Right now we are going through a sexual revolution. Hugh Hefner is dead. Women are calling out their abusers. Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Tim Worner, and The President of the United States are a few of the names on the roll call.
It’s not easy for women to call them out on their behaviour, and more often than not, you will be punished for it by losing your job or making the workplace untenable, just like Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan, Amber Harrison, Amy Taeuber, Caroline Marcus and more.
This year I had a male manager make comments about one of his staff and her “good arse” to me. I was so stunned that I was hearing it I said nothing at the time. I said nothing later, either. I needed my job. So, I get why so many women don’t say anything. They need their job.
In the film industry, the pay gap exists more than in any other industry. So few roles, in fewer films, as television take its place as the medium of choice. Of course, women take less pay, they have fewer opportunities. And if they have been subjected to sexual abuse so they can stay employed or get employed, then this says more about the state of the industry then it does about them.
In everyday life, the gap of equality is present. Women punished for having to leave to get their children by 6 pm from daycare. Women punished for saying NO to their boss hitting on them. Women punished for being too old, for being too fat, being too loud. Being too woman-ish.
I once watched a senior staff of an organisation undo his pants and rearrange his underwear front of the staff and no one said a thing. A few exchanged looks of horror. A text about them being inappropriate was shared by a few. But still, we said nothing. We needed our jobs. I wonder what would have happened if a junior member of staff had done this. The boss gets away with it because they have made themselves ‘invaluable’. The fish stinks from the head.
I keep coming back to the point I made in my essay about bad days at work.
We live in a society where excuses are made when people’s bad behaviour is overlooked because they might give us something. Woody Allen, Roman Polanski, Michael Jackson, Louis C.K, Bill Cosby, Donald Trump. We can forgive anything if we are getting something out of it. But can you ethically and morally separate the art and artist or the boss and the bully, especially when their behaviour traumatises people?
You cannot excuse them just because you enjoy their work or they make you money. The long game means that many will eventually end us losing. History tells us so. One law suit. One review. One person says something and soon the others come. The truth, just like the moon, cannot be hidden long.
I have been reading funny pieces online about if Hugh Hefner was a woman. A cave filled with men, ready to have sex as soon as a women demanded it. Women who lined them up and judged their appendage size and laughed and banished the ones who were found wanting. If women did this, most likely they would be murdered.
The men who are going forward in life at the moment, the men who are absolutely winning at life are the ones who are willing to evolve. To respect and honour everyone, male or female. The ones who are cool with women being their boss, or their partner earning more than them, and who understand the roles are blurred, as is the whole idea of sexuality. That we love who we love, and it’s no longer based on their sexual organs but how they respond to the world and themselves.
There are very few of them. Very few. But I am hoping that the more we see women standing up for each other and themselves, more men will have the courage to evolve and stand up alongside their fellow humans and ask that we all just grow the hell up and act like respectful adults.