Lady Gaga Finds Surprising Ally in Her Fight Against Campus Sexual Assault

lady gagaLady Gaga just performed another duet with an older man. But this time it wasn't with Tony Bennett. In fact, as far as we know, her partner can't even sing. And their performance isn't exactly a chart topper, though it is making headlines. Lady Gaga joined New York Governor Cuomo to pen an editorial for Billboard magazine.

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The unlikely duo is stumping for the "Enough Is Enough" bill, legislation that could help fight on-campus sexual assault. Does that seem random -- coming from Gaga? 

It turns out Lady Gaga is a survivor of sexual assault herself, as she revealed in December to Howard Stern. She was just 19 when a record producer 20 years her senior raped her. So even though the incident did not take place on a campus, this bill is an excruciatingly personal issue for her.

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If the bill is passed, there will be a clear, statewide definition of affirmative consent, students reporting incidents of sexual assault will be granted immunity from campus policy violations (like underage drinking), and campuses will be required to distribute a bill of rights to students informing them of their legal rights and resources.

This last point is especially important because too many times universities try to keep rape incidents on the DL, telling student they'll deal with it internally, and discouraging victims from seeking help (from the police and legal system) outside of campus. It's like campus rape is just practice rape, where perpetrators are less accountable.

Having Lady Gaga's endorsement of the "Enough is Enough" bill is a big deal. Her fans are intensely loyal, and many of them are college aged. Her personal stake in the issue of sexual assault gives her greater credibility, too. Hopefully her voice will inspire us all to support more bills that help prevent and prosecute campus rapes everywhere, not just in New York State.

Are you surprised to see Lady Gaga supporting a bill?

 

Image via ISINC / Splash News

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