• Kesha, sexual assault, and media coverage : a feminist discourse analysis

      Welcher, Jessica Gerlach
      In 2014, pop singer Kesha filed a lawsuit against her long-time music producer Dr. Luke. In it were allegations of sexual assault, forced drug use, and emotional abuse. What followed was extensive mass media coverage from a variety of publication outlets. Kesha's story was desirable for numerous reasons including the drama of assault, the celebrity status of both parties, and the legal ramifications of her contract. A feminist critical discourse analysis was applied to media coverage of the case. Three themes of sexual assault were identified: (1) femininity as weakness. (2) masculinity as power, and (3) failed resistance to patriarchy. Through exploration of these themes in both language and imagery, this thesis highlights the reinforcement of harmful sexual assault tropes and patriarchal standards continually perpetuated by media and popular culture, creating hostile environments for sexual assault victims to disclose information.