What is it, this month?
Well, it’s sex scandals of course, mainly tales of starlets from many constellations being abused and exploited. The hypocritical tut-tutting echoes around the lots (of everything) in Hollywood and the corridors of power in Westminster; fuelling the flames of feminism and sending whiffs of grapeshot among the moguls and mandarins.
The truth had to come out. Just as the revelations of institutional pædophilia and pederasty shocked the world not so long ago. And in similar style to the rich and powerful (ecclesiastical and secular) then, the top dogs have nowhere to hide. They have known about it for decades and can’t deny its existence, even though they would prefer to do so.
But in showbiz there is one clear difference between pederasty and serial groping of adult targets, a ‘grey area’ which Martin Clunes has been brave enough to point out. The ‘casting couch culture’ – literally and figuratively – has always been liable to be sullied by both producers and applicants; sexual favours not only sought but regularly offered. It would not be unfair to doubt the innocence of many ambitious young actresses, as anecdotal evidence about famous divas would confirm. And the same must be true of many political parvenues seeking the attention of successful mentors. Exploitation and prostitution go hand in hand in many walks of life.
But tomorrow is another month, another opportunity for the people-watchers to be shocked and appalled.
6 thoughts on “Flavour of the month”
It was refreshing this morning to hear a journo/presenter (Julia Hartley-Brewer) clearly state that an incident 15 years ago where an MP (Fallon) put a hand on her knee didn’t upset her nor did she see herself as a victim. She told him to remove his hand otherwise she would punch him in the face. Quite right too. So why is it headline news?
Perspective, context, nah, sod that.
Good sort, the H-Bs, what? 🙂
And likewise, Sky reports that Peter Tatchell says Spacey’s homosexuality is irrelevant now. Exactly.
I understand that Anne Robinson is being ‘slammed’ for daring to say that in the 60s women learnt to deal with ‘minor’ infringements. And we did – the stiletto heel was a very useful tool, as was a well placed elbow – a cutting remark, etc. We certainly did not see ourselves as victims if someone patted us on the… we knew exactly how to tell them we didn’t like it and the majority never dared to do it again! Most men, in my limited experience, were sufficiently intelligent to take a hint – and those that couldn’t or wouldn’t – I avoided.
To be quite honest, it was fun to have a flippant exchange with the opposite sex. Who knows – maybe I made a few offensive remarks, too! I feel very sad that with all the PC around men and women can no longer enjoy a light-hearted banter with their colleagues.
There was a totally different attitude – I knew a woman who felt so miffed if she didn’t get wolf-whistles from the building site that she passed on her way to work she went home and changed – and if she still didn’t get wolf-whistles – she went home and changed again… She didn’t feel threatened by what she took as a simple appreciation for her looks.
What really, really annoys me is that there are so many women out there screaming blue murder and demanding that a man who has dared to touch her ‘inappropriately’ should be treated as though he had raped her. The two actions are not the same, and to demand that they are is to send out a very strong and a very dangerous message that rape is not really that bad… oh yes it is.
I know that I would be slammed for what I’m about to say if I said it on an open site… but it seems to me that most of those complaining about Hollywood’s ‘casting couch’ set out to be sex-symbols. Not too many of those who I would call serious actresses have joined the “Me Too” Brigade.
Dare I say, that if that’s the image these women projected they should not have been surprised if that was the way they were treated. It’s called, in my book, taking responsibility for your actions.
Boa, I recall that in Big Biz some of the same behaviour prevailed, but I never heard ‘foul’ from the young women involved – and men never objected to them ‘asking for it’ to my knowledge!
I’m disappointed: nobody’s complained about me yet! (Cue: lecherous cackle.)
Janus: On a serious note, the major company for which I worked understood that co-workers might develop lust or more genteel feelings for each other and saw nothing wrong with that, *provided that* the relationship involved was not what the VP of Human Resources described as, “power-differentiated.” In other words, it was perfectly acceptable to do, erm, “things” with someone in a different department but not with someone who might potentially bestow or receive some advantage (promotion, preferred assignments, etc.) as a result of their activities. For those who “legitimately” (without offering or seeking favor in the liaison) couldn’t keep their hands off each other and who were willing to disclose that fact to him, said VP promised his full cooperation in transferring one of the pair to some other department. All very reasonable and civilized.
What I don’t understand is that MPs, film producers and others in the public eye even need to be told how to behave at work. Surely it is normal behaviour not to rock up after lunch the worse for wear and try to grope the typing pool? That certainly was the absolute minimum standard expected in my time.and which was taken for granted by all combatants. Having said that, I admit it must have been difficult for the few women back then who were starting to make their careers on the trading floor. It was an almost exclusively male environment, rampant with cojones and testosterone and certainly not a place for the faint of heart or shrinking violets of either sex. A girlie could only go one of two ways – try to be ‘one of the lads’ with all the beer and swearing and do the job well, or maintain a certain aloof poise and decorum and do the job well.
Either way, if you didn’t do the job well you were out on your ear pretty toot sweet, but the latter always earned the respect of male colleagues and, being treated better as a result, made progress, the former not so much.
Cog – Sod the ‘on a serious note’ thing this grey Wednesday morning. That Matt cartoon reminds me of the schoolboy joke at least half a century old of the seven dwarfs (sorry, persons of short stature) in the bath and they were all feeling happy. Then Happy got out so they all felt Grumpy. Also the slightly more recent (yet never broadcast, surprisingly) take on the telly advert for a brand of vodka with the amended tag line, ‘Snow White thought that Seven Up was a type of lemonade – until she discovered Smirnoff.’
Ah, is that my taxi? I thank you.