[TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE, CHILD RAPE, CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE, PEDOPHILIA]
There's a lot to be said about the way people react when a controversial yet widely loved white male celebrity dies. David Bowie in particular wasn't all privileged. He came out as bisexual and though I don't think he ever explicitly identified as non-binary, he has been upheld for challenging gender presentation and being fluid in his own. But before any of that, when he was in the early days of his stardom, he was immersed in a drug-saturated culture involving having sex with groupies of questionable age.
I've had a lot of people come at me with "the girls had fake IDs so it wasn't his fault." That's a little contradictory to what you've been saying about David Bowie being a brilliant genius. I highly doubt that a rock star in his 20's would be utterly naive about the apparently notorious underage groupies chasing rock stars. Let's use our heads, here. Let's face reality. Rock stars like David Bowie very likely know what's going on and use the fake IDs and the lies to give themselves a pass on morality.
This doesn't excuse them from engaging in sexual activity with clearly intoxicated persons at all, though. But people don't seem to want to focus on that bit for some reason.
David Bowie did some good. A lot of rapists have done some good. In fact, probably all of them have. People are complex like that. But good deeds don't erase rape. Bowie cannot be absolved of those sins. And he never even tried to apologize for them. So.
I say all of this not because I want to "drag his name through the mud" or whatever. I say this because we absolutely must stop ignoring and excusing the sexual crimes of famous white men. The more we do this, the more they know they can get away with that. The problem is not David Bowie specifically. It's the fact that men can do these kinds of things comfortable in the knowledge that they will not be punished for it. With no consequences, why shouldn't every famous white dude take advantage of underage girls whenever they want? And it doesn't set a good example for the average white dudes, either, does it?
People want to make this all just about David Bowie to avoid the unpleasant reality that this is the culture we've allowed to flourish. You can find long lists of the crimes against women that these men have committed. Not to mention crimes against people of color, the racist, sexist, homophobic and transphobic things they've said, and the hateful things they've supported. And it's no coincidence that people in social justice communities would complain about the posting of songs by men like R. Kelly or Chris Brown while at the same time being all "dance magic dance (dance magic dance)."
We need to call out this culture of permissiveness to the crimes of famous white men. We need to destroy the idea that underage girls are fooling or have any kind of power or responsibility over adult men. Otherwise, this shit will keep happening. You'll keep finding yourself attached to very problematic faves. So stop trying to protect a man who does not at all need anymore protection and work to protect girls.