Me Too

I don’t know if you’ve heard about this guy Harvey Weinstein or not but I’m going to assume you haven’t been living under a rock and that you know who he is. In fact, I’m even going to assume that you were aware of his presence on Planet Earth long before the rancid news about him broke. If you weren’t then you’ve just never paid attention to the opening/closing credits of the movies and TV shows you watch and you’ve never ever heard of Miramax Films.

Anyway, this scandal has gotten so big even hubby asked me the other day; “Have we seen anything by this guy?”

“Yes,” I mumbled, “Of course we have, he’s a huge producer and has been for ages.” I couldn’t come up with any of the movies/TV shows off the top of my head so I grabbed my cellphone a/k/a Ye Olde Answer Machine, went to IMDB and rattled off a long list of things we’d seen that he was involved in. Hubby seemed particularly upset when I mentioned “The Lord of the Rings” films. Those are some of our favorites, I can’t tell you how many times we’ve watched them, and now they are a bit tainted. That’s a shame. The good news there is chances are Weinstein probably didn’t sexually harass Liv Tyler because then he would have had to deal with Steven Tyler and that man is as talented as he is batshit crazy! No one wants to deal with that.

Over the course of the last week or so I have been presented with images of some of my favorite actresses along with their awful stories regarding their encounters with this creep. I feel horrible for them. Face it, all they wanted to do was work. That’s it. They wanted a job. Just like any other “Plain Jane” on the planet. They wanted a job. They needed a paycheck. The only difference is they decided to go into the Entertainment Industry rather than be a secretary or a chambermaid or….whatever. Being in movies and on TV was their dream, their calling, their heart’s desire, just like being a writer is mine.  There’s nothing wrong with that. Being an entertainer/actress/actor is not a new thing. It wasn’t invented in this century or the last or the one before that or even the one before that. It’s not novel. It’s not weird. It’s not outside the norm. It doesn’t make one narcissistic or shallow or “entitled” or incapable of doing anything else. Although to read the comments on these articles on Yahoo one might think very differently.

Hence the reason for this post.

Those freakin’ trolls.

Those self-entitled jerks who put the blame on the victims rather than realizing they themselves have a part to play in this. They do! I do! I LOVE movies! Anyone who reads here with any regularity knows that I LOVE movies and TV shows. I LOVE to be entertained. It feeds my desire to better myself so that I can, in turn, entertain others with my silly little stories. Unfortunately, those trolls, myself, and those like me who plunk down their hard-earned dollar to go to the movies ended up handed cretins like Harvey Weinstein the power to do exactly what he did to some of our most beloved actresses. We handed it to him on the proverbial Silver Platter. We didn’t care what he did or what they went through just so long as we got our entertainment. It’s true. It is. It’s sad and it’s pathetic.

It’s not, as those Yahoo trolls would have you believe that these women (and some men) traded sex for a job, for a shot at the glitz and glamour. It’s not a liberal vs conservative issue although they love to throw that one around. It’s not a He said/She said issue.

It’s an Abuse of Power issue.

It happens in Hollywood.

It happens on Wall Street.

It happens on Main Street in Your Town USA….every single day.

Someone in a Position of Power uses/abuses it and holds it over the head over someone (man or woman) who’s just looking for a job. When they can’t do that then they just lump someone over the head, drag them into the proverbial alley and do what they want with them.

That’s not sex. That’s not He said/She said. That’s not a ‘fair trade’. That’s not a ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’ issue. It’s not political at all. It’s diabolical. It’s illegal. It leaves shattered lives in its wake.

But we have this romanticized idea of “The Casting Couch”.

In our collective hearts and minds, with any luck at all, we KNOW that’s WRONG. But somehow we don’t care. Maybe it’s because the starlet became famous and got a big paycheck out of the deal. Maybe it’s because the starlet took money to keep her mouth shut about the slug. We never stop to think that she (or he) did that because the Person in Power set it up to all come down to He said/She said and then paid her (or him) off to just go away. We never stop to think that if that if that budding actress or actor had come forward they would have been ‘ruined’ and dragged through muck deeper than you or I even want to try to imagine. You know…something along the lines of….

