*I saw an article the other day about a woman who worked as an ICU nurse. She said she made close to six figures a year – if not more – and made a difference in the lives of her patients. But when she posted photos of herself on Instagram in her spare time she got a lot of ‘likes.’ The sexier her pictures got the more ‘likes’ she got. I guess a lot of people have ‘sexy nurse’ fantasies.
That’s when she decided to start her OnlyFans page where ‘content creators’ post sexually explicit content for people willing to pay to see it. Now that former ICU nurse brings in more than $200k a month. Not a year, but a month through OnlyFans! I don’t know how much it costs to subscribe to OnlyFans, but based on the earnings of the ICU nurse and other stories I’ve heard, a lot of people who claim to be living through hard pandemic times are putting their lustful interests at the top of their priority lists. It’s akin to the oldest profession, I suppose: One person agrees to exploit his/her body in exchange for money from another person who is willing to pay. In this case these people are consenting adults.
Now let’s parallel this to what’s going on with R. Kelly.
Robert Kelly is in the third week of his sex trafficking trial. This is the second time he has stood trial accused of crimes against minors. With testimony from a former manager who confirmed Kelly married singer Aaliyah to cover up his sexual relationship with her when he was 27 and she just 15 at the time – because she might have been pregnant by him – it’s safe to say he has a pattern of victimizing underage girls.
Kelly was found not guilty in his 2008 child porn trial, because jurors claimed they couldn’t be sure it was him in the video having sex with the underage girl when he was well into his 30’s. People who saw the video said it was him. I never saw the video.
While most of us have an opinion about whether R Kelly should be the only person on trial or whether his crew of enablers or even parents of some of these minors should be held accountable for exploiting their children, I want to spotlight the double standards of some people who claim lusting after and the sexual exploitation of grown women is different than lusting after and the sexual exploitation of underage girls. When in fact it’s the same thing, because age ain’t nothing but a number.
Whether a grown woman agrees to be exploited or whether parents put their underage girls who look like women out there to be exploited by people like R.Kelly, the behavior is the same: The value of a female has been reduced to the sum of her parts.
While I’m all for protecting underage children from predatory practices, persecuting and prosecuting people who abuse or allow the abuse of children is no different than paying for a prostitute or frequenting strip clubs or subscribing to somebody’s OnlyFans page or ‘liking’ pics of half-naked people just because they’re half naked. The value of that person still has been reduced to a fantasy.
Every woman should be valued the same as you would want someone to value your mother, your sister, your wife, your daughter, because they are extensions of you.
Steffanie Rivers is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex. Email her at [email protected] with your comments, questions and speaking inquiries. Follow her @TCBStef on Instagram and Twitter.