Big noise coming out of Hollywood. Surprise, surprise – a powerful movie mogul is being accused of abusing his position of power to force women to have sex with him. And suddenly it’s like a huge boil that’s been lanced and out spews a gush of accusations, apologies, memoirs, interviews, allegations, and articles as one famous person after another admits to having been harassed in one way or another by someone who had power over them. And it’s not only women – men too have spoken up and admitted to being abused. Several men and women have spoken in interviews about Hollywood power-men literally raping young boys. Drugs, sex – and all of it sordid.
A couple things jump out at me. It’s the men doing the raping. So far no woman has been accused of sexual abuse, although I imagine it’s just a matter of time. And another thing is the accusation that “everyone knew what was going on, and no one said anything”. That implies that the abuse was enabled by a whole network – starting with the mogul’s wife and freinds, and tricking down to agents, coaches, and parents. Pity the young and handsome boy/girl who grows up in the movie business.
#MeToo is the new hashtag – if you have been sexually harassed you post this on your page, so that the sheer numbers can show what a huge problem it is. There are very few women I know who haven’t been harassed. I was fired twice for refusing to sleep with my “superior”, and a couple times I was…well, water under the bridge and all that. I don’t like thinking about it, so I won’t. And I fully understand women not wanting to bring it up. It’s not a badge of anything to wear with pride – it’s a humiliating, demeaning, and makes me want to kick something very hard. My daughter was harassed in the street and it traumatized her for ages. Luckily she had the presence of mind to flag down a passing emergency services firetruck, and the fireman escorted her home. Now, she won’t walk alone. I won’t walk alone – I always take my dog with me, or someone to accompany me. And I’m wary of men in general – I’ve learned the art of deflecting insinuations, of dodging wandering hands, of smiling when I feel like snarling. One nice thing about growing older – you get less attention from men, and I’m more confident about myself and my rights. I can defend myself better.
Is that why older women are so despised by abusive men? Listen to them talk – they hate us. They are afraid of our experience and our confidence and the fact we see through them. Look at Trump – how he insults married women – how he only acknowledges younger women. He would never make a pass at a woman his age, because she would just sneer at him. Ditto for Weinstein. The guys that harass women sexually are all cowards. They go after the young, or they go after the helpless ones – the ones that need that job to support her kids, the ones that clean the hotel rooms (Straus Kahn- another sexual predator) And another thing these men have in common are wives who are enablers. The wife who only leaves her husband when the press makes a mess of her perfect life – she stuck with him through the scandals, she closed her eyes to the misery he caused, and she basically gave her tacit approval. These women are just as despicable as their abusive husbands.
But why now, if this has been going on for so long? Why did it take Hollywood to bring it out in the open? I have no idea, but I think it’s a good idea, it’s about time – and now, I hope, we can learn something and make some progress.