 

My heroes! Red and Andy! Gods I love ’em. But I know that not all of us have the strength that Andy did.

But some of them DO stand up to shout out their stories and let me tell you, honey, they damn well “came out clean on the other side”.

There’s nothing in it for those people now. Just like with Bill Cosby and other Powerful People once a scandal breaks. There’s nothing in it for those accusers. Nothing but ridicule as is blatantly evidenced by the Yahoo trolls. Who the hell would set themselves up for THAT? What’s the point? To get your “name out there”? Seriously? Yeah, every woman and man wants their “name out there” in connection with shit like this. Sure they do.

NO, the reason they come forward now is simple; there’s safety in numbers. They don’t have to feel alone. They don’t have to feel powerless anymore. More importantly, they don’t have to feel ashamed or as though it’s all their fault anymore.

Need more proof of that?

Ok.

My Facebook feed for the last day or so has been absolutely filled with the “hashtag” MeToo. Women are coming forward in droves to tell their own stories of harassment and abuse. Normal, simple, everyday women. You know like your mother, your sister, your daughter, your best friend. They’re doing it for several reasons; to relieve themselves of any unwarranted guilt they might feel, to let others know they’re not alone, and simply to bring light to this rampant erroneous idea that men (and some women) can do whatever the hell they want to whomever they want.

For myself, I’ve refrained from doing that on Facebook or Twitter (I don’t really do Twitter anyway) but while we’re here allow me to relate two mild stories to you from my own life. I’ll keep the harder hitting stuff to myself but if you read my stories I’m sure you’ve already guessed that it ain’t all made up, babe.

Anyway here we go……

Once Upon a Time, I was a chambermaid at the Best Western Hotel in Groton, CT. (Not the only chambermaid job I had but the other was at higher class hotel). So there I was…a very young mother and wife…just trying to earn a minimum wage paycheck to put food on the table and help keep a roof over our heads. This happened to be right around the time the Mohegan Sun casino was being built and the hotel was overrun with out-of-state construction workers.

Story #1: I knocked on a door and in a loud but not too loud voice announced myself; “Housekeeping.” I heard nothing. As I was instructed by the hotel I did it a second time; “Housekeeping!” Nothing. I slipped my passkey into the lock, opened the door, and there was a man sitting at the table next to two slept-in double beds. “Oh, I’m sorry, sir, I can come back later if you like.”
“No, darlin’, c’mon on in.” He said to me.
I heard the shower running in the bathroom so I didn’t make that room my first stop. “How are you this morning, sir?”
“Oh, fine, darlin’, just fine. Don’t mind me, go’head ’bout your business.”
So I did. I stripped the first bed, the one farthest away from him then I started to strip the one nearest him. It was right in front of where he was sitting. I bent over to grab the sheet and he…grabbed not just my ass but all the way around…butt and pussy included.
“That’s fine,” he whispered.
Without a single thought of hesitation, I wheeled around and clocked him with a closed fist right on the jaw. BOOM! He stumbled back, smiled an evil little smile and started to advance. His eyes were bulging, his shoulders squared, he opened his mouth and said: “Hey! Missy! Let me tell you wot!” (Yeah he was from south of the Mason Dixon Line where they say ‘wot’ instead of ‘what’)
I heard the bathroom door open and looked up in horror to see another man strolling out in nothing but a towel. He smiled. He laughed as he dried his hair. “She got you good, Earl!”
I saw my chance and I took it. I bolted out of that room without looking back and as I went I said; “If you need housekeeping services let the front desk know when you’re gone.”
Those bastards didn’t even leave me a tip. But I got out of there.

