I’ve never really bought the idea that 17-year-old Canadian-born pop star Justin Bieber is just some harmless, happy-go-lucky teen heart-throb. Anyone who saw the near-riot he inspired in Liverpool can attest to this.
His most recent comments about abortion in an interview published by Rolling Stone on February 16, however, crosses a whole new line.
“I really don’t believe in abortion,” Bieber told the music magazine. “It's like killing a baby?”
The article said: “When pressed about abortion when the pregnancy is the result of rape, Bieber says: ‘Um. Well, I think that’s really sad, but everything happens for a reason. I guess I haven’t been in that position, so I wouldn’t be able to judge that.’”
Compared to the shitstorm faced by the Dixie Chicks of the world, Bieber has been subject to precious little criticism in the mainstream media.
Rolling Stone called it a “controversy”, but the fact is that nobody has called him on his comments.
In fact, outside feminist publications and outlets, the criticism has been virtually nil.
Keep in mind that this comes just as the anti-choice crowd has resorted to some truly whacko tactics.
The US state of Ohio is allowing for the calling of an “unborn witness” in its debate on a law that would place further restrictions on reproductive freedom (and no, I’m not making that up)!
State legislatures in both Iowa and Nebraska are debating bills what would call the murder of abortion doctors “justifiable homicide”.
Now, place this in the context of who Bieber is mostly marketed too: young girls.
What he says carries weight in the multi-billion dollar industry of tween marketing — more the doing of his handlers and record label than his own.
It’s a sad state of affairs when more attention is granted to an adolescent male pop star on reproductive freedom than, say, people who actually give a damn about reproductive freedom!
But then, Bieber’s music is directed at the exact demographic that the Catholic groups like to mobilise to picket in front of Planned Parenthood.
Coming after years of chastity rings and abstinence-only sex education, Bieber’s words actually start to sound a bit more dangerous.
Has there ever been a better time for the return of Rock 4 Choice — the pro-choice series of benefit gigs featuring acts such as L7, Joan Jett, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Iggy Pop, that took place in the 1990s?
[Reprinted from Alexander Billet’s blog, Rebelfrequencies.blogspot.com .]