For the last few months there’s been something of a Reckoning going on in America. In short, woman are (at long last)rebelling against the societal norm that diminished the impact of sexual harassment and abuse on the PERPETRATORS.
The fall of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein amid harrowing tales of sexual misconduct turned whispers to shouts. The best way to sum it up is – After years of terrible treatment our mothers, sisters, nieces and wives just aren’t going to take it anymore.
Sexual Harassment and worse have been rampant but it seems a Page has Turned. Now instead of the victim complying or getting fired its just as likely the cops will show up to deal with what can be a crime.
Whats an aspiring gentleman to do? Best guesses and compassion are all we have to go on.
This is what I’ve come up with; I don’t think we should even try to speak on behalf of women. We’re probably gonna be wrong and its probably presumptuous. Its only gonna sound paternalistic.
Heres my attempt at some schematic guidance for the overwhelmed or unsure.
NO VICTIM’S LYING
Holy shit guys, get past any excuses that may come to mind, all these victims can’t be lying. If time reveals some accusers did lie that’s an individual thing and an aberration. It’s probably true that in some cases you have so many accusers that they will run the gamut of personalities. Some people will come off badly, some will be convincing, but all deserve to be believed at least initially.
The most cynical and laughable approach to whats been going on is on the political front.
Currently the people of Shit Hole Alabama are taking insanity, denial and projection to new heights by weighing whether a Republican whose likely a
Child Molester is better than a law-abiding Democrat to make their Senator. Moore’s defense is as simple as it is laughable, that everyone’s lying but him.
Worse, it’s a bewilderingly, disgustingly close race. Like there’s anything to even think about? The fact Child Molesting Roy Moore is even in the running is mind-blowing. Just another awful day to avoid watching the coverage.
Even worse still, throw in the full gospel pseudo intellectual justifications that Moore has taken to using in defending himself. His rhetoric is right off the ‘Right Wing Crazy Person Media’ that America’s mindless happily allow to pollute their thoughts. It issues forth from internet sewers like Breitbart and AM talk radio stations. Its decades old and recycled. Still, some haters make a living off it.
There’s some bad people out there. Be careful and be informed.
Beware the MRA’s
So Called ‘Men’s Rights Activists’, also known as simply ‘MRA’s’ such as despicable Rush Limbaugh , Trump himself and Jesus Freak Mike Pence, spin a seductive lie to Men that, in fact, denying these things happened in itself makes them untrue, They will present the men as victims (unless they’re non white). The MRA philosophy has taken hold of
most right wing people. Take something as crazy as Quivering! It sounds like a disempowering and futile philosophy. We’re NOT talking families who just have many children, we’re talking about the crazed extremist christian simpletons who feel obligated to repopulate the world. Having children to get in good with god is crazy.
Some people like putting the crass nature of the actions on society via musical or cultural icons. Its to dilute any one persons guilt. “If Jay Z says ‘Bitch’ why can’t I?” Forgetting for the moment you simply shouldn’t? Next best answer – when you have a gold record you can go ahead and risk your fame doing it. If you’re not a celebrity you are gonna have a terrible life trying to live by their rules.
Also hanging out near the murky bottom is good ol’ Ted “I”m Not So Great on Guitar No More” Nugent. Ted’s not as refined as some who spin intellectual reasoning for Sexism, he just outright trashes women. It’s an insidious way of thinking, but the part where you get to think no one else is as smart as you and your old-fashioned notions is seductive. It strongly appeals to dumb people and born followers alike.
Don’t be a ‘dumb follower’. It even sounds bad.
Enter the Quislings
Quisling is an interesting term in the sense its a Historical reference to the Fascist Collaborator who ran Norway for Hitler. One day we’ll see something similar with the names Flynn, Trump and Kushner. If you don’t know this term, hey, it’s why I provided a link, just use it.
Breaking My Own Rules a little here, be warned.
I’ve attempted to auger just how the Accused end up having some powerful female allies. I got nothing. It doesn’t make sense to me. Are they just mistaken? Could they be victims too? Maybe one day we’ll know for sure. For now? We just can’t fall in step with them. Just because they are women saying things a caveman would love to hear doesn’t make their statements valid.
It would seem an easy decision to either avoid favorably discussing the perpetrators or to simply put it on the Justice System to sort out, but some choose to do otherwise. In most cases it’s people on the political Right, who as I mentioned are currently making a Virtue of Pedophilia (Roy Moore again), so trashing adult women is probably easy for them now (Did they ever find it difficult?)
There are many collaborators, just try not listening to them. Helping out the “MRA’s” are some totally delusional privileged woman so rich and out of it they throw the blame on the victims and end up merely useful Quislings.
