I have what is probably a rhetorical question, but one I feel the need to ask anyway. WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON??? From the entertainment industry — heavyweights like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner, Bill Cosby Louis C.K., just to name a few. The list of politicians from both sides of the aisle starting with President Cheetolini, Judge and Republican senatorial candidate gag!), Roy Moore, Anthony Weiner (nope — too easy), Bilbo O’Reilly, the late Roger Ailes, and on and on and…As Al Pacino rightly said in the film, And Justice For All, “there’s something really wrong here!”
I refer, of course, to the epidemic of molestation, rape, flashing and all other forms of unwanted sexual activity, forced on women in this, our sad and sick excuse for a culture. And before anyone, especially if you’re a white male, tries the “women do it to men, too,” routine, yes, that’s true. And it’s every bit as egregious a crime as the other way round. But let’s get real — the scale is probably tipped at 95% to 5% (and that’s being generous) toward men sexually harassing women.
Go ahead — speak to any five women you pick off the street, and ask them if they’ve ever been harassed, molested, raped, flashed, whatever. I’m willing to bet the answer is yes, with at least four out of the five. I honestly don’t think I know a woman — from my mother on down to my wife and daughter, who haven’t escaped some form of this epidemic. It’s sad, it’s disgusting, it’s sick, and it’s criminal. Unfortunately, for all too many women, this is the norm. As my sister-in-law told me, “we expect it.”
What’s even worse, though, is the fact this criminal behavior is still being tolerated. Fans of the entertainers, and supporters of the politicians whose misdeeds have been outed, will go to almost any length to excuse the criminal acts being perpetrated by these deviants (Bill Cosby can still sell out a live show)!
If you fall into this category, you are worse than an enabler — you are complicit in allowing these acts to continue. I don’t give a flying fuck how a woman is dressed (or not), even if she’s in a mini-skirt that lands just below her crotch — that does not mean she’s fair game, easy, or “asking for it.” No matter how provocatively you think someone is dressed, shut the fuck up, and keep your hands off! (Speaking of which, women, please don’t “slut shame” each other. That just adds fuel to an already raging fire.)
Last week, Stephanie Miller, the doyenne of fart jokes and progressive thought on radio (and television, via Free Speech TV), dedicated about 98% of her show to discussing this epidemic. Interestingly, every female guest on the show — and this includes regulars Frangela (aka Frances Callier and Angela V. Shelton), and producer Vanessa Rumbles — as opposed to a group of women specifically selected to bolster the argument — have experienced some form of sexual harassment. For many of them, this was not a one-time thing, but something they’ve had to endure throughout their careers.
Now, if one is of an inquisitive nature, one might ask, “well, why haven’t they reported this to someone?” Who? This is not about sex, folks — this is about power! Men exercising power over the powerless. While I can’t speak to the extent of this atrocity in politics, I have, in my 42-year career in the entertainment industry, continuously seen and heard about the men in lofty positions, using their power against women (and men) — people who are simply trying to make a living in their chosen profession.
Regular readers of my blog may know, I’m somewhat prejudiced in this matter, having myself been molested by neighbor boys, as a child. But that aside, what most women have to endure on a daily basis is insane. It makes me ashamed of my own gender, and so very grateful to have been brought up by my feminist mother.
The one positive light I see at the end of this tunnel is, when one woman breaks the silence, and has the courage to stand up and say, “fuck you! I’m not taking this shit anymore,” and names the person (or persons) who molested them. It helps other women gather the courage to do the same, clearly demonstrated this past week as dozens of women began to share their stories about molestation and abuse from powerful men in Hollywood and the political arena.
As I type, a group which includes some of Hollywood’s most powerful women, including Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey, Shonda Rhimes, Natalie Portman, Kathleen Kennedy, and Amy Pascal, has been formed to help combat these atrocities. They hope to come up with code of conduct that will, hopefully, be adapted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Would that both political parties have the courage to do the same (somewhat difficult whilst a serial predator sits in the White House).
In the meantime, it would be nice if all men remembered that caring and acting for the benefit of others, includes keeping your unwanted fucking hands off women. No actually means NO! And, unless you’re in a consensual situation, the use of power and coercion to get your way, is not very nice. In fact, it’s criminal!
If you are a victim of sexual abuse, or need information on how to prevent it, click here and visit Rainn, a national group offering assistance and support, as well as information about getting involved in preventing these crimes.