Story #2: Same hotel. Same WEEK! I’m strolling down the corridor after cleaning X number of rooms, I’m on way to my break and to have lunch. The door to my of my rooms opened. I had previously knocked upon the door just as I had done in the above story but when no one answered and I peered inside I saw a man still asleep in the bed and I backed out as quietly as I could so that I didn’t disturb him. I went on to clean other rooms. After that, as I passed this room for the second time the door opened. There stood a buck naked man. I have to admit he was HOT. I mean he was steaming. He was freakin’ GORGEOUS! GREEK GOD HOT! All buff and toned and tanned. Blonde hair big green eyes. Until the day I die I will see him standing in that doorway with his very impressive cock standing at High Noon. I mean, the type of cock that under other circumstances would make a woman shiver with anticipatory delight. He stood there in the doorway and in his, again, southern twang, said; “I know it’s your lunch break, darlin’ but why don’t you spend it with me?  I can show you a really good time.”
I’m a New London girl. Bummer for that stud. I looked DIRECTLY at his hard cock and cracked; “Sorry but I think it’s physically impossible for you to ever show me a good time.” I watched his face fall into utter shame and I kept on walking.
The next day he checked out. I went into his room there was a six-pack of Heineken with an envelope on top, in very neat script it read; For The Maid. I opened it up and there was a twenty-dollar tip and the note read; I’m so sorry, that’s not like me, please forgive me.

Forgiven he is. At least by me. Hey, he showed some humility and knew what he did was wrong. So…score one for him.

However, when I reported both incidents to the management of the hotel I was simply told that such things “come with the job” and they refused to do anything about it.

So those are just two of my #MeToo stories.

I got others but like I said they’re not pleasant at all and while all in favor of openness I prefer to fictionalize those events and deal with them through my writing. As The Master (Stephen King) once said; Writing is just one long therapy session to which the whole world gets invited in. (paraphrase, I can’t remember the exact quote but you get the idea)

Trust me, truer words were never spoken.

I’ve rambled on long enough. In summary; women do not ‘ask for it’ neither do men. Most of us are just going about our business and doing our thing happy as a lark when some jerkwad with an over inflated ego who believes they’re entitled to everything they see comes along and blows us out of the water. They feel entitled. They think because they have some position of Great Power or just Minuscule Power or maybe its because they feel powerless in their own lives that they can bend others to their will and those others should feel ‘grateful’ for it.

Whatever it is, it’s a fault that lies within THEM not within US.

 

 

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The First Sin-IV

THE FIRST SIN
BY LISA BETH DARLING
COPYRIGHT 2017-ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
CHAPTER FOUR
GENESIS

When morning came around as it always does I just laid there in my bed with my eyes wide open not knowing what to do. There was so much to talk about so much to say and yet it seemed better if nothing was said at all. Surely it would best to gather my new clothes, go to Raphael’s home and recuperate another day or two before making a quiet exit from Grey Village. Just as I settled on that as my plan, Eve wrapped upon the door and told me my breakfast was ready. Always the gracious hostess she wasn’t about to let me starve even if she didn’t want to see my face. I wandered out of the room only to be greeted by the aroma of bacon it made my stomach rumble. On the high counter under which sat three stools was a plate of bacon, scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, and toast next to it sat a steaming cup of coffee. Eve, however, was sitting far across the room on the couch and looking at me with trepidation. Readying myself to face the music as it were, I picked up the plate and the cup to move closer to her but Eve quickly held up a hand and gave a different instruction.

“Stay over there, please and eat.”

“As you wish,” I agreed without anger and sat to eat another delicious meal that she prepared for me. In between bites of egg and bacon, with my back turned to her, I asked the question that had been on my mind since I awoke, “Is Cain here?”

“No.”

“Is he still alive?”

“Yes, you’d know if he weren’t wouldn’t you? Surely he would have passed your way just as God commanded.”

That was true, if Cain died he’d be in Hell just as Eve would be one day. “Where is he?”

“Not here,” she said in a forceful tone.

