Don't know if y'all have been keeping up with the latest news in the rap music industry, but there's a buzz around this particular story. Akon, an artist whose recent hit "Sweet Escape" with Gwen Stefani has earned him much popularity, gained a lot of negative attention when he pulled a 14-year-old girl onstage in a Trinidad nightclub and began "grinding," i.e., dirty dancing, in a more-than suggestive way. (Read the full story here. Disclaimer: explicit content.)
The teenager involved (who according to CNN is the daughter of a minister) was very provocatively dressed on the night of the incident. I have to admit, having seen video footage, I would not believe at first glance that she be any less than 18. That, I admit, ties into how quickly adolescent girls are maturing (uh, physically not mentally).
So, where does blame lie?..
...On the musician/performer? He was unaware of her being a minor at the time. Regardless of his dance "partner's" age, is the style appropriate?
...On the 14-year-old? First, her attire has the effect of attracting sexual attention - likely what she was going for while she was composing an ensemble from her bedroom closet earlier in the evening. Second, there is question as to her participation in dancing with Akon. Some (including her family) claim she was trying to break away from the man; others insist she looked awfully comfortable complying.
...On her parents? To my understanding, they were extremely upset by the entire debacle, asking for an apology from Akon. Are parents in total charge of what their teenagers wear when leaving the house? If so, at what age is there a cut-off from such authority? And for those of you making the argument that "the problem started a long time ago, years before this young woman even had a choice of dress," what IS the root of that problem? And what can we as "society at large" do about it?
...On "society at large?" There are pressures on young men and women to (a) dress certain ways, (b) listen to certain music, (c) react to social situations in certain ways. How can we positively influence these habits, and at what point is it out of our hands?
And a final note: how should Akon be reprimanded, if at all, and by whom?