So for this week, I had actually written a completely different column, but then this news hit, and I felt inspired to write again. First, let me start by saying thank you to all the people who have decided that they care about the shit I have opinions on. So far, it’s been one article, but there seems to be an unlimited amount of things for me to say (as my family has pointed out numerously) so I suspect many many more columns to come.
I love an open dialogue. I may be one opinionated bitch, but I am always willing and able to change my opinion should someone present a well thought out and founded counter-argument. So if you are just someone looking to watch the world burn, I’ve been flaming for years darling so go elsewhere. If you want to actually comment or discuss a topic, you can join me on twitter @DannOpinions.
The other week we covered the idea of banning assholes from winning awards. We decided collectively, and by that I mean the many voices in my head, that no we shouldn’t ban assholes from winning because if there isn’t a fair fight then the win doesn’t mean anything. This week, I wanna talk about that kiss that has the lips of the world flapping. You know the one where the boss stole a 19-year-old’s first kiss then bragged to friends: “I got him!” Yes, the victim was male. And to make matters more interesting, the assaulter was a female working in a position of power over his future. I can almost see the eye rolls from here.
Recently, we’ve been talking about sexual harassment on an international scale ever since the first Weinstein accusations hit the press. Really, we should have been talking about this a long time ago, but people were too busy trying to ward off sexual advances at the copy machine or figuring out ways to grab their secretary’s ass and make it look like an accident. Now the lines are drawn and behavior is under a microscope. Or is it?
When #metoo spread like fire and I joined in by stating that I was a #metoo survivor, all day I almost took it down. It didn’t feel like it was my movement. It didn’t feel like I mattered or that anyone cared. It felt like anything I had experienced was due to my own behavior and not the fault of someone else. I mean, men are the bad guys right? We can’t also be the victims. It wasn’t just me who felt this way. Many women and men made it clear that no man’s #metoo moment mattered, and that any time a man posted #metoo he was aggressively trying to coopt a feminist movement and dilute it by taking membership in it. You think I’m making this up, well, you’re wrong. Suck on my tit.
Our culture has made victimhood a badge of honor that people proudly wear. I’ve witnessed it time and again. Competitive victimhood is a real thing for those who suffer a need for attention so strong that they cannot share a trauma even with someone else who has experienced one too simply so they can have all the attention themselves. In this self-centered society it is a growing epidemic. Truth is, no matter how you feel, both men and women are survivors of sexual aggression and harassment and deserve support. That said, I hate competitive victimization. It shows a deep seeded weakness in those that engage in it in order to say: “I have more of a claim to this victimhood than you.” This is present in every social movement. If you catch yourself doing it, stop being a douchebag.
One thing that does become apparent is that the majority of those accused are men. We, as a society, have a problem with toxic masculinity with far reaching effects for both men and women. But what happens when something occurs that challenges this dynamic? We’ve accepted that certain men in power take advantage of their power in a sexual way, but do women? Katy Perry reminded us of the answer and the answer is yes: Tada!
This, of course, is not the first time a woman has used power against a man. It’s not so uncommon that even back in 1994 there was a thriller called Disclosure about a female boss who sexually attacked a male colleague and then flipped the story on him, and everyone believed her: Tada! Women are not better people than men. They hold no extra moral authority. We are all equally crappy.
Also, the current mood, and some would say this is an improvement, is that you cannot second-guess a victim statement. There is no debate. Whatever the victim says is considered true, no ulterior motives are looked for, and the debate is closed. The accused is guilty. Period. So why isn’t that same benefit of the doubt given to a male victim? Why is the dynamic so different when a female is the perpetrator? It’s simple. He has a penis and therefore has to offer his seat on the bus, hold open doors, dress in a suit that looks like every other suit, accept responsibility for the actions of other men, be the last rescued from a sinking boat, and the first to die in a war. So of course, he’s got the big stick so we need to second guess if he claims victimhood.
If you missed it, Katy Perry physically assaulted a contestant on the reality show American Idol, on which she is a judge. The victim was a 19 year old who says he was not happy to be kissed and would have said no had she asked him. He, clearly a romantic, was saving his first kiss for someone he had feelings for. Now he’s been kissed by a person in power without his consent and vicariously has kissed everyone she has kissed…so that’s (to be conservative): Johnny Lewis, Travis McCoy, Russell Brand, John Mayer, DJ Diplo, Orlando Bloom, and many more. Now I’m not slut shaming Perry. I’ve kissed a ton of people. So many that I don’t know all their names anymore. Hell, I didn’t know half their names at the time. But Benjamin Glaze hadn’t even kissed anyone yet. He had that experience taken from him and then was expected to perform and compete in front of the person who took that from him and be judged by her. Sound familiar?