I didn’t like the way it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, “Why not? Raphael said…”

“I knew he’d been here!” She cried in disgust. “I told him to stay away. What did he tell you? What do you know?”

At that, with my plate empty, I turned around to look at her and again offer reassurance, “Calm down, this is a very odd place and one that Dad would love to get His hands on but I’m not here for any of that. Where is my Son?”

Eve looked away from me as her face crinkled, “His life did not turn out to be as peaceful as mine. He chose the ways of War and Power. He’s your Son after all.”

“War isn’t exactly my domain though I heard Ares is in town maybe he had something to do with it.”

“Lord Ares is tired of War, that’s why he’s here. He’s seen enough destruction. Don’t you think I asked him about Cain? Begged him to return my son to me? But there’s nothing he can do only Cain can find his way home if that’s what he decides he wants.”

I walked over to where she sat and stared down at her, “Are you telling me Cain is Evil? Truly Evil and not merely by virtue of his birth.”

Eve’s lip quivered as she was caught in my gaze, “I don’t know,” she confessed, “He seems to fight Just fights but his bloodlust has grown until it borders on joy. That’s Evil, isn’t it?”

“It is. When did you see him last?”

“On the TV last night,” Eve chuckled and her face flushed with color, “God really did a number on you when He ejected you from Hell. You didn’t recognize me and now for all of the TV you’ve watched and all of the News you’ve listened to, you don’t recognize our son either. He’s going by the name of General Enoch Lamech and fighting in a war where Eden once gloriously stretched out as far as the eye could see but now it’s just a pile of sand and rubble.”

The news just never stopped or so it seemed and I sat down rather heavily in the recliner across from her, “Then what are they fighting over?”

“Religion, Ideology, and oil, let’s not forget the oil.” She quipped. “You know; the same old shit they always fight over. He’s made quite a name for himself this time, the military loves him he wins every battle, even the people love him he’s bright, charming, charismatic, and above all, he keeps their children from dying so far from home. Other commanders don’t have his stellar track record.”

“That doesn’t sound so bad.”

“Hummm, he also has the highest kill record in recorded history. A real Take-No-Prisoners kind of guy.”

I cleared my throat, “That does sound bad.”

“Yes, it does, so you can understand my confusion. Now, what about you?”

Easily I told her of Raphael’s plan to get me money and the papers he talked about. I told her I thought it was a good plan and that I would be gone soon. She could get back to her life and the residents of Grey Village wouldn’t have a need to worry about me.

“Raphael was here? I told him to stay away that I would handle this. So you’re going to go forth and wreak havoc on the world?”

Although I shouldn’t have been, I was a bit taken aback by her words, “I wouldn’t put it that way exactly but I’m sure there are some things I can really get into out there.”

“So am I,” she nodded slowly and then frowned. “I can’t set you lose on the Mortal World, Lucifer. Those who live here can’t wait for you to leave. So, what’s a girl to do with her old lover?”

I was instantly indignant, “You don’t dictate my comings and goings,” I spat as my quick temper began getting the better of me, “You have no power over me.”

“Don’t I? You’re Mortal, I could kill you and bury your body in the desert and no one would ever be any the wiser.”

“Is that a threat? Are you really threatening me?”

She breathed in deep and exhaled easy, “It’s one possible scenario, tell me why I shouldn’t go through with it. Convince me to let you go.”

I could feel the blood in my cheeks making my face hot and knew if I still had my Powers my eyes would already be glowing red, “Other than the fact that even with one arm I can beat you to a bloody pulp? Other than the fact that I haven’t done anything wrong? Other than the fact that I’d already be on my way if you hadn’t mowed me down with a truck?!” With anger I pointed at her, “You can’t keep me here.”

“I didn’t say I wanted to, I don’t, so convince me that if you walk out that door you are not going to lay a path of destruction in your wake. The world you want to venture into is vastly different from the one you left. It’s dangerous even for an Angel, even for the Devil.”