A great example recently would be Lena Dunham defending a much accused possible rapist. I thought personally it rose to level of Enabling since she’s technically the boss of him. I further felt she was unfair to the victims.
Dunham would seem to me a somewhat toxic enabler. Fair Disclosure- I’ve long considered her overrated and petty.
TV’s Big Bang Theory star Miam Bialik stumbled into second place in the Enabler Stakes when she wrote, then retracted, an Op-Ed many felt blamed the victims. Like a novice skater slipping on ice she seems to have accidentally recovered, but not before a good deal of backlash for bascially coming off like a 19th Century adherent to the Cult of Domesticity.
Bialik seems to be regarded by most as an Unwitting Enabler and seems to have changed her tune, but the story illustrates how many parochial attitudes remain.
While Bialik seems to have recovered, peoples patience with Dunham seems more frayed. Frutratung this one is she’s not much good at apologizing or explaining things.
The Girls TV show creator notably penned a bizarre self aggrandizing autobiography where she made some disturbing claims about what she did to her younger sister.
If you’re already on a bad path and love it, then look to Dunham for your cues. You can claim you were on acid later I guess.
The Intellectual MRA’s, the low brow MRA’s and the Quisling’s are a heady mix. Rhetorical Fastballs, Curveballs and Spitballs all are served up in a confusing display. You COULD be tempted to believe them. Hey there’s a whole bunch of loudmouth excuses and lies being put out there all day. In Limbaugh or Alex Jones’ case it’s incentivized on both ends.
The Consumers get to feel like theyre correct and the purveyors make money off it. Don’t buy into it.
Seemingly insane or “In On It” Camile Cosby, Bill’s real life wife, is another kind of
Quisling. Whether she’s delusional or In On what Bill does is anyones guess. She’s a seriously stereotypical enabling wife. Perhaps we need look no further than money? Some would throw Hillary Clinton in this category too. Fair or not its a perception she paid for when her historic presidential bid went sideways.
Guys, my advice is again simple- screen out the narrow-minded voices who claim they can explain everything. There’s almost never merely one solution anyway. That’s your first Red Flag If you took the things the discordant voices of Intolerance say one small piece at a time they implode under analysis anyway.
A New York City Police Department Detective once told me “Anyone who is conned has larceny in their hearts”. He was right and it applies to intellectual cons as well. If you find toxic things convenient or empowering you need to pump yo’ brakes. You’re being primal when its time to be civilized.
THE UNREPENTANT UNPUNISHED
The fact that some terrible offenders are just getting away with or even rewarded for what they’ve done through what amounts to crass denials are going unpunished just makes the whole Shit Storm more intense. Bill Cosby and Donald Trump are the most prominent of this group.
Some people just never seem to be held accountable. Seeing them is like a punch in the gut to people who’ve been victimized by other scumbags. If a person with an Abusive Past comes to prominence their victims have a new imperative. They want everyone to know how the abuser acted. It seems like a pretty normal cause and effect for me. It’s normal for people to wait until they are confronted with their abuser standing on the brink of power before they act. It’s too common to call it anything else. To these victims surely it must seem their worst nightmares are coming true.
For the moment the Unpunished Unrepentant are somewhat having their day. Trump of course is president, Cosby is still defiant and a multi, multi millionaire out nothing but legal fees. Awful Roy Moore may just be the next Senator from Alabama. All have adopted a moralizing attitude and derided their accusers. In Trumps case he goes as far as simply calling his 19 accusers liars. Cosby somehow prevailed in court and was immediately cured of a variety of ills and had enough energy to trash his accuser too.
Moore, who stands accused of the gravest crimes imaginable, has a hybrid Defensive approach. Alternately using a large group of female supporters as surrogates only to reappear and brazenly call his accusers something along the lines of pagan liars. Agents of the media are likened to forces of supernatural darkness. And in the 21st Century no less. Don’t fall for it.
The overall effect of this simply refreshes the outrage or even re-victimizes some people with every new set of revelations.
These individuals are Straw Men on Steroids. It might actually be part of their appeal.
WHAT’S A GUY SUPPOSED TO DO?
We simply can’t afford not to take every accusation and every accuser seriously. Victims and crazy people can be one and the same. People who have an attitude might not be lying either. People with a chip on their shoulder, hey, maybe being a victim is how it got there?
More than anything else we probably have to come to terms with the truths; it happened around us. All the things that we used to think just aren’t true. It’s just the way it is. That doesn’t make everyone a prick who may have thought bad stuff or believed the wrong person, but looking back now things probably weren’t what we thought then.
