Ugh. This is a hard one to write. I don’t want any women thinking I don’t back them up 100%. But with the tidal wave of social media “me too’s” that out the sexual harassment experienced by far too many women (and men), I feel the need to speak up myself.
Have I experienced it? Oh hells yes. As an attractive, fit female, I have experienced sexual harassment on an almost daily basis my entire life. You could say I’ve built up a bit of a wall when I’m in public. I can’t work in my front yard without cat calls and men yelling at me from their car windows. It is impossible for me to walk down Hollywood blvd to an improv show without having men jeer and hit on me. I wouldn’t say I accept this, but I most definitely expect it. So, I’ve adapted. I walk with purpose, I don’t smile at strangers and I don’t make eye contact. Part of me hates that I have to transform into someone I’m not, but I’d rather cut the ugly head off before it has a chance to devour me.
I’m sad so many human beings have been treated as objects. I in no way condone nor accept that behavior. I guess what I’m struggling with here is this: At what point did we think humankind had more than 1 ounce of goodness? Since when did mankind stop being evil, lying, manipulative, lusting, coercing and selfish? Of course there’s a billion me too’s.
Even if we believe we haven’t participated in objectifying or taking advantage of another human, let me assure you, we are complicit. The pernicious, seething monster that is objectification is forever at our doorstep, on our TV, on our computer screen, and in our conversations. Can I get real here?
When we watch yet another movie that has 5 men headlining the cast, and then one woman as, you guessed it- the wife of the main character, we are complicit.
When we read the article about Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt divorcing and try to dissect their personal lives, speculating who did what wrong, we are complicit.
When we size up another woman based on her clothes, her hair, her makeup, and her weight, attempting to jockey for our position at the top, we are complicit.
When we decide that there can only be one leading lady in Hollywood existence who is overweight, and even then, the joke is about her size, we are complicit.
When we are thrilled to watch Game of Thrones with its violence, savagery and women as subservient sexual slaves, we are complicit.
Please tell me you see what I’m saying here. What we watch, judge, read, and support with our eyes or our pocket book matters. These things only subsist with the complicity of an audience. And, little by little, the examples we see before us chip away at our respect for human dignity and value.
So, me too. I am complicit in a society that supports treating other human beings as objects, much as I abhor it. Question is, what are we going to do about it?