Me Too

No, this is not some pathetic attempt by a man to steal the thunder of this important women’s movement.  I’ve had bullshit to deal with in my life and I don’t intend to rehash it as a way of validating my hardships by pitching in to bask in the attention of another person’s suffering.

If anything, I’d be betting that I come off as a mansplainer for even trying to express my thoughts on the issue.

And.

Yet.

I.

Persist.

Because I’m kind of a jerk and a little bit of an idiot.

But here’s the deal:  

I’m pretty annoyed that the Pussburglar is still president.  Check that, I’m annoyed he ever became president.  I don’t understand the women that openly voted for him.

Some sort of twisted sense of Stockholm Syndrome comes to mind.  Because I like to be able to name things and understand them…and a woman voting for that man child defies explanation and reason.

Actually, it’s like treason to their gender.  The punishment for that is something we all must suffer.

But past that, my thoughts are pretty much, go get ‘em, ladies.

Seriously, I’m more excited about Big Entertainment paying for the unrealistic definition of feminine beauty and desirability they have created.  To quote – well, paraphrase, really – the prophet Billy Joel, they didn’t start the fire.  But they have been pouring gasoline on it since the 1920s.

Let’s face it, sexism and sexual assault have been around for millennia, but I’m pretty sure a certain good book mandating (go ahead, take issue with that word) that a woman submit to her husband tacitly condones rape and domestic abuse.  What’s the penalty for defying ones biblical husband?

Is it…death?  

That sounds right (wrong), but I could be confusing it with just stoning whores.

But outside of that, entertainment and the industries that support it – fashion, cosmetics, et al – have been largely dominated by men.  So, it wasn’t women who were pitching ideas for girdles as a foundational garment or subordinate roles like the scantily clad Jeannie who was lost without her Master or submissive Asian housekeeper on The Courtship Of Eddie’s Father.

Yeah, no.  Those were the ideas of men trying to create – sorry, re-create – women in the images and roles that fueled their desires and bolstered their collective ego.

While I’d welcome a more global comeuppance, I’ll take a gender reboot in the industry that has made this issue exponentially worse over the last five decades.

Maybe next we can come up with a movement to crash through the celluloid closet doors.  

#hertoo 

Oh, Mary.

The one industry where I think women have had and exploited a chance at turning the tables on the patriarchy was in print media, both newspaper and magazine.  Magazines in particular.  Publishers knew where to pander to the gender.

Early days:  Hetta Hopper.

Then:  Dear Abby.

And then:  Anna Wintour.

Don’t even get me started on Katherine Graham,

I imagine this all started out as a stunt to drive sales and get men to buy subscriptions for their little ladies at home.

I could for sure be wrong.

I just think I’m on the right thought trajectory…

But I love that that maybe scenario snowballed – ok, I know that term implies a speed that was not a reality – into a situation that some savvy women were able to exploit and make way for the Graham and the Wintour types to climb to the top of the sexist pig pile that is basically industry in America.

My one knowingly dangerous thought here – all other thoughts that end up dangerous are the product of my middle aged white man cluelessness:  

People coming forward after the fact…surely they weren’t so much afraid as tolerating it?

Not all of them, anyway.

How do we filter?

Is it right to assume guilt so long after the fact?

It’s particularly hard – and conflicting! – when the accused run through public, private and ultimately even government sectors.

When it comes to the private sector, I’m glad to see companies, major corporations, acting swiftly and executing administrative policy based on their published codes of conduct and not acting in the best interest of their dividends.

I have been on the wrong side of a harassment situation that was dispatched according to what was convenient versus congruent with policy.  A little personal bias there, my blog…cope.

Hopefully this #metoo moment is the point where we learn that ratings and sales take a back seat to actions and responsibility.

As for government?

I gotta tell ya, I wish it were the same, but I don’t think it is.

Imagine, just like ratings and sales taking a back seat to actions and responsibility…can you picture an American political landscape where more of our elected officials did what was right instead of what was in the best interest of their own re-election campaigns or the big business that supports them.

That’s not the reality.

And on the eve of one – the first? – Democratic Senator to be caught up in all of this likely resigning his office, I have to ask: Politics being a vicious partisan beast, do we leave this to the press and public opinion to decide or do we accept the slow moving internal ethics machinery to do its job and accept the outcome?

And, surely we can entertain a comparison to what’s been happening in Big Entertainment as a reasonable expectation for how sexual assault should be adjudicated in government.

Was some mid-level manager at the Weinstein Company administering as much quid pro quo on the side as he could?  Probably,

Is that what made headlines?

No.  No, it is not.

It was Harvey.  The head honcho that started us off here back in October.

So, with all due respect, Schumer and ladies of the Senate…it seems ass-backward for you to not only eschew your own “company” protocols in calling for Senator Franken’s resignation…it’s downright hypocritical that you would hold him to a higher standard than his “boss”, President Pussburglar.

Start at the top, America…make America great again.

And, if in any way this didn’t come off as mansplaining or somehow ignorant, hooray!  But don’t worry, I still expect a fair amount of women to glare at me if I do something courteous for them.  I know that’s on them, not me.  

Me Too

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