When we hear a story of abuse, unless we’re in a position of power, have to accept the fact the odds favor the victims. Respect and sympathy seems the only way to go
ME, YOU AND THE OTHER GUYS
It’s changed being a guy. We see another icon or celebrity explode into a pervy jackass on a daily basis. How are we supposed to feel? Theres an element of shared guilt.
In my not yet that long life I have seen the world change. I’ve changed. too, but I definitely never came close to anything that would be called ‘attacking’ someone! I never just pulled out my dick to ‘close the deal’, I can’t even imagine thinking that was a good idea. I didn’t need to “change” like that. Thats years of therapy and medication if not incarceration level thinking. Maybe my strong mom and having a younger sister helped me out, I don’t know why acting Normal is so damn abnormal these days.
The stories about things like Matt Lauers “Door Locking Rape Button” or Harvey Weinstein jerking off into a potted plant absolutely fall into category of “Stuff No One Had To Tell Me Never to Do”, in most cases I knew better before I was in High School! It’s criminal behavior and I’m not aspiring to be a criminal.
When I was young I could sometimes be a dick, and I know there were times I thought shit that I now know was wrong maybe was, I don’t know funny, or
innocent. I was wrong.
But underage girls? Attacking or drugging people? Anything against the law was something that even in the depths of my worst booze and drug binge never seem to have happened. I guess I don’t have it in me (and thats a real relief).
On a bad night I probably misread signs and tried to kiss someone only to fail horribly, that’s mildly embarrassing not criminal. Mostly because I never persecuted anyone for turning me down. Unbelievably, theres people who attack anyone who rejects them.
POWER AND PUNISHMENT
The element of power is what the most obvious aspects of the Weinstein Effect separating it from simpler acts of horribleness. Weinstein and the other prominent
accused had a LOT of power.
The more the perpetrators prospered the more powerful they became. They could point to the pelts on the wall in the form of destroyed or minimized careers and validate the rumors of vengeance. Weinstein also somehow alluded one of America’s better police departments, seemingly by simply bribing Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. He must have felt invulnerable. Thankfully the second approach from the NYPD likely lands him in jail as a convicted rapist.
Weinstein defined the Abuse Matrix as we know it now, that he would murder your career. Many of his victims, like many of Cosby’s, can absolutely point to downturns in their careers.
Some of these downturns are just Inexplicable outside active, powerful forces. Lets
face it, unless she wanted to stay home no year should have been without several Kate Beckinsale movies. She COULD have been as big as Julia Roberts by now. There’s no turning back the clock. Not to minimize what was done to her, but theres a faceless army of victims of innumerable unpunished abusers who did even worse. And Beckinsale herself had some power and still held off speaking about what heppened to her for years. Maybe she wasn’t scared, but she couldn’t pioneer her careeer on her own terms, that we know. Its just completely unfair.
Cosby, Weinstein, at times Trump and others dangled stuff ( or threatened to take away things) anyone would find tempting – a lucrative contract or a path to celebrity. In some cases they cleverly picked people who just fell between the cracks in society and trusted the public perception they were just lying Gold Diggers to take hold. Til recently it almost always worked.
In a world closer to that of Moore, very strange Michael Jackson, if he WAS abusing people, was something of an evil genius in finding pre-compromised people. Be they exceedingly poor, in need of life saving medical care or just hung with a bankruptcy and some judgments he knew how to pick people with credibility issues. Like I said a different abuser but enlightening in his methods if he was abusing people. (seems to me he was)
The Weinstein scandal signaled a sea change. Would Be Abusers are in uncharted waters. Technology (every cell phone has the potential to record life destroying images and audio) is probably starting to help catch some abusers, but really its courage and to a lesser extent frustration by the women of America en masse.
The time has come to allow woman to speak for themselves. They seem to have found their voice.
I’m going to try to stay out of the way and learn as much as I can.
ITS PROBABLY GOING TO LAST MONTHS IF NOT YEARS
A lot of people have shit to answer for. Don’t get yourself mixed up in trying to parse who is worse. Everyone was a scumbag. Criminals we should just leave to the law. If they beat the rap but everythings sealed we know they low roaded their way out at best. We have to shun them.
Theres no real rule of thumb anyway. I don’t know what it says about me that it took me til the third accuser to really dismiss doubts about Al Franken and, years earlier even Bill Cosby. If I had to make an excuse its that I was in really numerous and good company. Nobody thought America’s Dad was a rapist til we all realized it was just not possible he wasn’t, if not legally certainly morally.
Theres no quick or easy way for this to end, The Fire can’t be Quenched, it can only be allowed to exhaust as much fuel as possible and hopefully when it burns out the new lanscape is friendlier, nicer and less prone to abuse.