The print, electronic, and social media are going saliva-bubbling crazy these days over frenzied reports of sexual harassment like it’s some kind of new fad or phenomenon. Why, it’s practically the thing to do! |
Excuse me, but are any of us really shocked to learn about the Hollywood (wink, wink) casting couch, powerful politicians preying on fawning interns and followers; and full-of-themselves media personalities using their influence to get up-and-comers to go round-heels? I’m not suggesting their scumbag behavior is acceptable, but are any of us really surprised? I mean, REALLY???
Hollywood and liberal darling Harvey Weinstein was the tipping point for all the recent media attention; then the dominoes started to fall (#metoo). (Here’s irony: Remember the dinner photo of Weinstein, Hillary Clinton, and Huma Abedin slobbering all over each other?) Most of the reported perpetrators at this early stage are either Democrats or staunch Democrat supporters—like Hollywood personnel. Be that as it may—and it is fun to observe the projection and denial spewing from such a holier-than-thou snobby, elitist, leftwing crowd—the behavior has to (and does) encompass all persuasions of politics and society. Witness a (former) rising political candidate aka Carlos Danger (Abedin’s ex), and a former NFL quarterback sending out pictures of their junk to females. Whatever possessed those guys to think male genitalia is attractive?
Anyway, I am not at all surprised based on observing human behavior for more decades than I care to admit. Also, it seems these days that allegation equals guilt—due process be damned. The lesson here, fellows, is not to tell a lady she has attractive eyes or a beautiful figure unless you want to get slapped with a law suit. You may ask, “Then why do they dress provocatively?” My (wild) guess is that women choose attire MAINLY for two reasons: 1) to feel good about themselves (read that in an article somewhere), and 2) to one-up other women. Another lesson learned for me was that ladies go to clubs primarily because they enjoy dancing, not necessarily to attract and meet men—unless their bodies are in a state of ovulation of course. So, guys, act mellow, laid back, and self-assured. That behavior may be more attractive to her than a testosterone-induced aggressive come-on line fueled by (you think witty) sophomoric humor. Let her come to you.
In relatively recent history, we have Ted Kennedy fooling around with 29-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne, a liaison that cost her life; Kennedy and Chris Todd bragging (as reported in the Washington Post) about their waitress sandwiches in D.C.—the late Carrie Fisher ratted them out as well; Bill Clinton nailing everything in sight (and receiving attaboys); FDR, Eisenhower; JFK, RFK…and the list goes on. In the 1920s Fatty Arbuckle even got away with (allegedly) killing a girl—suffocating her with his weight during days of forced passion.
I’m not questioning the outrage, but why now? Is it enough is enough? Slow news day? What?
It seems that some of the so-called victims initiate the action as well. Jacqueline Susan in her book THE LOVE MACHINE wrote about celebrity-bangers who keep track like a gunslinger notching her pistol. One I remember from the 1970s was Linda Huey who wrote in a national sports publication about nailing athletes in every town just for the pleasure of it. Chelsea Handler chronicled about sleeping her way “to the middle”. Women in every town wait outside locker rooms of athletes hoping to score with one or more.
I will admit that a predator using his/her influence to control a career is different than someone just looking for casual sex—or is it? Do these “Baseball Annies” hanging around famous men after the game and at bars in it for just a quick roll-in-the-hay, or are their purposes more insidious? Are some hoping to extort money, become wives or girlfriends? What is motivating them? I’m betting the root cause could be poor self-esteem, and the desire to become “somebody”. I’ve also noticed women—not men—hanging around outside women athletes’ locker rooms perhaps trying to find the next Billie Jean King affair. Again, for what purpose? Looking for love? Besides, are they not also guilty of sexual harassment? Let’s see, if a guy asks a lady for her phone number it’s sexual harassment, but if females troll for men outside a locker room, it’s simply a social interchange. The lawyers have got to love the ambiguity. I mean, the USA has more ambulance chasers than the rest of the world combined, and the whole of American is consumed with money grabbing. The more black-and-white can be driven into gray, the more billable hours—honesty and integrity be damned.
I suppose that what constitutes sexual harassment, the root of the behavior, depends upon how the receiver perceives the attention. Is it unwanted? Is it forced? Or is the attention mutually desirable and beneficial? From what I’ve read so far, time changes the situation; that is, some ladies were reluctant to speak up back-in-the-day for fear of reprisal. I have absolutely no doubt that was the case in many instances. BUT—how many are phony; motivated by an opportunity to pile on for profit and/or attention? Who can say?
I like to think that all of us condemn intimacy forced by physical force and/or intimidation. Certainly those of us with daughters do, but keep in mind it goes both ways; i.e., as a twenty-two-year-old, I had a 40-something wife of a boss back me into a corner. Her cleavage, and scent of perfume mixed with alcohol were enticing to be sure. At the time, I felt more flattered than harassed, but the experience was a bit frightening, albeit from discovery rather than the act. Still, intimidation seems to be a natural ingredient of our DNA, and exists throughout the animal kingdom, as the contest to become the “alpha” is renewed eon after eon.
BUT—how much is too much? Definitely to my way of thinking, an actress having to submit to a hairy, sweaty, semi-lard Harvey Weinstein gives me cause to empathize with the young ladies, and creeps me out big time. But how many trolled Weinstein, knowing his slobbering proclivity, simply to forward their own careers? That would be like the news conference where Colin Kaepernick whined about oppression while wearing a shirt featuring a Communist dictator—a sweetheart of a guy who allegedly caused more deaths that Hitler.
Bottom line: none of this is new; none of this is welcome; none of this civilized. However, all of it is true to our human condition. We may not like the picture of humankind we see in the mirror, but warts and all, it is us.
Copyright 2018 by Gene Myers
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