Cosby, Weinstein, Nassar, Moore, C.K., etc.

“You’re not the good guy here.”

Some random, still evolving thoughts: A friend of mine, a male, not so incidentally, wrote recently: “Don’t try to defend sex offenders just because you identify with them or like their work. Just don’t. Let their power and the difficulty in prosecuting them for their crimes keep them warm at night, not your ambivalent acquiescence to the horrors they have committed.”

This is, of course, the right and proper position to take. Yet I do understand how it can be a hard one to follow because it was difficult for me to believe the forerunner of the Mark Halperins/Kevin Spaceys, et al, could have been capable of the things he was accused of doing. That is, until woman after woman repeated the quite similar modus operandi of Dr. William H. Cosby, Jr., whose comedy routines I still remember.

Still, I had hoped, despite me labeling this as a rape culture four years ago, that the problem was not as toxic as it has turned out to be. As a clinical psychiatrist was discussing on one of the morning shows, this pattern of behavior isn’t about sex, it’s about power, tied up with shame and a sometimes perverse use of religion, religion.

While I find all the allegations troubling, some I find even worse than others. For sheer numbers of reported, Harvey Weinstein’s not only among the top predators, but he used an Israeli intelligence firm and contracting with a prestigious law firm to cover it up; both entities have since apologized.

Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman is just the latest gymnast to accuse the team doctor, Larry Nassar, of sexual assault, joining over 130 other women. “Nassar, who is now in jail, worked with the US women’s national gymnastics team for more than two decades. He pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual assault, but did plead guilty to child pornography charges.”

The Roy Moore story is troubling, and infuriating. He is running to be a US Senator in Alabama in December. His defense is shaky and contradictory. Worse, some of his allies have concocted a response that, if he DID date teenagers when he was in his thirties and molested a 14-year-old, well, Joseph was much older than the Virgin Mary. WHAT? That doesn’t even make theological sense.

As Mark Evanier noted, at least Louis C.K. has accepted responsibility for his own sordid actions. “He not only said he did it, he seems to have even had a little actual understanding of why he did it and why it was wrong.” On the other hand, as someone once said to BoJack Horseman, “you’re not the good guy here.”

You know who needs to work on this issue? Members of Congress, who have been immune to many of the sexual harassment laws they’ve passed for others to follow.

There are SO many of these allegations, I cannot keep track. Cinefamily, an entity I had not heard of, recently shut down. And of course, these types of behavior take place all the time by people who are not famous.

Moore defends himself saying that if these events happened decades ago, why are they are coming out now? Because the individual victim, woman or man, is not usually believed, and it takes a tsunami of brave people speaking out for some others to risk saying MeToo.

For now, here’s Joyful Heart’s new PSA campaign, which “mirrors back the societal attitudes that have excused, minimized, and helped perpetuate violence against women and girls for so long. Enough”. Also, why do women make themselves attractive, which you should just read.

#MeToo- Heather Rusaw-Fazio’s banned TU post

My fellow Times Union blogger Heather Rusaw-Fazio posted the item below at 6 a.m. on October 17. It was not easy for her to write, obviously.

She received a note from the TU that while they’re sorry what had happened to her, her reportage was too “graphic.” Her blogs have been blocked and she’s been suspended. Per the terms of the TU bloggers, they can’t change the content, but they can block it if it is considered – and these words were circled, “pornography” or “child pornography.”

Reposted with her permission.

#MeToo

*Caution – strong adult language/topic*

I’ve been thinking about this for a couple of days but I haven’t been brave enough until tonight. Do I publish my story or do I simply write “me too” for a Facebook status? Is that enough to have a genuine impact? Do I tell you his/their name?

Do I share the names of the Massena NY Police Department officers who dismissed me because I was 15 and had two beers at a high-school party? Or do I share their names because they told the 21-year-old man who was enlisted in the Army that he’s a “good guy” and “doesn’t need the hassle” as they interviewed me IN FRONT OF HIM on the front steps of his house?

No hospital visit, no nurse, no female police officer – just me, three grown men, and a kid my age who hosted the party and protected his big brother even though he knew the truth. The only question I was asked by the police officers was “How much did you drink?”

It’s something that (obviously and rightfully) bothers me to this day because I think about it often. I think about the man “DM” often – his real initials. I even think about his little brother who protected him. I was friends with the little brother on Facebook for a while until he began spewing hate, homophobia, and racism as soon as Trump announced he was running for office. I sent him a private message to remind him his brother is at the very least a sexual predator if not a rapist. Who knows what he had done before and after me?

After this experience I quickly learned that sexual harassment is common, should just be accepted by women, we should be grateful someone is attracted to us, and if reported you will rarely be taken seriously by other men – and sometimes women. In the 80’s, it seemed that was par for the course and unfortunately these lessons stayed with me until my 30s.

The only “men” who believed me were two of my best friends who knew DM. They even went to his house to confront him but he called the police. The same two police officers told him to stay inside until his leave was over and then he could forget about the whole situation and put it behind him. My friends were threatened with arrest but were able to go home with a warning.

At 15, this wasn’t the first or close to the last time I had been sexually harassed but it was the first time I was sexually assaulted – but not the last. Continue reading “#MeToo- Heather Rusaw-Fazio’s banned TU post”