One of the few trivial things I detest in life is our cultural obsession on the lives of celebrities. I’ve never given a damn about Brangelina, about who is married to or divorcing who, or any other sordid stories about the lives of people I have heard of but don’t know. As far as I am concerned, taking Hollywood gossip to heart, as though you know the people involved and have an investment in their lives, is an activity reserved for people who lack the creativity to have meaningful lives of their own.
That said, Hollywood and the media obsession that follows it, often gives us object lessons on the current state of sexual politics. Sometimes the lessons are hard. Robin Williams was a tragic example of that. So is Bill Cosby. The disgusting saga of Francis Shivers and his years long struggles with professional liar and restraining order terrorist Pauley Perrette, is yet another. I’ve offered commentary on all these cases in the past.
The value in these stories is that they highlight what is happening to scores of men across our culture. And unfortunately, it also shines a light on the fact that when this stuff happens outside the city limits of Tinseltown, nobody gives a damn. Frequently, not even the male victims.
Now enter Harvey Weinstein, co-founder of Mirimax Films and a major player in Hollywood movie making. I should say Harvey Weinstein, co-founder and ousted employee of Mirimax Films. Weinstein was just giving his walking papers from that organization after a string of accusations that he sexually pressured women, leveraging his textbook Hollywood power against them to coerce sexual favors.
Of course, the case against him, as it was with Cosby and so many others, is absent a few things we normally associate with sexual assaults. Like police reports and criminal charges. Like any kind of forensic evidence. Like any kind of evidence at all save the word of women who have collected money from Weinstein on the weight of their allegations over the years.
In fact, if there weren’t another dimension to this story, which is now blowing up into a witch hunt on anyone refusing to throw Weinstein under the bus, I would be writing on something else.
The latest targets are Matt Damon and Russell Crowe, who are now being subjected to public flogging by the likes of homophobe Rose McGowan, and the patently insane Lena Dunham, for indirectly contributing to Weinstein’s defense. The same is happening to fashion designer Donna Karan, who, according to the Daily Mail, defended Harvey Weinstein during a red-carpet interview at the CinéFashion Film Awards. She told a reporter that we “have to look at ourselves and question how women are presenting themselves and their sexuality.”
You might want to read it soon, before the sisterhood comes for her with pitchforks and torches. That kind of bold honesty won’t go unpunished.
Make no mistake, Weinstein appears to probably be guilty of pressuring women for sex. At least as much as you can use the term “guilty” with a straight face in an industry where the dicks sucked in exchange for opportunities to pursue the limelight can be measured by the mile.
Women in Hollywood don’t just dive onto the casting couch, they pick the fabric and the color that will make them their sexy best. The same goes for men who bend knee for gay male decision makers in Hollywood but of course no one will take issue with that. The scenario of alleged male victims won’t find column space in Variety. And as far as Hollywood goes, I am not sure it should. The place is a cesspool in its own league. Reporting on itself honestly would be an act of suicide.
Based on his easy payoffs to silence his accusers, and alternating rounds of guilt-ridden contrition and awkward defiance, I think Weinstein probably did do things that resulted in all this condemnation and sanctimonious gasping from the Hollywood crowd. He’s all but admitted to as much. In Hollywood, though, the casting couch and the fainting couch fit are interchangeable props on the same set.
That’s the ironic, flatulent elephant in Hollywood’s living room, and for that matter the rest of the world. President Trump was right. When you are rich and famous, scores of women will happily let you grab them by the pussy for half a shot at some of those precious resources produced by affluent men. And some women will even get outraged if you don’t. Not grabbing them by the pussy informs them they don’t have that shot. It completely ruins their plans.
Like it or not, that is straight up truth. People hating the truth doesn’t make it any less true. It just makes it easier to sue. And of course, suing is the next best way to grab those assets, whether they grabbed the pussy or not.
The thing that should bother all thinking people about this godawful mess of uniquely human conduct, is that it operates blindly, in complete denial of our uniquely human nature.
When I was a younger man, I often heard the term, “Men use love to get sex and women use sex to get love.” I used to think it was a very insightful, even poignant observation of human behavior. And while it still holds a shred of truth, it now strikes me as incomplete and largely naïve.
The Weinstein and many other affairs point to a more accurate aphorism. Men use power to get sex. Women use sex to get power. It’s got nothing to do with love.
Men and women have negotiated over this exchange for eons. Women have been hitting their knees to enrich their professional lives, be it for money, more authority, power over other employees or career advancement. It’s been happening for as long as women have been in the workplace. And it’s modeled exactly on how women use sex to gain power from men in private life.
Of course, for those of you who clutch pearls much faster than the average snowflake, this doesn’t diminish the fact that many women also gain power in the workplace and their private lives on their own merits. I know women personally just like this, but it has nothing to do with the big picture in this argument.
Women, just as they always have, get the bulk of their advantages in life drawing on the resources of men. Men, just as they always have, use their power and resources to attract what they want from women: their bodies.
Now, women using sex to get power meets with little or no criticism in modern times. By hook or crook, they can swallow and get paid for it and it bothers exactly no one. Men usually won’t complain because their main objective is sex.
But on the other side of this longstanding social contract, men don’t enjoy the same social laxness. They are vulnerable when participating in the same, exact arrangement. Even years down the road the women who willingly and aggressively pursue using sex to gain power from men can suddenly and successfully paint themselves in the light of victim and cash in a second time, usually to much more painful effect.
I am sure some will say, wait a minute, it’s different when women surrender sex under threat or coercion than it is when men volunteer to bestow power and assets in exchange for consensual sex. And to maintain intellectual honesty, I must agree. In those cases where real coercion and threats are employed, then there is a moral difference that cannot be ignored.
However, I also won’t choose to ignore that every time a woman gets a promotion or a raise from fellating her boss, someone else, probably someone harder working and more deserving, gets left out in the cold. Often, it’s other women who are less attractive, or who won’t suck dick for an edge at work.
In the exchange of sex for power between men and women, moral high ground is an illusion. And in places like Hollywood pursuing that illusion turns all the phony moral outrage and histrionics into a grand comedy.
Oh my, a movie mogul had a casting couch? Who would have ever thought?
I am sure that none of the aspiring starlets angling to get their way into Harvey Weinstein’s office, and onto said couch, never imagined things worked that way.
If I were to do an adequate eyeroll to all this bullshit, I’d have to do stretching exercises and a good windup first. It’s that much of a bloody joke.
It’s the same old story with the same old players. The easiest path to wealth and success for attractive women is through their open legs. Nobody cares. The easiest path to sexual success for men being in control of the assets and power for which many of these women are not inclined to work. When it goes sour, everyone loses their minds and wants to go postal on the man.
Cue the outrage machine and make plenty of room under the bus for all the male offenders and their enablers. Take that, Will Hunting. Who’s the gladiator now, Maximus?
Roll out the pedestals and script the teary-eyed monologues for all the hunky dory female victims. Hollywood, as it has for a long time now, has some more bullshit to sell you. Unless you’re red pill. Because if you are, you aren’t buying.