“You’re concerned for my safety, how touching?” I mocked and regretted it there was concern for me in her eyes along with everything else she’d said. “I’m here to go out there and do what I do best; make a few deals, do a few favors, call in a few favors, drink an entire warehouse of liquor and screw every woman I can find. That’s not so bad, is it?”

“Depends on your perspective, I guess.”

“Look, I’m not here to bring out the fall of civilization or herald in Armageddon, alright? I’m just looking for a good time. Why is everyone threatening to kill me for it?”

“Because no one trusts you, you’re devious, you’re tricky.”

“What about second chances? Don’t I deserve at least one of those?”

Rolling her eyes and biting down on her bottom lip, she gave out a heavy grunt.

“Did I trick you into something? Was I devious with you? Answer me truthfully.”

Rather than answer my questions she went off on another path, “You’re right I can’t keep you here and I won’t have you killed. You can go when you’re healed but I’ll be watching and if you get out of hand if I start hearing your name and seeing your face, I will send Lord Ares for you. You may not answer to God anymore but you will answer to us whether you like it or not.”

Through gritted teeth I snarled, “Deal,” I held out my hand to her in order to seal it but she waited for me to say more. “I’ll keep a low profile but I will enjoy myself, I deserve to do that after rotting away down there so long. If you catch me trying to destroy the world or something you’re free to send your goons after me and see what they can do.” That was when she slipped her hand into mine. For a moment I felt exonerated but then the warmth of her flesh sank deep into me and I wondered if I truly did want to leave. Abruptly I let go, “Yes, right, deal. It’s settled.”

Eve grabbed my hand back and held it very tightly, “You will stay here until you heal, I will help you learn the things you will need to know before you go out there. Once you’re out there you will contact our son and get him to come home.”

“What?” I yanked my handed away. “Are you mad? Look, I know what everyone thinks of me but the truth is I’ve never made anyone do anything in my entire life. I merely offer them the opportunity it’s up to them whether or not they run with it or from it.”

“You’re his father,” Eve asserted. “Act like it.”

“Oh, me? Why? Because I have such a great example to follow in my own Dad? Why would Cain even speak with me if he won’t talk to you?”

“He’s my only living son and yours too for that matter,” Eve countered as her eyes narrowed and she rose to meet me, “If you’re going to live here on earth then it’s time you manned up.”

“Man…man….I’m an Angel not a man.”

“Listen to me, Angel, if you don’t do this, after you leave here, I will have Lord Ares hunt you down like a rabid dog and kill you. I will put your body on a frame and stick it in my garden for a scarecrow until it rots to nothing but bone.”

I took a step back as my face gnarled in disgust. I only knew Ares, my Cousin, by his reputation and it seemed to me he wasn’t the kind of person you wanted to get on the bad side of.  He was more hot headed than I was and he possessed an extensive knowledge of interesting ways to torture and to kill a person. “Geez, what a violent place this is. And I thought Hell was bad you’re almost making me miss it.”

“Well then, let me send you….”

I held up my hand, “Fine, fine, once I get settled I’ll do it. I’ll seek out Cain and try to get him to come home. I suppose that I…I…I owe you that much.” The anger in her eyes abated as she continued holding my stare.

“Thank you,” she whispered. “Do you want to know another truth?”

“Always.”

“I really have missed you.”

“Seriously? Because, honestly, sweet Eve, it doesn’t seem like it to me. You lied to me…me! You played this silly game with me. You manipulated me…”

“I had a good teacher,” she whispered, “except for the lying, I never lied, I only avoided telling you the truth. If I hadn’t missed you, if I hadn’t been bowled over at seeing you again, your body would already be buried in the desert.”

Running my fingertips along her cheek I smiled, “Now that I believe,” without thinking about it I kissed her forehead. “It is good to see you again as well, my darling Eve.”

THE END of CHAPTER FOUR of THE FIRST SIN by LISA BETH DARLING-ALL RIGHTS RESERVED