Genuine question: What if, in this instance, Katy Perry was a man?

So American Idol is back by popular demand. Apparently, The People really felt there was a shortage of mediocre talent shows on free-to-air television. I know. I’m as perplexed as you are.

And in what is now season 103472, the judging panel is filled with the likes of icon Lionel Richie, pop star Katy Perry and Luke Bryan (Google tells me he’s a country singer).

It’s all very nice and reminiscent of something we used to care about 10 years ago.

While I could sit here and write about rehashed talent shows all day long, we all have 2018 to get back to. So I’ll get right to the point.

You see, the premiere episode on Sunday featured 19-year-old cashier Benjamin Glaze, who, you guessed it!, desperately wants a career as a musician.

The Mamamia Out Loud team discuss the blurred lines of consent. Post continues.

Benjamin also has some pretty steadfast beliefs about relationships. He likes flirting, but has never kissed a girl before.

“No, I’ve never been in a relationship. I can’t kiss a girl without being in a relationship,” he told the three judges, presumably because he believes what he believes and that’s cool and fine and irrelevant because this is a show about singing.

Except… it kinda wasn’t.

Upon hearing Benjamin’s confession, Katy, who is 14 years his senior and, you know, one of the most famous people in the world, gestured for him to approach the desk.

“Come here, Ben,” Katy said, rising to her feet, as the teenager said, “No, wait, hold on,” glancing from side to side.

“Come here… come here right now… come here right now. Come here!” Katy insisted, receiving another, “no wait” and “you can’t be serious” in reply.

After being unsatisfied with the first kiss on the cheek – “you didn’t even make the smoosh sound” – the judges asked Benjamin to “go again”. Only this time, when Benjamin leant in to kiss the side of her face, Katy turned her head at the last second to plant one on his lips.

You can watch the exchange here:

Video via American Idol

Now. I get that this was playful and cheeky. Nobody was visibly hurt (except for Benjamin about two minutes later… it turns out he can’t sing all that well).

But it does raise a hypothetical question: How would we react to this situation if the roles were reversed? What if it was a 19-year-old girl who had never kissed a boy, because she doesn’t want to out of a relationship, but was tricked into it by a 34-year-old male celebrity on national television?

If it was a girl who had her personal space invaded, would we find it funny then?

It is something to ask ourselves.

If we wouldn’t accept that kind of behaviour from a man, why do we accept it from a woman?

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