March Sunset from our desert home
Before I start on MeToo, I wanted to let readers here know that I have a free book at Amazon for Kindles. This is one of the benefits of making my books exclusive to Amazon (as well as that it can be borrowed for Kindle Unlimited members). So, if you have never tried a mystical realism novel, this is your chance for free-- Dangerous Match. It is supposed to show up free Saturday and Sunday but be sure it is before you hit buy.
While I no longer watch MSNBC for news, I used to have it as my go-to source. Even then, I wasn't fond of Chris Mathews. Something about his style of reporting turned me off. Still, when I read that he was forced out of his job there due to the MeToo movement, I read more about what exactly had happened.
Evidently, he said things he was not supposed to say to women and then about Bernie Sanders. I won't go into the political comment but the ones to women were what interested me as I've followed this movement to get justice for women... or was it that?
From what I read (if readers know more, please comment below), Matthews made the mistake of telling women they were beautiful or that he could fall in love with them. They were flirty comments, not groping and not really more than was common at one time between men and women where nothing more was intended.
MeToo changed all of that. In some cases, the change was welcome and appropriate-- should have happened years earlier. When Bill Cosby raped women he had drugged, this isn't just inappropriate. It's a crime and he deserves to be in prison for it. Harvey Weistein is more dicey as did he rape them or use his position of power to seduce what a woman would not naturally have given him? Where some of the women maintained flirty and even sexual relationships with him, it became a he said she said for many. He sounds like a total pig but so did many who ran Hollywood studios in their heyday. People accepted the casting couch as part of the world. Not all the women who got ahead in that world went through it but probably too many did. They felt abused and justifiably so, but it was a sort of contractual arrangement that most walked into knowing how it worked.
It wasn't always that way. There is a story out there about Natalie Wood, that when she was a fifteen or sixteen year-old starlet, she was raped by a major star. He did it to teach her a lesson supposedly. She went back to her mother and was told to never tell anyone or it'd ruin her chances in Hollywood. The attack meant she needed medical care and doctor also was sworn to secrecy.The big star went on to greater stardom. She ended up needing therapy and with a drinking problem that may have contributed to her death by drowning. Did that big star ever feel guilt for what he'd done? Seems unlikely given he died recently and received much acclaim for all his good works. Why don't I name him? Well, because men often got protected back then if they were valuable enough to the studios. Why are they still protected? They aren't but some are. The following two links exploring possible reasons why.
So where does that leave us today? Well, rape should be punished and it is-- sometimes. Is it in Hollywood today? Maybe with Weinstein but how many more are out there and getting away with it based on their power, which is both through their movies but also to whom they donate. The second link gives the dark side to Hollywood-- not necessarily connected to any one person but a whole system.
What about Chris Matthews? Was what he said to women not a big deal, or does is it bad enough that it deserves a man's reputation being trashed and losing his job? Bill O'Reilly lost his at Fox, but it was for harassment and maybe rape (do you pay off a woman to the tune of $30 million when it's not something huge). But did Matthews actually lose his job for another crime-- old age?
Is MeToo about too much power in men or something deeper in our society like an uncertainty-- even today as to what is appropriate? What men once saw as acceptable now is not because a woman might be uncomfortable with it. Why is she uncomfortable?
When I was in college, I considered changing my major to psychology. I went to the psych professor, who I had admired. He told me that it'd be a mistake. He said that I was too pretty and would get married before I got out of college making the degree of no value. At the time, it did not intimidate me, nor did I feel flattered. I considered he was just saying it as he saw it. Today, a prof who said such a thing could lose his tenured position.Times change.
I have more to say on this topic-- from the perspective of an old woman.
I'll save it for next Saturday.