Fed Up Of Time’s Up Opportunism? Me Too!

Hollywood always seems from afar to be a seedy, dirty place, full of self-absorbed people pushing their own agenda. Most of the inhabitants of this false reality world love a bandwagon to jump on and like the proverbial lemming, many will follow. It is a shallow, superficial world that promotes the ridiculous and untalented to “superstar” status. We are all now expected to believe that people who have chosen to be part of that system, are shocked and angry about some of the things allegedly going on there. The latest chance to show how shocked Hollywood is came at the recent Golden Globes with the so-called Time’s Up, Dress in Black movement, all followed by most of the leading ladies in the industry. Time is up for sexual predators was the seemingly functional message. All of them had their few minutes in front of the camera to express their horror at what has recently happened and the winners of awards made bold statements about how women are being oppressed and victimized. I wonder how many of them woke up the next morning and continued that thought? The Me Too hashtag gave normal women the opportunity to talk about their experiences of sexual assault and there were many sad stories presented. However, it also gave anyone who wanted to push their agenda a chance to do that. One story, I read was of an “aspiring actress” (what does that even mean?) who claimed she was sexually harassed because a man stared at her in a restaurant. The article was, as you might expect, embellished with pictures of said “aspiring actress” writhing seductively on a beach in a bikini. You cannot help thinking that a good cause has again been hijacked by people who have no idea what they are talking about and takes away from the very good work done by crisis centers and organisations promoting rights for women. All this recent activity suggests is that the “casting couch” mentality is alive and well in the film and television industry.  Dame Joan Collins recently said that many women (and men) in Hollywood have been presented with a choice, that is sexual favors for roles. It is then a question of choice.  Are we now being asked to believe that this stopped with the current crop? I don’t think so. While it is very sure that there are powerful men taking advantage, it would be safe to also suggest that there are others taking advantage of that. Now let’s talk about the real world!

As I write this, there is a woman being raped, sexually assaulted, harassed or oppressed somewhere in the world. Whether it is in the workplace or elsewhere, it is happening, right now. It is not happening to pampered Hollywood types who have the resources to live behind high walls and employ 24 hour security. It is happening to normal women, all day, every day. It is happening to someone’s daughter, sister, mother, aunt, etc, etc. There are, unfortunately some places in the world where it happens more frequently and women have less rights to deal with it. In many parts of Africa, the Middle East, Asia and South America, women have very few rights. Those they have are usually not worth much when it comes to human dignity. They live in male dominated environments where the most educated woman is seen as inferior to any level of man. Many women in these environments face the choice between being a maid or a prostitute. Sexual assault, harassment and even rape are daily occurrences that many women have to accept. Even walking the street in broad daylight brings its dangers from being talked to, touched or harassed. In many of these countries, women and women’s bodies are seen as a commodity to be sold or handled. Feminism and women’s rights are mostly an alien concept.

In many of these areas, religion has been interpreted by men in order to oppress women in the way they dress, act and behave. In cases of rape that do come to court, a way is found to blame the woman in some way for the attack or it is brushed under the carpet and forgotten. This is where a woman’s life can be truly hell with no recourse or protection from the law at all. Even worse is that these situations take away all hope of changing a situation. Many women born into poverty stay in poverty and face the same dangers and limited choices their mothers did. It is no surprise when viewing the news concerning migrants coming from poor parts of the world, that the vast majority are men. Where are the women? Are they safe or forgotten?

Spending time in the Middle East and Africa, I have seen this situation first hand. Men truly believe they are superior and it comes generally as a great surprise to a woman to be treated as an equal. This is where women truly need help and all available resources need to be given to bring about change. Unfortunately, while the attention is mostly on out of touch millionaires playing in a millionaires playground, very little will be done. Let’s see some of those people donating instead of talking, or donating without taking the spotlight away from real women’s issues.

  2 comments for “Fed Up Of Time’s Up Opportunism? Me Too!

  1. Susan K.
    January 11, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    All movements, be it civil rights, anti war, women’s rights, etc…. have a history of going over the top in the beginning. Are there those that are not truly victims joining in just to get their moment in the spotlight? Certainly. This has always been a problem and always will be until it is policed. However, that must come from within, from those who have authentic claims and concerns within the movement. When a man speaks out against #metoo, he comes off sounding like another member of the Ole Boy’s Club protecting his cronies who love, as our President is so proud of, “grabbing pussy”. When a woman speaks out against it, she is an old bird that still feels obliged to be a boy’s toy.