Now I don’t think Katy Perry is a malicious sexual predator. She just decided that Glaze “could use some sugar ‘cause [his] levels ain’t right.” But then again, I don’t think in most equivalent #metoo moments, the aggressor was a sexual predator. Usually it’s a case of power at play. And between consenting adults, power play can be a super fun afternoon, just be sure to hydrate and pick a safe word that is easy to pronounce and only one syllable. But when it’s not consensual, it’s abuse.
Glaze has since clarified his statement saying he doesn’t feel like he was sexually harassed by Perry. Any woman who has been harassed by a man in power, then lost her position, and now faces public scrutiny over it, should commiserate with Glaze and understand why a 19 year old felt the need to say something akin to: “Naw, it was ok.” It clearly wasn’t ok. Women aren’t the only ones who like to please people. Men also often feel the need to shuffle this type of thing under the rug, especially when it challenges their masculinity. Hell, my rug is so full you need a spelunking guide to get through it.
Our society, and to know what I mean just read any comment section on this scandal, has decided that a young man ALWAYS wants physical sexual interaction from a woman. Even when he says he doesn’t want it, he secretly does. And even if he secretly doesn’t want it, he should suck it up because he’s LUCKY! Imagine that. He’s lucky to be assaulted. That’s really what this boils down to. Our society feels that men are so out of control sexually that any sexual attention from the opposite sex is seen as a huge win. Sorry folks. Men aren’t out of control. Men are in full control of their sexuality. Isn’t that half the issue right there? Men are so in control of their sexuality that that control bleeds over to control women’s sexuality? So, when a man says he doesn’t want it, he doesn’t want it. No means no, even if the person saying that no is a man. Men can say no as well.
Now online, there is a huge wave of men saying: “Katy kiss me!” This is to be expected. Katy Perry is beautiful, successful, and powerful. She is an industry magnum, regardless of the last album she released. I mean Witness? Really Katy? I felt like a victim simply after hearing those lyrics. Come on! Swish swish bitch. What happened to your ghostwriter? Anyway I digress, the men decrying Glaze’s reaction are simply living up to the toxic masculinity they were raised to present. What shouldn’t be expected, but sadly was by me, was all the women coming out and claiming Glaze overreacted, and we are getting too sensitive as a society.
Let’s talk about that: sensitive as a society. I will write on this topic in the future more fully, but for now, remember when people started to say that about the women coming forward with #metoo moments? Remember the backlash? One lesson everyone should have learned is not to tell a victim how to feel about their victimhood. Yet, many of those champions of women presenting their cases of harassment are the same people lambasting Glaze, and that those who dare to point out the kiss was nonconsensual are being too sensitive. After all, he’s a sex crazed guy right? What right does he have to claim autonomy over his body?
I know I’m gonna piss off a ton of men and women who will claim I’m drawing comparisons between a kiss and some kind of horrific assault. Hold your horses assholes. Not every #metoo was a rape. Don’t pull a reductio ad absurdum on me. Many many were situations like what Glaze experienced: a senior person of power taking advantage of a situation, exacting physical contrition, and gloating about it. All of these things Katy did and to quote her: “cause I’m feminine and soft, but I’m still a boss.” If Katy had been a male judge, and Glaze a female 19 year old virgin, and the male judge had taken her first kiss from her and then said: “I got her!” The roar from the public would be deafening. I got her. I got her! I GOT HER!
Now, I’m not going into psychology and how people process situations like this, or that men and women process sex and sexual interference differently, as that really doesn’t matter. That puts the onus on the victim and says that the value of your experience is directly related to how you processed it instead of the actions of the powerful person. No, I don’t believe in victim shaming like that. We have to establish decorum for acceptable behaviors, and those cannot be divided down gender lines. What’s good for the goose has to be good for the gander, and vice versa. If something is unacceptable for a man to do, it is unacceptable for a woman as well.
Katy Perry assaulted someone causing them to lose the competition. Apparently “Marilyn Monroe IS a monster truck.” She is directly responsible for harassing someone to a point they lost their position. These are simply the facts. Even facts Perry gloated about! She actually mentioned that she thought he didn’t perform well because he was too turned on by her. Imagine the ego! Wait! We already know people like that! We’ve been raking them over the coals for months now. But don’t worry Katy. No one is gonna rake you over the coals. No one cares if you assaulted Glaze. He’s supposed to want it anyway, right? That is all.
And now a “funny” painting by Norman Rockwell.