Months are like dog years for men, so four months on the sidelines for a man is definitely the same as decades of groping for a woman
Gosh, remember the #MeToo movement? That was exciting, wasnt it? All that talk about how nothing was ever going to be the same again. No longer would men get away with sexually exploiting women, and powerful men who once seemed untopplable were duly toppled. Red lines, everyone said, had been drawn. And six months on from the beginning of this movement, theres only one question, really, that is being asked: how soon can these guys come back?
Several powerful men, in several industries, have had their worlds kicked out from under them as the #MeToo movement has gathered momentum Is a comeback possible? an article in the New York Times recently asked about the American chef Mario Batali. Yes, the poor men! Those accusations really came out of nowhere for them. It might be worth interjecting at this point that Batali, a popular and powerful media figure in America, is alleged to have sexually harassed women for decades. But the allegations came out in December, and its April now, and we all know months are like dog years for men, and so four months on the sidelines for a man is definitely the same as decades of groping for women.
Similar pieces have also run in the past few weeks about US journalist Matt Lauer, whom you might remember as the one who allegedly had what was referred to as a sex button on his desk, allowing him to lock his office door from his desk while he harassed women. Similarly, Garrison Keillor, who reportedly made female employees feel mistreated and sexualised for years, is determined America still wants to hear his voice, if, perhaps, not feel his hands and receive his creepy emails.
The Hollywood Reporter recently ran a heart-tugging profile of the once eminence grise broadcaster Charlie Rose, depicting him as broken, brilliant and lonely, miserably playing tennis at his $4m-$6m home. I think he is trying to understand, a friend told the reporter. Allow me to help you with that, Charlie. You have been accused of harassment by multiple women, who say you groped them, made gross late-night phone calls to them, exposed yourself to them and put your hand down their trousers while they cried. Your habit of giving women surprise massages was so established, it was referred to by your colleagues as the crusty paw. So ponder on that while you and your crusty paw are hitting those tennis balls, Rose.
Last November, Louis CK finally admitted, after years of denials, to masturbating in front of women. Some of his victims had gone public with their accusations in the past, and CKs denials had left them open to abuse from his fans something, incidentally, all those who question the credibility of anonymous allegations in similar situations could do with bearing in mind.
You might think, after all that, CK could do with some time on the naughty step. But how long? Its always hard to judge these things. For my two-year-olds its generally five minutes for throwing food, 10 minutes for hitting your brother. For a 50-year-old it is, apparently, a couple of months for whipping out your penis in front of horrified women. The consensus is that while [CKs] behaviour was clearly wrong, it was not at the level of Weinstein, a (male) journalist wrote.
This argument has come up a lot since the start of the #MeToo movement, with men solemnly explaining to women that a grope is really not the same as a rape, which is super helpful of them because if theres one group who really arent clear about the severity of rape, its women. But increasingly when I hear someone say, Harassment isnt as bad as rape, what they seem to be saying is, It isnt that bad at all.
All of these men are multimillionaires, so concerns about their current lack of employment are not based on them no longer being able to pay the gas bill. Rather, it shows that, despite the alleged realigning of power dynamics by #MeToo, men are still seen as the stars of the show and women as faceless background nobodies. You know, its that classic Hollywood plot: man strives for success, man gets success, man frantically masturbates in front of women and gives them the crusty paw, man makes glorious comeback. In the case of Batali, Rose, Lauer and Keillor, its the men wanting this storyline; in the case of CK, it seems to be others wanting it for him. In all cases, its the diminishing of the women who were harassed. Are the women these men exploited being interviewed about how their careers were hampered? How they were denied opportunities because they spoke up, or said no? The answer, of course, is ha ha ha. Increasingly it looks like #MeToo didnt topple the patriarchy it showed how tenacious the patriarchy is at enforcing its stranglehold.
Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us