January 2, 2019 § 4 Comments
Eighteen months ago, Louis CK was one of the most famous comedians in the world, almost universally loved, devastatingly funny, and, apparently, a decent human being. And then came the scandal, which involved him being an incredible douchecanoe with women, intimidating them and performing sexual acts in front of them. And so, he disappeared from the public eye after apologizing for his behaviour. This was the right card to play and the appropriate response for his behaviour.
But now he’s back. And somehow, getting booked for shows. Last month at a comedy club on Long Island, CK attacked the survivors of the Parkland massacre. That in and of itself makes him an asshole, but comedy has long been the purview of assholes. That’s part of what makes comedians funny. But this was crossing a line, and he knew it. He had to. He’s a smart guy.
But then he went onto whine about his own ‘bad year.’ He complained that the sex scandal cost him $35 million. And he complained about finding out who his ‘real friends’ were, whining that:
People say that like it’s a good thing. That’s not a good thing. That’s a horrible experience. Who the fuck wants to know who your real friends are? I liked having a bunch of fake friends and not knowing who was who.
And then he went onto attack the ‘younger generation’ for essentially having no sense of humour about such things.
And so there we go. Yet another white dude caught being a morally reprehensible character who isn’t sorry for his behaviour. His apology means absolutely sweet fuck all now. Because he obviously didn’t mean it and he doesn’t care that his behaviour was boorish. He has become another Justice Brett Kavanaugh, attacking his accuser(s). And Kavanaugh is just another Harvey Weinstein or Kevin Spacey. This is apparently what you do when you’re a white guy accused of being a dickhead, you mumble something about recognizing your behaviour was uncouth and then attack your accusers.
Fuck that. We deserve better.
October 17, 2017 § Leave a comment
Since around Sunday afternoon, women have been posting on social media that they have been victims of sexual assault and/or sexual harassment. My Twitter and Facebook feeds are full of these brave posts, with the hashtag #MeToo. But, almost immediately, the backlash came. From men.
Yes, men are the victims of sexual assault, too. Around 10% of rape victims are male, and around 3% of men in the United States have been sexually assaulted. This is a very real problem. And the sexual assault of men does not get much coverage in our world. To be a male survivor of sexual assault is alienating and lonely. In fact, many of the same things women experience, men experience in the aftermath of being sexually assaulted.
But. This male backlash to #MeToo smacks of an attempt to deny women their experiences. It also smacks of ‘All Lives Matter.’
A couple of years ago, at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement, white conservatives began the counterpoint: All Lives Matter. Well, duh. Of course all lives matter. That was never open for debate. No one ever said that because Black Lives Matter, other lives don’t. But the simple fact was that the discussion was about black lives, which were much more likely to be terminated at the hands of the police than other types of lives.
In effect, saying ‘All Lives Matter’ was an attempt to equate the African American experience with the white American experience, and to say they were both equal. They’re not. This nation was founded upon exploiting the labour and bodies of African Americans, and even though slavery ended 152 years ago, the cost for black bodies has not ended. And even though the Civil Rights Era was half a century ago, the cost for black bodies has not ended. To suggest the white and black experience is the same is a false equivalence.
Not all men who are speaking out right now are attempting to deny women’s experiences. They are speaking out of of the same, or similar place. But, this is already being used to silence women. Some men are using these men’s experiences to claim an equivalence of the male and female experience. This is already being used to deny the experience of women. A few years ago, during another heightened consciousness over the experience of women, #YesAllWomen was a social media activist campaign. Because almost all women have experienced this. So, to claim that the male and female experience of sexual violence is the same is wrong. It is not. It is a false equivalence.