Dorothy is a member of the Barnard class of 2018, an American Studies major with a concentration in journalism, a skateboarder, an artist, and an activist. But most people know them as the person who hooked up with Swae Lee, the younger brother of the hip hop duo Rae Sremmurd, after Bacchanal last Saturday. I reached out to Dorothy – whose gender pronouns are they/them, contrary to misgendering from multiple news outlets – and asked them their perspective on what happened on Saturday and, more importantly, what happened after Saturday, from confrontation on the Overheard at Barnard Facebook page to both hate and support from Twitter.
Q: What happened on Saturday?
A: During the concert, I sat on a friend’s shoulders and flashed my tits at the stage, and made direct eye contact with Swae Lee. He gave me a nice nod, and after Bacchanal had cleared out, […] one of Rae Sremmurd’s security guards called us over to their black van, and because Swae remembered me by my titties, they told us to hop in. Then they took us to the hotel. I wasn’t explicitly planning on hooking up with anyone, but I am always down for sex cuz [sic] I love my body and I love my sexuality and have mad confidence in my body and think body positivity is dope. […] The hotel was nice and we did the good stuff twice (to his music, a little weird but I was down). Then we took some pix [sic] but he was tired so security called me an uber and I left. The friend I was with was not down to have sex with Slim Jimmy so she left early, which was very respectable and I am proud of her.
Q: What made you decide to post about it in Overheard at Barnard? Was the reaction what you expected?
A: I first posted the picture because I was so hyped that I just had sex with Swae Lee and thought people would be excited too, like, that’s fucking awesome. But in the Overheard at Barnard group, my post was met with underhanded, judgmental comments like, “Why do we care?”
Q: What were your thoughts on the page’s admin questioning consent to the picture? What were your thoughts on the post being taken down?
A: It honestly didn’t bother me that much until the post was deleted because the admin was advised by “higher ups” that prospective students could see the post. What does that mean, but that my body-positivity and sexuality is offensive? That students might be deterred from attending Barnard because Barnard women are “promiscuous”? Barnard and its white feminist philosophy claims to uplift fellow women, yet has censored women and trivialized survivors of sexual abuse.
People were worried about if I had taken consent for the photo of me a [sic] Swae, which made me a little mad. Of course, every person as a human being has a right to their privacy and consent. Celebrities, by definition, are in the public eye and fall out of that category. […] This is unfortunate and makes things complicated. In some ways I feel as though I breached consent by tweeting the picture, but it was in no way explicit nor harmful. If I had posted, instead, a less “sexy” picture with him, had not asked for his consent and posted it, there would be no backlash. Yet, because a woman was in bed with him, it became a scandal. The picture contained no nudity, nor incriminating content.
Also, people on the Overheard at Barnard group brought up concerns about Swae Lee’s consent, yet no one was concerned if I consented to being pulled into their tour bus. This calls into question of whose consent and privacy is prioritized. In the group, I said something along the lines of, “Do you think celebrities give a shit about consent? Don’t talk to ME about consent.” I wasn’t insinuating that I didn’t need Swae’s consent to take the picture, rather, I was angered that people would assume malicious intent. The power dynamics of a celebrity having sex with a fan can on the outset be considered nonconsensual. It’s easy to fall victim to the pressures of a celebrity, anyone with power, however this was not the case for me in the situation, although it was the case for the friend who came with me and she promptly left the hotel. I was angered that people assumed I was the one in the situation who had the power to disregard consent.
Posting this photo wasn’t the first instance of my body being shamed/censored at Barnard/Columbia. During the concert, I was shamed and called a slut by Columbia/Barnard women, and high-fived and snconsensually [sic] touched by men. One of the security guards yelled at me from across the stage, though I had done nothing illegal nor against Columbia’s rules. I understand that this is a product of men assuming that a woman who appears hyper-sexual is an invitation, and that women who aren’t comfortable with my body are only projecting their own internalized misogyny on my confidence in my own body.
If the backlash has been this intense against me, a white woman, imagine what a woman of color has to face.
Q: What did you think about Swae’s tweets about Saturday? Do you think there are any misconceptions about the hook-up or the post that you want to clear up?
A: Sleeping with Swae Lee was about a 5 out of 10. The repercussions of it were better than the sex. Swae and his brother Slim Jimmy were texting me while Swae was tweeting [on Sunday]. He was trying to save his ass and mad that I posted the picture of us on social media, understandably, although that happens to celebrities all the time. It also looked pretty bad because I had two black eyes from a skateboarding incident last Saturday, where I fell off my board and hit my head and got a severe concussion, giving me crazy racoon eyes. He lied about the video he said he had, but I don’t really care. A funny text Swae sent me though was “I’m out here looking crazy you have two black eyes.” (And my response: “I have a concussion man I’m just messing around it’ll blow over in a few days just focus on your music man.”) They’re just kids dealing with shit too, and being famous is hard, but they’re also fuckboys like everyone else. I’m happy though because I now have 2,136 twitter followers and am getting a lot of love and respect from twitter community (as well as a lot of hate). I’m planning on continuing to skate and maybe make some new fans off my twitter followers. I would love to channel Amber Rose and body positivity in a community forum. I also hope my parents never find out.
Instagram via Dorothy