Are you ready for another round of Heroes and Zeros? Our hero this week is an artist who doesn’t tolerate sexual misconduct at his concerts. The loser is People Magazine and their choice of Blake Shelton as 2017 Sexiest Man Alive.
Hero – Drake
I have a love/hate relationship with the OVO artist. I think Drake is incredibly talented as well as arrogant and he makes decent (some might say really good) music. He is no stranger to being around beautiful women nor is he quiet about how much he loves beautiful women. I have, nonetheless, yet to hear accusations of any kind of sexual misconduct brought against him. In fact, he is this week’s hero because of a clip that shows him stopping a recent concert to address a guy who was groping a woman who clearly did not appreciate his advances.
I am here for this. More men have got to start standing up and saying something when they see sexual harassment and misconduct. Yes, he is famous and rich and can do what he wants, which means he could have said nothing. Drake could have chopped it up to boys being boys, having a good time. But he didn’t. He told the man,
“Yo, stop that shit,” Drake told the man. “If you don’t stop touching girls, I’m gonna come out there and fuck you up.”
I cannot put into words how much this positively affects the whole movement against rape culture. Just like racism, I cannot and will not stop talking about it. There may be folks who deny rape culture (just like they deny racism) but I have seen the effects of sexual assault on too many people to shut up about it. Men are powerful. They run the world, and they have the influence to direct the conversations we are having about the hottest topics in the news. Drake addressing the man in his audience is the kind of action that is going to lead to change. Doing nothing and turning a blind eye is one of the reasons rape culture exists. Everything that has happened with the Hollywood sexual misconduct scandals is a turning point in the quest to end rape culture and those of us who have the means to affect change have got to seize the moment.
I may not agree with Drake on everything he’s about or does, but when it comes to defending women against possible sexual assault, that’s a hero move in my book.
Zero – People Magazine, Blake Shelton
Everyone has been saying it so here it goes, what the hell is wrong with People Magazine? They recently crowned Blake Shelton the sexiest man alive for 2017, and while I am sure that the country singer is a doll, they got is so wrong. They are zeros for their choice. Period.
I love country music just as much as the next person, but when I look at Shelton, I don’t see sex symbol. There are, however, other men who come to mind and it is really getting old seeing nothing but white men as the measure of male masculinity in the media. It goes without saying that there are scores of other men of color to choose from that the magazine should have given the top spot. There is no other way to put it. In the last twenty years, not only have the faces of People’s Sexiest Man Alive been mostly white men, some of them have been awarded twice.
You mean to tell me, People Magazine, that there are no men of color who are worthy of that honor? I can name a few just off the top of head: Idris Elba (duh), Daniel Dae Kim, Kofi Siriboe, Riz Ahmed, Anthony Mackie, Benicio Del Toro, Michael Ealy, William Levy, Adam Rodriguez, Mark Consuelos, and the list goes on. All of these men have pretty great careers and have recent projects. I don’t get why it is so hard to realize that there is a slew of other types of men that can easily fit the bill.
Shelton is a sweet guy, I’m assuming, but as far as sex appeal goes to be acknowledged on a global scale, he ain’t got it. But People’s ability to choose him and give him the coveted title, which the likes of George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Dwayne Johnson have all held, is a reminder that the fight for diversity has to be fought on all fronts.
For making a confusing choice this time around and seeming to overlook the fact that men of color are sexy as hell yet another year, People Magazine is a zero.