Eating Out Of The Dog's Mouth.
Why women didn't out Harvey Weinstein and Louis C.K. sooner.
“Shockingly, this conversation isn’t about you and your boner.” Laurie Penny
I’ve never been sexually assaulted, and I doubt it’s going to happen now. I’m sixty-three, and that’s a bad age. I doubt I could even fend off a sex-crazed female. I’m not as fast as I used to be. That should make me a prime target, but it seems I’m not sexy enough—or slow enough.
I thought I should put it out there. Not that I’m feeling sorry for myself. I just wanted Laurie Penny to know I agree with her. It’s not about my boner. Women aren’t interested in my boner. I’m not even interested in my boner.
I appear to be in the minority, though. From what I gather, most men are freakishly interested in their boners. They like to swing them around like miniature flags at a May Day parade, causing women no end of distress.
Before her tuckus appeared in an unfortunate video, the Kardashians were just your average Hollywood attention seekers.
Why is it happening in this day and age? Women have earned the right to be treated with respect, although some, like Kim Kardashian, don’t mind swinging their own thing in public. The difference is, people like Kim's thing. It’s become one of the most publicized things in history.
You could say it’s the centerpiece of the Kardashian fortune. Before her tuckus appeared in an unfortunate video, the Kardashians were just your average Hollywood attention seekers. Kim changed all that by having her ample booty shaken at the hands of then boyfriend, Ray J, Brandy’s brother.
Still, Laurie Penny claims that’s not the problem we face today. Kim’s just a bobble that bobbles. Sex isn’t the issue, sexism is. For reasons she explains at length in her article “The Unforgiving Minute,” sexism itself has been eroticized and men can’t tell the difference.
As Laurie points out: “They [men] won’t know how to flirt the right way until they start unlearning how they look at us.”
“It is maddening,” she writes, “the way those of us who complain about abuse are accused of trying to shut down sex and sexuality, as if we’d ever been allowed to be active sexual participants, as if abuse and the fear of abuse hadn’t made pleasurable sex all but impossible for many of us.”
If I understand this right, men somehow left women out of the equation, making them essentially an outlet. Rather than enjoying what we’ve mistakenly called a twosome act, we’ve objectified and dehumanized them.
We’ve engaged in onesies with a viewing audience. We aren’t even sure what good flirting is anymore. As Laurie points out: “They [men] won’t know how to flirt the right way until they start unlearning how they look at us.”
Certainly that seems to be the case with Louis C.K. who recently admitted he asked 5 women (so far) to watch him masturbate. Supposedly, the operative word is “asked,” which didn’t gain much traction with women. Good manners are hardly acceptable when you’re pulling your pud.
I’m not saying Louis C.K. or Harvey Weinstein — or any of the others — don’t deserve to be scorned or ridiculed. They took advantage of their position. Women idolized them. But if we’re looking for operative words here, maybe the real operative word is “idolized.”
“That’s the whole point of us,” Helen Walmsley Johnson, herself an assistant, admitted to the Daily Mail. “I was complicit, too, and I didn’t feel a thing.”
We do a lot of stupid things in the name of idolatry. Men idolize women with great figures. Women idolize men with great positions. Figures and positions seem to be where all this dehumanizing and objectifying gets started.
Hollywood has always been the land of bronze idols and fatted calves. Actresses are led into hotel rooms, hoping to land big parts. Personal assistants turn a blind eye because they’re paid to turn a blind eye. “That’s the whole point of us,” Helen Walmsley Johnson, herself an assistant, admitted to the Daily Mail. “I was complicit, too, and I didn’t feel a thing.”
Harvey Weinstein’s assistant may have led as many as 40 aspiring actresses to their ceremonial deaths, but as the Daily Mail pointed out, she, and many others, lived in fear themselves. It wasn’t uncommon, once the actresses were brought to the room, for Harvey to tell his assistant to “Fuck off.”
Even Weinstein’s lawyer, Lisa Bloom, called him “an old dinosaur,” before resigning the case. Seems her mother, Gloria Allred, a glorified women’s right’s attorney, who’s defended Mel B (Scary Spice) and Tiger Woods’ mistress, Rachel Uchitel, found Lisa’s representation of Weinstein highly hypocritical. Money’s money, though, and like Helen Walmsley Johnson, Lisa “didn’t feel a thing,” until her mother criticized her openly.
The point is, if we’re using Hollywood as an example, the problem historically has been “eating out of the dog’s mouth.” Actresses beg for scraps hoping for bigger pieces. Sometimes they get bigger pieces. Sometimes the dogs snap.
In a position of power, big tubbies can be the worst, since they never got any action when they were little tubbies.
Unfortunately, that’s always been the case. Name any famous Hollywood mogul, director or producer, and there’s probably examples of sexual improprieties, including big tubbies like Alfred Hitchcock.
In a position of power, big tubbies can be the worst, since they never got any action when they were little tubbies. Their names, their reputations, their power gave them license to do what they wanted, and what they wanted wasn’t just sex. It was the kind Laurie Penny complained about, where women are treated like “interchangeable pieces of flesh.”
Even Marilyn Monroe did her share of eating from the dog’s mouth. When she got her first big role, she told her roommate, “I can finally stop giving every Hollywood producer blowjobs.”
Marilyn gave plenty. So did many other famous actresses, including Grace Kelly. Jayne Mansfield and Ava Gardner may have had technique, but Kelly was known for getting up afterwards with her hair hardly mussed. Exits are important in Hollywood. Kelly gave great exit.
The Weinsteins and others are products of what’s always been. It’s endemic because we let it be endemic. We like movies.
Again, I’m not making excuses here. Outing men who prey on women is good. They’ve gotten away with it for too long. At the same time, it’s important to know Hollywood’s history. The Weinsteins and others are products of what’s always been. It’s endemic because we let it be endemic. We like movies.
If we look at the rise of Nazi Germany, how did it exist? Mostly out of fear. Nobody wanted to draw attention to themselves. Ten years, and millions of deaths later, even former Gestopo leaders stood in the Nuremberg court saying, “I acted like everyone else.”
It’s fine eating from the dog’s mouth, but dogs do bite, and there are dogs on both sides. We blame the Weinsteins, but not the Kardashians. Kim’s just having fun, Harvey’s a fat lech. Harvey needs to be taken down for his shocking abuse of women. Kim should be thanked for encouraging young men to appreciate a woman’s form (hopefully in the privacy of their own homes).
We made Harvey Weinstein. We made Kevin Spacey. We made Kim Kardashian.
We can respect women like Laurie Penny saying, “We want a flavor of equality that none of us have tasted before.” There’s nothing wrong with expecting that. Respect is each person’s right. Those who don’t respect others are now seeing the consequences. And those who believe it’s entirely the fault of sad old lechs like Harvey Weinstein should keep this in mind: We made Harvey Weinstein. We made Kevin Spacey. We made Kim Kardashian.
As I’ve said, we like movies. We like entertainment. We like eating from the dog’s mouth. That is, until things turn ugly and the fangs come out.
Then we talk about sexism.
Robert Cormack is a novelist, humorist and blogger. His first novel “You Can Lead a Horse to Water (But You Can’t Make It Scuba Dive)” is available online and at most major bookstores. Check out Yucca Publishing or Skyhorse Pressfor more details.