everyone has a right to become a parent through whatever means necessary…even if it means putting another woman’s life in danger (pregnancy/childbirth and ivf are not without risk).

    • Kathleen Lowrey

      I am so tired of this argument working. Do limits on child labour criminalize children’s bodies? Do speed limits criminalize Fast and Furious fan bodies? Just watching somebody spout nonsense that wouldn’t pass a high school debate class and somehow it *works* on so many listeners.

      As you rightly point out the information that listeners are supplying is that surrogacy expands the bodily capacities of wealthy men and women who feel that they have a “right” to parenthood. Many listeners agree, apparently.

  • fragglerock

    Putting limits on paid surrogacy criminalizes women’s bodies?????
    I don’t even know where to start.
    Why am I not surprised that the DUDE who’s pushing this is named Housefather?! Ridiculous. Housefather says putting limits on paid surrogacy is paternalistic and women are “competent enough” to make their own decisions. Oh please! Don’t fall for it ladies! This is a classic manipulation tactic! This type of “decision” has NOTHING to do with competence and everything to do with control. PAYING to rent out some poor woman’s womb as if she’s a flippin baby factory is controlling as hell! Listen to the ethicists–not some d-bag named Housefather! Paid surrogacy is exploitation of women!

  • therealcie

    Man with money and power + society’s disregard for maltreatment of women and girls = why R. Kelly is still roaming free and making money.

    • FierceMild

      It is situations like the R Kelly one that illustrate to me how willing men are to cross any divide – including racism – to band together against women.

  • Laura P.

    If surrogacy is so okay, why can’t anyone explain what it has to do with reproductive autonomy or, more generally, with womyn’s right to make choices over their own bodies?

  • Kathleen Lowrey

    Tells you everything you need to know about the Liberal “Women’s Caucus”, as if Bill C-16 didn’t already. The NDP is doing its usual duck and cover in response.

  • R. Kelly (of Bump n’ Grind fame) would make the Marquis de Sade proud. Decades of sadistic sexual abuse, and sickening brainwashing of countless teenage girls too extreme for words, and all he has to say (via his lawyer) to his accusers and broken victims is “I will work diligently and forcibly to pursue his accusers and clear his name”.

  • rosearan

    The outcome of the Belfast rape trial beggars belief. The ‘accused’ – i.e. the rape victim, not the perpetrators – was subjected to 8 days of cross-examination. EIGHT DAYS! surely this is a violation of anyone’s human rights.

    The trial lasted nine weeks and yet the jury took only 3 hours and 45 minutes to reach a verdict. How can a jury possibly reach a verdict in this time period after a nine-week trial? Did they even bother to look at the nine weeks of trial transcripts? Were they even listening during the trial, or were they simply besotted with the idea that Rugby stars are beyond the realm of mere mortals? So exhalted is their canonised status that Rugby stars should not even be issued with a parking ticket.

    This sham of a trial stinks to high heaven. Read this account from the Irish Times:
    Inside Court 12: the complete story of the Belfast rape trial: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/inside-court-12-the-complete-story-of-the-belfast-rape-trial-1.3443620

    The victim was so obviously telling the truth. The jury should now be put on trial for subverting the course of justice. Hopefully, the massive ‘Ibelieveher’ rallies in Belfast, Dublin and even the UK and US may at least convict the perpetrators in the court of public opinion. Until the legal system catches up, that’s the only court we have to rely on.