The stolen kiss is an iconic romantic moment, celebrated in literature, films and popular culture. But sexual harassment law and feminist outrage has dictated that it is, when unwelcome—immediately or later—sexual assault serious enough to warrant national shunning, social isolation, media condemnation and a marred career and reputation.
On this week’s premiere of the rebooted “American Idol,” a 19-year-old cashier Benjamin Glaze prefaced his audition by telling the judges that he had never kissed a girl. “I have never been in a relationship and I can’t kiss a girl without being in a relationship,” he said.
Pop singing star Katy Perry beckoned the shy young man. “Come here. Come here right now,” she said.
Perry was using her stardom, her superior status, and the glare of the TV lights to exert power over the young man. This is often the modus operandi of workplace predators.
When Glaze come over to the judges’ table, she thrust her face toward him. making an obvious demand. “On the cheek?” he said. The singer smiled in response. Glaze tentatively touched his lips to her cheek, but Perry complained that it wasn’t sufficient, that he hadn’t even made the “smush sound.” He began to kiss her again on the cheek, but Perry quickly kissed him squarely on the lips. “Katy!” he exclaimed. “You didn’t!” Ms. Perry raised her arms in victory, like she had scored a winning goal.
Remember, Perry once said in a video, “I’m automatically attracted to beautiful…I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.” Oh, I’m sorry, I got confused for a moment. Candidate Donald Trump said that as part of his macho, locker room pig-boast caught on tape, for which he has been assailed by feminists ever since, and called a sexual predator, although he has never been seen on coast-to-coast TV kissing any woman without warning or consent.
OK, now what? That kiss by Perry was sexual assault, and the “Idol” judges were gleeful about it. Glaze didn’t let Perry off the hook, either, by saying he was thrilled. He made it clear that Perry’s kiss was unwelcome. Continue reading