You know, I was going to let this go. But I don’t think I can.
What. The. Fuck?
In case you haven’t seen it yet, Justin Bieber gave an interview to Rolling Stone recently in which he expressed opinions on abortion, abortion in the case of rape, sex before marriage, politics, drugs, greed, success, religion and homosexuality.
To be fair, it’s not all bad. He has some pretty cool things to say. Not very many, but let’s be fair. On homosexuality, “It’s everyone’s decision to do that. It doesn’t affect me and shouldn’t affect anyone else”. Props. On his “power”, he says, “I don’t think of myself as powerful. If anything, my fans are powerful. It’s all in their hands. If they don’t buy my albums, I go away.” (I’m restraining myself from making a snarky comment. Be proud.)
But then there are some absolute humdingers. Like his opinions on abortion. And unwanted pregnancies as a result of rape. And this makes me very, very angry – for two different reasons.
Number one was my immediate reaction. What on god’s earth does this 16-year-old kid even understand about abortion. About the debates surrounding abortion. His response is stock-standard. “I really don’t believe in abortion,” he told the interviewer. “It’s like killing a baby.” Okay, that’s fine. I have my beliefs on abortion, you have yours. But he carried on to put his foot in it when he was asked by the interviewer if abortion after a rape was okay. His answer made my blood boil.
“Um. Well, I think that’s really sad, but everything happens for a reason. I don’t know how that would be a reason. I guess I haven’t been in that position, so I wouldn’t be able to judge that.”
You don’t know how that would be a reason?! Dear, sheltered Justin Bieber. May I point a few things out to you. Number one, “everything happens for a reason” is one of the worst bloody things to say to a victim of any trauma. If you encountered a rape survivor and said to her “It’s okay, everything happens for a reason”, I would hope that she mussed up your ridiculous hair. Secondly, how would rape not be a reason to at least entertain the idea of terminating a pregnancy? The sex was not consensual, so why on earth must the woman then be subjected to the further physical trauma of pregnancy and birth. Gah! It drives me insane! Also, dear Justin, you really haven’t been in that position. And you probably never will be – unless you suddenly reveal your true identity as a 16-year-old girl.
On to number two – and yes, possibly a little in defense of the Biebs. Where on earth was his publicist? His manager? His fricking mom? Anybody to stand up and say, “Hey – don’t you think that question is a little inappropriate for a 16-year-old?” The guy is 16. He doesn’t know anything about anything – especially because he exists in a supremely sheltered environment as a pop superstar. I can understand it from the journalist’s point of view. Definitely from the publication’s point of view. Everybody loves a good sound bite – and some of these are solid gold. The kind of stuff that is going to get this kid lambasted from all corners. As was my first response to the whole thing.
This kid should have a horde of handlers to make sure that what he’s doing is age-appropriate. The interviews he gives, the shoots he poses for, the people he hangs out with. Because yes, for now, he might seem to be okay – but a couple years down the line he could be the next teenage star turned trainwreck. And sad to say, that could be a waste.
I found an article off Popeater where they talk to the interviewer. And it’s interesting to see how she interpreted his comments:
But Grigoriadis, the interviewer, has a different opinion of what Bieber was trying to convey. “I think he meant that God has a plan,” she told PopEater. “Even for the most die-hard Christian, it’s hard to justify rape as part of God’s plan, and harder to justify rape that leads to pregnancy and abortion. I think he was wrestling with that in his answer, which I found to be solid and logical. I think it is being widely misunderstood. He did not say that rape was part of God’s plan.”
In which case, the interviewer had a responsibility to bring that across in her article.
And honestly, as I have said, I don’t think that he should have been asked these questions. But Grigoriadis believes otherwise. “I think that anyone who has as much sway in popular culture as Justin should be asked all questions.” And that, I feel, is the scariest part of all. He has so much sway – why ambush him with opinions he hasn’t even had time to formulate at the age of 16?!