Reflections on recent events, plus the occasional fact
free rant unfiltered by rational argument.
Men want to protect women. Especially the women that are important to them through kinship. Let me illustrate the point. As a father with two daughters, I have a simple yardstick, if you hurt my girls then I’ll hurt you. As my girls grew up and came of age, we’d on occasions drink together. By then they’d moved past that phase of ‘Oh god, its Dad!’ and were comfortable to be seen in public with me.
One evening we were having cocktails in a hotel bar when I wandered off to chat. On my return, a young man was ‘hitting’ on my eldest. She was 22 years old at the time. I was about to go into my angry “I’m a cop” mode when her sister pulled me aside.
‘It’s fine; she can handle it.’
I still prowled the perimeter, like a Lion looking for a kill. He knew I was there. He could feel my eyes drilling into the back of his head. On reflection, the bloke was flirting and didn’t warrant a baseball bat intervention. Which leads me to something Jordon Peterson talks about - and I paraphrase - it’s far better to make your kids competent, rather than protect them. I’d support that because I can’t always be there.
All this came back this week, as I watched the father of three abuse victims try to attack sex-offender Larry Nassar. As the father lunged across the courtroom, every dad was cheering him on. I wish the Deputies hadn’t been quick to respond. Nassar was bundled away in one piece. The judge was wise enough to release the father without charges, earning acclaim for her percipience.
So I want to ask what happened to the protectors around women during the Weinstein saga. Did the male co-stars know what was going on; did the fathers, the boyfriends and colleagues? What went on in Hollywood is hardly a secret - the casting couch existed since the industry started. Thus, I’m not buying all the virtue signalling by certain male actors.
George Clooney had an insight according to his reported comments. And Clooney’s Hollywood mate, Matt Damon admits he knew of Weinstein’s sexual harassment of Gwyneth Paltrow.
‘I knew that story,” he told ABC News. “I never talked to Gwyneth about it. Ben [Affleck] told me, but I knew that they had come to whatever, you know, agreement or understanding that they had come to, she had handled it.’
So, between them, Batman and Jason Bourne couldn’t summon up the courage to challenge Weinstein. Maybe they feared their precious careers would suffer. It’s worse, they conspired. There is a report that Damon sought to shut down a 2004 story of Weinstein’s abusing an actress. He allegedly called a New York Times reporter, as did Russel Crowe. Do you see a trend emerging here?
In recent years, Clooney has appointed himself as something of a moral crusader. He’s jumped on many causes. Thus the flak he’s getting over his association with Weinstein is not pleasant nor good for business. That explains his attempt to distract by summoning up faux outrage.
My reaction to the Weinstein business is further nuanced by the suggestion that some ladies sought him out, then accepted his advances to further their careers. As such, leading Hollywood men and women were complicit in Weinstein’s actions. As crudely put in an interview, ‘These ladies were happy to open their legs to get parts in movies, without any element of coercion.’
These people profited from Weinstein’s dealings, his Oscars and the careers he created for them. Now they are seeking to eviscerate that aspect of the process, by changing the narrative. They knew for decades, and are now running around trying to out-victim each other.
At award ceremonies, the guilt-ridden showed up on the red carpet with ordinary ladies in tow, in a supposed display of solidarity. Beyond that gesture, which could be interpreted as a smart deflection ploy, the regular ladies are back on their own. Meanwhile, the Hollywood set is parading around seizing every opportunity for publicity.
An intriguing development is 100 French women, including actresses, rejecting the #Metoo movement. In their view, the campaign has gone beyond exposing individual perpetrators to unleash a torrent of ‘hatred against men and sex’.
To further add to the confusion, even differentiating between the offences is proving difficult. When Matt Damon, already a tainted figure, sought to make a distinction between rape and grabbing a bum, an onslaught of bile fell on him.
‘He had to eat more shit than when stranded on Mars’ observed one commentator.
It’s evident that Damon is not the sharpest knife in the toolbox, yet he makes a fair point. Where do you draw the line between sexual flirtation and harassment? And who gets to decide? It’s not evident to me that anyone has got a handle on the rules.
Some of the noise is being generated by the radical postmodern left, who are seeking to erase categories of criminal behaviour. They assert that groups are part of a power structure. To them, leering at women is rape. That’s palpable nonsense. It doesn’t help matters as rational folks seek to understand the issues.
As relations between men and women are redefined, the rules are not there yet, and a great deal of confusion exists. Nonetheless, men need to step up and speak out when other men over-step the mark. How do you?
It’s simple. Apply the ‘Dad Rule' - if that lady was my daughter would I be comfortable with this situation? If the answer is no, then it needs to stop.
Walter De Havilland is one of the last of the colonial coppers. He served 35 years in the Hong Kong Police.