Technically, this is about take seven on my annual blogoversary post. Realistically I missed it as it was three weeks ago, so let’s call this Phase II. A veiled Star Trek reference, as I’m so enjoying the new Star Trek Discovery series.
It has been a quieter year for me on the site as I focus more on my larger publishing vision. Had some medical and life challenges that have made keeping up as I used to more difficult. I like to think we’re back to all-systems-go, but time will tell.
This, however, is not the reason I had difficulty with this post specifically. Lately, it has been difficult reconciling with the reality of truth from facts. As an atheist, I’ve often joked that I’ll call your truth and raise you facts, but with the big Hollywood reveal of abusers over the past number of months it has given me pause. A stark reminder why I always try to separate art from the artist.
I thought Joss Whedon was a trusted feminist and humanist.
I thought Kevin Spacey was a really cool guy.
Those were the two big ones for me, and I was wrong.
Before going further, if you think we have to stop referring to this as a Hollywood and stage problem. This is a power problem. That these folks have cameras and stage lights on them means they are merely the first wave. From automotive manufacturing to interior design; we would be foolish to expect not to expect to find influential people who have done foolish, inappropriate, and illegal things within all industries.
With politicians, these things are so routine that we barely notice it. The fact there is a sitting president who has been accused of inappropriate behavior, and even admitted to it in a recording, shows that there is plenty of blame to go around to those of us that have turned blind eyes to it. And we are all culpable on this level.
The silver lining in all this is to see that victims are being taken seriously, and with less pushback than at previous times.
To prove that I occasionally foreshadow, take Anthony Rapp from Star Trek Discovery, for example, who first called out Spacey. There were posts questioning what Rapp was trying to do at first. When others followed Rapp with separate allegations against Spacey, those critics slithered out of the public eye. Rapp didn’t start the dumpster fire. He just pointed it out to those of us that weren’t hearing the showbiz whispers about Spacey.
This said the reports that Pamela Anderson is now victim shaming Harvey Weinstein’s accusers is alarming. Other than in porn the casting couch is not an expected requirement for any industry…and even with porn, only with enthusiastic consent would be acceptable.
Weinstein and Spacey will unlikely be convicted of anything. The legal system is much too loaded in favor of those with power and money. Usually, they would find some loophole that shames the victims even more, and then claim vindication while beating their chests and walking down the court steps. That seems unlikely with the current public sentiment about them, as well as the countless others recently accused. Now I anticipate them leaving the courtroom quietly with a coat over head to shield them as they hurry to a waiting car without the press accosting them. Their future careers are probably destroyed, but it seems a minimal consequence in the grand scheme.
My problem with all this is with Whedon, truly. He’s not accused of anything illegal that I’m aware of, but he certainly is not who I thought he was. I found myself aligning with him, solely on labels without actually looking into what he was. I’ve made no secret of how brilliant I thought some of his work was.
The work is still entertaining. Looking at Firefly, Dollhouse, and Buffy from my male perspective I, at first, saw what appeared to be some compelling female characters. A quick net search shows that Buffy, Firefly, and Dollhouse are not the strong feminist shows I first believed.
Unfortunately, sometimes we guys need to have our misunderstandings pointed out to us. Our mental elevator often makes stops on the way up at the little head…too often.
I suspect Whedon’s did and he got caught up in his hype as the forward-thinking humanist and feminist. Truth is the old Terrell Owens quote probably suits him better:
“I love me some me!”
We need to stop turning blind eyes to things that are wrong, even when it doesn’t affect us. I know I do as that aforementioned quick net search showed me some things about Whedon’s work I did realize but, chose to ignore.
As such, I had to come to grips with what I’ve done here. I’m a male sex blogger and writer that grew up in the 80s. I like to think I’m rather forward thinking in a lot of ways. Once in awhile, though, I hit that speed bump. You know the one. The one that reminds us of how far we’ve come and yet how far we have still to go.
I do still have many miles to go before I could genuinely refer to myself as a feminist.
And that’s why the title of this post…Day One of me doing some relearning and unlearning if I can. I am going to attempt to post each day for a while. Call this my exercise to get me back on Molly’s top 100 sex bloggers list next year again…I was disappointed I fell off there, but that’s entirely on me as I was focused elsewhere.
That last point means that, hopefully, some of what I write from here on will be sizzling…and maybe funny. Just maybe.
As always, thank you for reading and if you see me being lazy, give this guy a poke, please. Just wear rubber gloves…safety first!