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Perry Vs Papon: A Lesson On Sexual Opportunism & Harassment

Perry Vs Papon: A Lesson On Sexual Opportunism & Harassment

Some time, in the beginning of March, Indian musician, Papon came under fire for kissing a minor contestant of a singing reality TV show, on the mouth. The incident which caused a nationwide uproar saw people take two sides – for the singer; against the singer. In fact, the girl’s parents even issued a statement defending Papon’s actions, calling it a moment of parental affection by a mentor and father figure. 



Cut to the present – or rather, an incident which occured back in October 2017, on the sets of American Idol, but has just been aired on television – Hollywood Pop singer, Katy Perry kissed a 19-year-old contestant on American Idol, completely unawares in a rather apalling way.

Here’s the breakdown of the incident: 

19-year-old Benjamin Glaze came on stage to audition in front of the judges of the American reality TV show so as too win a ticket into the show. Before his performance, though, fellow judge Luke Bryan jests with the teenage boy, asking if he had ever “kissed a girl and liked it”. For those of you who don’t know, this was a subtle nod to Perry’s hit song, ‘I Kissed A Girl And I Liked It’. To Bryan’s rather uncalled for humour, Glaze responded, saying, “I have never been in a relationship and I can’t kiss a girl without being in a relationship.” Seems legit so far. 

But, to this, Perry responded by asking Glaze to come over to her seat for a kiss. The contestant, nervously left a peck on her cheek following which, the singer kissed him on the lips, much to his surprise. Glaze sure did not see this coming. He stumbled back to the stage area; but, not before tripping up and falling to the ground, requesting for some water before he went on to deliver a rather subdued performance which did not earn him a ticket into the show. 

Here’s where our gripe lies… 

If the roles were reversed – if Glaze were a girl, and Katy a man – and this incident had transpired between the two, instantly, it would have led to charges of sexual harrasment. Case in point: what happened with Papon. 

No, I’m not taking sides here. What I am doing is proving a point. Why are the rules of society different for men and women? If men are to be subjected to sexual harassment for expressing their physical affections, why isn’t the same to be applied to women? Here, we have to acknowledge the role of sexual opportunism

What Is Sexual Oppoprtunism? 

According to Wikipedia, it is defined as “the pursuit of sexual opportunities to take advantage of certain situations.” The Collins Dictionary talks about opportunism as “the practice of adapting your actions, responses, etc. to take advantage of opportunities, circumstances, etc.”

Perry’s ‘display of affection’ was what the dictionary calls sexual opportunism; using her fame, stature and elevated designation in the show – as a judge – to make a sexual pass on a teenage boy; worse, without consent. The point is simple. We’re not sitting here to yelp, ‘Oh no, he/she didn’t!’ It’s so that we can use our sense of awareness to actually educate ourselves of our own privileged standpoints and the state of oblivion we’re constantly wrapped up in.

We’re so engulfed in fighting, loudly and proudly, about safeguarding women, that we often tend to forget that there are men out there too. They are struggling to win the same battle. But, just because “he’s a man” and “she’s a woman”, we’re focussing our attentions on one side, while ignoring the other. 

Where’s the gender equality in that?

Image Courtesy: YouTube

16 Mar 2018

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