    Here in the US, we have laws that go a bit overboard in which a man accused of sexual assault is guilty until he can prove his innocence. This allows for a new sort of crime. Women crying wolf, having a male arrested out of spite, revenge, or to scam him out of money in return for her dropping charges. While this is despicable, the laws are there to protect those who otherwise would be afraid to come forward. So just like the #metoo movement, enough latitude is provided to encourage those too ashamed or traumatized to have a platform to speak up. The movement is not limited to women, but men as well that have been assaulted or harassed by women or males.

    Here in the US, especially given the embarrassment of a political system gone terribly awry, Hollywood has taken over (by the choice of the people) as our “Royalty”. Their voices are refreshing and inspiring in a time when the Mad Tweeter, Baby-in-Chief rules, making us look like fools in the eyes of the world. We yearn for civility, charisma, diplomacy – all which those who have had long, successful careers possess. They speak, not for themselves, but for all women saying “It’s okay to come out, speak up, demand respect!” One flame can light thousands of candles, and in doing so we can spread the message around the world.

    While we do not have the severity of abuses that take place in third world nations, we do have human trafficking, rape, assault, harassment perpetrated by males in power. It is about time we, who have suffered such abuses, have a chance to say, “Enough is Enough!” When we have to choose between our dreams, career aspirations, ability to support ourselves and sexual favors get the green light, those who stand strong and say “no” still lose out. I personally dealt with that time and time again through my younger years. It is painful. It leaves scars. It destroys your sense of self worth, knowing that in a man’s world, my mind, my skills and talents have no value compared to males.

    Perhaps our problems here, do not match those in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, but I did not realize that this was a competition! How dare you dismiss a woman’s suffering here as compared to the “real world”. My assault, my rape, my harassment leading to painful losses is just as REAL. Thank you for yet another reason to “keep my problems to myself”.

    • January 11, 2018 at 2:59 pm

      Thank you for your comment. I really appreciate the time you took. I fully accept that women struggle on many levels on a global basis. I agree with much of what you say. My fear is that any good that these initiatives hope to promote will be negated by opportunism. I can see the advantage of having a Hollywood celebrity as head of a global movement, as long as their motives are in the right place and their fame is being used for that cause and not self-promotion. It was not my intention to minimalise the suffering of rape victims in the US or anywhere else. The article took for granted, as common sense would suggest, that sexual assault and rape are global concepts. I was trying to highlight the suffering of people in parts of the world who are subjected daily to this. There is no need for comparison or talk of competition. Facts are facts. If any comparison is relevant, it would be that we in the West are at least allowed to voice opinions, to stand for something and start initiatives. Just as we are doing now. In some countries, this discussion would mean jail or death. My posts here can be seen quite clearly as supporting women in many ways…which I do. I also, by choice, took a politically neutral stance. My post was not written to support or criticise a political party or figure. My own opinion for what it is worth, is that no recent administration whether present or past in any country have done enough to promote gender equality or break the “glass ceiling” that exists for many women in business and public life. However, that is mostly a western problem. Many women in under developed countries are just looking to survive the day. My post was about people backing up their public statements with action without having the spotlight shone on them for doing so. I, in no way support any idea or concept that puts men in a superior position to women, whether it is there or anywhere else in the world. My highlight was purely that in some parts of the world, women cannot take their status or safety for granted . I am all for spreading the message around the world. It needs doing. However, it needs doing consistently and not just as a fad. There are organizations promoting womens health all over the world doing sterling work helping ordinary women cope with rape, inequality and oppression, even in countries where it might be seen as impossible to do so. If one of the Hollywood Celebs is quietly contributing a portion of their wealth to these agencies, I will applaud louder than anyone else. Additionally, there was absolutely nothing written in my article that suggested I criticized MeToo or that I found sympathy with abusers and rapists. Quite the contrary. My main criticism was with opportunistic people taking advantage of a very worthwhile initiative to push themselves forward. This takes away from true victims of which there are many. Secondly, nothing in my article suggested you or anyone else should keep quiet about anything. If there was, I apologize and will happily change it. Even if MeToo did not exist along with my article, there is ample opportunity to speak out, seek help and advice and to have a voice. Once again, thank you for taking the time to write a comment.

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