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?
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.