Life With The Gropers

Harvey Weinstein is a pig. And he is not alone. As long as I am getting loud about the things that matter, and pissing people off, I might as well jump on the bandwagon.

All women get groped, assaulted, insulted, abused and put down by men. This is a fact of life when you are a woman in America. So many of us just take it in stride. But these emerging facts about Weinstein are making me take a harder look at my own past, because I’ve had similar incidents.

People (read: Men) often mistake your enthusiasm over a project for enthusiasm for THEM. Or, maybe they don’t. Let’s just say there was a certain movie horse trainer that I was writing a book with. This project evolved into some exciting times wherein I hobnobbed with some famous people and got to meet some beautiful horses.

The subject of my adoration turned into an octopus during a private meeting when we were supposed to be going over notes. Uhm, can you say “animal behavior”?

When I wouldn’t put out, that project crashed and burned.

Same thing with another story I worked on. I endured continuous sexual harassment, advances, flirtations, etc, whatever you want to call it. It got so bad that when I traveled to the PNW to meet the big bird and see the whole thing first hand, I brought my sister in law along as chaperone. I refused to meet the guy alone even for dinner (“no sister in law” he had said, “just you and me”).

Uhm, no.

THAT book crashed and burned too, despite huge amounts of time and money invested on my part.

Beyond these career-wrecking episodes that began with my failure to answer to the Almighty Penis, my experiences with White Male Entitlement extend to all kinds of other people and situations, including but not limited to RELATIVES.

The weirdest part about these relationships is the implicit code of silence. It’s her word against his, so the woman says nothing. It’s like acknowledging our lower place in the Great Caste System.

Watch for the self-righteous reaction that comes from these enlightened accusations as the woman ages and suddenly finds her power, finally growing angry enough to speak out about incidents that happened five, ten, twenty years ago.

Or even just two years ago.

Or, yesterday.

Watch the testosterone take off and the hysteria that rushes through the narcissistic male population, blaming the women, calling them crazy, calling them liars, asking if it’s true, why did they wait so long?

I hope the uprising against Weinstein, Cosby, others, indicates a shift in the social position of women, who despite every effort and proverbial inch of progress, still are treated as a little bit Less.

Yeah, we have the right to be this mad.

If this is what it takes, then let this fall into the same category of abusive parents who are afraid of being called out by their own kids, of that one phone call to the school, or Social Services.

Fear is a powerful motivator.

Kudos to you, sisters, finally standing en masse, for all those moments when you are cornered against the wall, felt up, groped as if your own body doesn’t belong to you, while your heart slams in your ears and you measure the distance to the door, glancing around the room for a heavy object, something to grasp and wield, as your hopes and dreams crash into the abyss.

 

 

 

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About Nancy J. Bailey

Artist, author, bad karaoke singer. Woodsy ragamuffin. Mom of a horse named Clifford who plays fetch and paints with watercolors. He visits libraries and schools with me, to promote literacy and making the world a better place. Yes, he is house trained, no, he doesn't live in my house! I have written three books about Clifford. But my newest book, THE NORTH SIDE OF DOWN, is co-written by my awesome sister Amanda, who has Down syndrome. Her unexpected one-liner wisecracks can always make me laugh. If you make me laugh, you've made my day!
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