Monday, November 13, 2017

A Reckoning

This seemingly endless parade of Bad Men being finally exposed is a reckoning. After thousands and thousands of years living under the patriarchy, perhaps women have at long last had enough. Perhaps women have, at long last, decided they cannot stomach the subjugation one second longer. Perhaps women have, at long last, decided men – yes all men, not just the abusers and the assaulters – must aknowledge this awfulness once and for all.

What the Weinstein story broke was a dam that supported the status quo of abuse, assault, harassment and horrible behavior of Bad Men. We seemingly allowed this abuse because said men were rich, powerful, important, brilliant, et al. But, truth be told, men don’t need to be any of those things to get away with abusing women (and other men, because both women and men fall victim to toxic masculinity). They just needed to be men. And for women (and, again, other men) the price of existence in this society was absorbing the daily indignities, humiliations, objectifications and abuses that they doled out. That’s show business. That’s [insert work field here]. That’s just life. Suck it up. Deal with it.

I don’t know what the ultimate outcome of this unveiling of the awfulness of far too many men will be. Will we move forward as a society in a way that treats women as more than just sexual objects or secondary life forms? The cynical part of my brain says any purge this successful will be met with a backlash twice as ferocious. The status quo hates to be threatened.

But in other ways I am encouraged. Over the weekend Ellen Page wrote a searing post on Facebook about her own experiences with homophobia and harassment in Hollywood at the hands of serial harasser and all-around asshole Brett Ratner and others. She also apologizes for her past work with Woody Allen and calls it “the biggest regret of my career.” The remarkable piece also takes note of her own privilege in the industry, as a rich, successful white actress. We are hearing these and believing so many of these stories now because the women who are telling them have power. Many of them are incredibly famous and highly acclaimed actresses. But think of the truly countless number of stories women whose names we don’t already know have to tell about these men. The waitresses. The assistants. The clerks. The service workers. Poor women. Women of color. Queer women. The truly voiceless.

If the most famous women in the world didn’t feel comfortable speaking out until now, think of all the other women who still live in fear. We all have to work harder to create a world that believes women. And we have to end the stigma associated with sexual abuse and assault that assumes women were somehow asking for it by simply existing.

This takes standing up for what is right and using our power to lift up other women and root out Bad Men. Also over the weekend we saw this start as it was revealed that Gal Gadot, a.k.a. Wonder Woman herself, will only sign up for the sequel if Ratner and his production company are out. You see, when Warner Bros. signed her as Wonder Woman they did so for three films: “Batman vs. Superman,” the standalone “Wonder Woman” movie and the upcoming “Justice League.” Unlike most male superhero franchise stars they failed to sign her up for a stand-alone sequel to “Wonder Woman,” for reasons one can only assume have to do with her double X chromosomes.

So now what is she doing with the considerable clout she has earned by her massive success as Diana of Themyscira? Using it to make the playing field more fair and remove a stain on the industry. How truly super. Then maybe, just maybe, the time of the Brett Ratners and Harvey Weinsteins and Louis C.K.s of the world will truly be over.

p.s. While Hollywood does a long overdue house cleaning, it would be nice if politicians would read the fucking room. How much courage does it take to denounce a man who had sexual relations with a 14-year-old girl and other teenagers as a 32-year-old man? None, it takes no courage. It just takes being a decent human being. While they have long lost the so-called moral high road, if the Republicans elect Roy Moore next month they truly stand for nothing but clinging to power. And, yeah, I know – don’t get me started on that fucking repugnant pussy grabber in the White House. The reckoning can’t come soon enough.


Carmen SanDiego said...

"The cynical part of my brain says any purge this successful will be met with a backlash twice as ferocious. The status quo hates to be threatened"
Sadly, I agree with you on this.

Carmen SanDiego said...

Also nice about Ellen Page's Facebook post was that Anna Paquin backed her up, saying she was there and witnessed Brett Ratner outing her. Sorority.
But still, yes all men.
Ugh, I'm ready for Themyscira

tlsintx said...

I was gonna say Amen, but let's make it AWomen. And if there's a backlash, it's gonna backfire big time. This may be too woo-woo but I want to share somewhere..remember the full solar eclipse back in August? I read this beautiful bit of astrology about it:

August 21, 2017
'The fixed star Regulus just moved out of Leo, where it's been for 2000 years, and into Virgo - the sign of the Divine Feminine and the Virgin (original meaning of the word is; woman who owned herself/was owned by no man). This speaks to a huge shift in leadership from masculine/yang to feminine/yin

From being a leader for prestige and power to being a leader to serve the people and to serve Mother Earth.'

I say bring that shit on!

Anonymous said...

I'm from New Orleans - a city that bloomed from a swamp; it’s history is filled with dark episodes (disease, slavery) that have yielded beautiful human achievement (jazz, cuisine, local festivals etc) and I think this was a watershed moment that these victims exposed. We can do better. We must do better. And I believe we will as a society. In talking to make friends and relatives of mine this seems to have awoken them. Too often even the good men stayed silent. My Dad said he heard locker room jokes in his business but looked away and pretended he didn't hear them because he "didn't want to make waves". Yes the abusers are awful and deserve civil or criminal prosecution but the vast majority of humans are good people at their core. Maybe some good will come from the darkness just like my city that overcame so much. Hopefully the millenials will lead the way on this issue and promote equality and make our planet better.

Anonymous said...

He who shall not be named will hereforth be referred to as "RPG".

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