Those two words have formed a prevalent phrase in pop culture, as more rape and abuse allegations have sprouted up on more social media timelines. “Believe women” became widespread through internet culture because too many people were doing the opposite: not believing women when they’d bravely come forward and share their personal stories of physical, emotional and mental abuse.
Many would give the men charged with such horrid acts the benefit of the doubt and discredit the severity of the claims. Most of the time, this would involve standing behind a public figure rather than believing the women that spoke out and reported this public figure’s behavior. It’s an epidemic that continues to live on in spite of the “believe women” movement, and is now at the heart of the story of Ian Connor.
Rape allegations–currently seven and counting–against Connor, the beloved stylist and affiliate to the Kanye West and A$AP Rocky camps, first came to light in April 2016. Malika Anderson was one of the first women to come forward, detailing how Connor allegedly raped her in 2014 in a blog post titled “Ian Connor Is a Rapist, and I Know Firsthand.” Following Anderson, Jean Deaux wrote a blog post claiming Connor raped her as well. As The Daily Beast has since pointed out, Connor has tweeted (and now deleted) disturbing, incriminating thoughts on sexual consent, such as “If I Eat You Out or Buy You Something You Have No Choice but To Fuck Me. I’m As Serious As Can Be With This One.” Connor had already revealed himself to be terrifying online, and now the alleged actions were aligning with the words.
Yet, only a handful of outlets covered the allegations when they first arose in April, and only now are they covering the topic… because Connor got into a physical fight with a famous man. People are backing away from Ian Connor after Theophilus London spoke out against him on Twitter and was involved in an altercation with Connor in Paris, along with A$AP Bari.
At a product launch event in Paris, London confronted Connor; Connor punched London, and A$AP Rocky stepped in and held London back. The feud continued on Twitter, with London calling Connor a “dirty fucking rapist” who “don’t want two charges already added to the 10 u got.”
Not only are we still not believing women, but also feeding into the industry’s boys club. Theophilus apparently group chatted “the culture” and agreed that they no longer “fuck” with him. “Kanye don’t even want your ass around anymore. That’s all you had left. I’m surprised at all anybody still fuck w you,” he continued to tweet. This assertion is arriving about two months and multiple allegations too late.
Connor has worked closely with Wiz Khalifa, A$AP Rocky and Kanye West. After the rape allegations surfaced, Ian Connor was one of the faces of Drake’s OVO clothing line summer selection, revealed in May, and appeared in a controversial OFF-WHITE ad. London–who claims to have once taken Connor in and introduced him to ‘Ye–has possibly felt disgusted for some time, and kudos to him for being the *one* to speak out. But it shouldn’t have taken this long for people to believe women, to look into their claims and to expose Connor for what he actually is.
Watch the latest episode of Fuse's original series 'The Kanye Effect':