News outlets and gossip sites alike have thoroughly covered (read: belabored) the Coachella Madonna-gate, reporting and posting comedic spins on 56-year-old Madonna surprising Drake with a prolonged kiss onstage during his set. Because video of the incident shows Drake physically resisting Madonna and looking disgusted by it afterwards, there are hundreds of memes as well. (Drake has since claimed that he was pleasantly “shocked” that he got to “make out” with Madonna.)
In an op-ed on BET.com’s B*Real channel, writer Ayana Byrd challenges the public to stop laughing about this and consider the double standards:
It’s even less funny when you think of how few jokes would have been made if gender and race roles had been reversed in this situation. Imagine if a 50-plus-year-old man kissed a -something woman who didn’t look like they wanted to be kissed. And then imagine that man was Black and the woman was white.
Byrd drives home her point by recalling the heavy response to the Kanye West/Taylor Swift Grammys moment, highlighting the fact that West didn’t make physical contact with Swift, and then placing Swift in Drake’s seat.
Think of how the global response was to act like poor Swift had been abused and bullied by scary Kanye. He never touched her. And she never made a face of disgust that came close to Drake’s horror. And yet there are many who still think he should be apologizing to her, like what he did was a heinous crime. So now imagine if Taylor Swift was tongued down by Snoop onstage and she looked like she wanted to vomit afterwards. What you’d have to imagine next would be Snoop being carted off in handcuffs, because there’s a good chance he’d get charged with something. … Here’s one more thing to imagine: Imagine we can all see past narrow, dangerous ideas of hypersexual male masculinity to recognize that no means no regardless of who is saying it.