Men Are _____.
So, basically all men are awful.
So, basically all men are awful.
It seems like every day there is some new revelation about some jackass who has defiled, or attempted to defile, another person. Just NOW, an alert from the UK Daily Mail came through that four more women are accusing Bill Clinton of sexual assault.
I am honestly ashamed of my gender. I mean, there is some truth that a lot of men are pigs/jerks/perverts etc. but the volume of accusations in the past month has just been staggering. Unless you have had your head in the sand, there is no way to avoid the discussion. And as a sane, rational and respectful man, you can’t really say too much because any way you look at it, all of these men and all of this behavior is just plain wrong.
Well, you can’t say anything unless you’re Morrissey.
The crown prince of misery has somehow come out in defense of the accused by claiming “The people being described as victims are simply disappointed.” Uhh, how does one even respond to that?
Now look, I think there is a discussion to be had around what motivated some of these horrific interludes but the fact remains, the minute the other person looks uncomfortable or says “no” the behavior has to stop. Period.
Now granted, hindsight is always 20/20, but when we look at the ever-expanding list of well-known offenders, should we really be shocked?
If you even have a cursory interest in Hollywood, even before Ronan Farrow’s article came out, there is no way Harvey Weinstein didn’t skeeve you out. Not because of his looks (I mean, he does give Manuel Noriega a run for his money) but because Harvey just looks like an asshole. That doesn’t mean that, as an asshole, he can invite women up to his hotel room and behave like a rutting wild boar.
You know, as a reference point, if a woman either locks herself in a bathroom crying or runs away shrieking, or simply looks terrified, it’s a pretty good sign she’s not that into you and maybe you should tuck that thing back in your bathrobe and call it a night. Let’s hope they teach Harvey this is sex rehab.
Filmmaker James Tobak was accused. If you have ever seen ONE of his films (and I’m in no way suggesting you should), you know the guy is a jack ass. Finding out that James Tobak was an offender was about as surprising as finding out about Brett Ratner. While I’ve never met Brett Ratner, he, like Harvey Weinstein, just kinda oozes asshole (we’ll leave out any discussion about Tobak’s or Ratner’s creative prowess, or lack of).
Russel Simmons and Brett Ratner. A double dose of awful behavior. And Ratner just let it happen. Not only a hack but a spineless turd.
Sylvester Stallone and his former bodyguard. Allegedly, the 16-year-old was OK having sex with Stallone but didn’t want to double down with his bodyguard. Fair enough.
Finding out Kevin Spacey was gay was about as surprising as finding out Brett Ratner sucks as a human being. What makes the Spacey allegations so awful (aside from their just plain awfulness) is the fact that the first allegation came from a then 14-year-old Anthony Rapp (Spacey was 26). A big stigma gay men struggle with is dispelling the thinking that all gay men are pedophiles…this doesn’t help very much.
And of course, Louis CK. This one is a little tough because I do happen to like Louis CK. Very much. But like many others, I’m really disappointed and bummed by this. Although, given some of the content of his stand up, maybe this revelation should be about as surprising as…finding out Brett Ratner is the human embodiment of excrement.
When I think of the Louis CK situation I can’t help but think of his two daughters. I mean, this is how they are gonna find out about masturbation. That just isn’t right. Also, how is this his thing? I mean, we all have at least one thing, but whipping it out and cranking one out in front of unsuspecting women…yea, that has never crossed my mind. Not once.
But wickedly horrible Hollywood behavior predates all of this shittiness. Anyone remember Roman Polanski? He still isn’t allowed in the United States (because he’ll be arrested for rape)…and he won an Oscar in 2003…in absentia! It’s also no secret Charlie Chaplin liked younger girls. His last wife, Oona O’Neill, was 36 years his junior (she married him a month after turning 18). If you do the math, that makes Oona 18 and Charlie 54.
Girl 27 is a 2007 documentary film about the 1937 rape of a dancer and sometime movie extra at an MGM exhibitors’ convention, the front-page news stories that followed, and the studio’s subsequent cover-up of the crime. A great documentary if you get the chance.
So shitty behavior among men in Hollywood is about as new and shocking as discovering that Brett Ratner is a raging asshole. But, to be clear, as ancient and pervasive as this behavior is in Hollywood, it shouldn’t be accepted and absolutely never tolerated.
While not part of the Hollywood elite, gun waving Alabama politician Roy Moore certainly paints a lovely picture of a conservative southern man; a picture perfect southern pervert. Moore can deny the groping and rape rumors all he wants, but where there is smoke there is fire. Will it hinder his chances at winning a senate seat? I honestly doubt it. This is the south we’re talking about and, Jesus, video proof of then candidate “Grab ’em by the pussy” Donald Trump didn’t prevent him from becoming MOTUS, Molester Of The United States.
Al Franken. Jesus, what a dip shit. I’m not sure on what planet he would’ve thought that photo was going to be funny. I’d expect to see that kind of photo from someone on spring break (and even then it wouldn’t be funny), but returning from a USO tour? Pathetic. I’m not shy about saying Franken should resign. (UPDATE: Second woman comes forward alleging inappropriate touching)
And of course, the aforementioned and MOTUS emeritus, Bill Clinton. I don’t even know how to address this one. On the one hand, yea, no big surprise and on the other hand, well, yea, no big surprise. From the minute he burst on to the national scene, we’ve known he’s a real asshole. And despite that, he got elected twice (and yea, I voted for him).
Is any of the behavior perpetrated by these men criminal? I dunno. I sure hope that any behavior that is criminal, is prosecuted. But if there is one lesson to be learned from Bill Cosby (and there are a lot of lessons to be gleaned from that monster) it’s that this stuff is hard to prosecute. That’s sad.
I’m not saying all of these men should be banished from their respective fields (except maybe Harvey Weinstein and Brett Ratner), but, where applicable, they do need to be prosecuted and need to go away for a long time. But if history teaches us anything, it’s that they’ll all come back… whether we want them to or not. Despite the allegations, and in some cases prosecutions, it seems as though we as a culture have a short attention span on bad behavior (psst, remember Mel Gibson).
Many people have spoken about the strength it took for women to call these men to task and I’m no different. It takes some serious intestinal fortitude to speak out against nit wits in power who abuse their power and position for sex. I’m glad these women have spoken up.
I’m also glad we seem to have reached a tipping point and I hope it really does change things…this time.
These men, and far too many other predators in industries far less glamorous than Hollywood or politics, used (and still use) their power and/or status to coerce others into either having sex with them or some other unforgivable act. That kind of behavior is reprehensible. That kind of behavior makes them monsters.
But it’s worth saying that not all men are monsters and not all men are awful.
Too many men, but not all men.
As of this writing, a complete list of Hollywood accused.
Originally published at keithrhiggons.com on November 20, 2017.