I will say in all sincerity that these past few months have caused me (out of expectation, experience and general pessimism) to wonder who I've raped in the past and how it's going to ruin my life. Because of course, I can't recall ever raping anyone. I can't even recall ever pressuring anyone for sex. This does not mean I wasn't accused of rape by an ex-girlfriend while in high school - a girl whom I never even got to second base with. The logical conclusion of the chattering class on this roiling tragedy is "all men are bad" and the column makes the point succinctly.
Of course, I can't even profess my innocence - because that's backlash and as we all know, #notallmen is just an excuse to diminish the very real pain these women have suffered. Men, of course, are universally unaware of the trevails women face just to be women and if we merely attempt to nod and agree, we're complicit.
Here's what I know -
- I let a friend mic up Jessica Alba because I had a sense touching her even vaguely wrong would end my career.
- very powerful women have stripped down to their bras with just me in the room because "they don't care what I do." Right now, anyway.
- A costume designer tried to get me and my boom op kicked off a show because she said one of the actresses didn't like the way my boom op "looked at her" while wiring her up. Said costume designer had previously refused to help at all, or take responsibility of any kind for getting a microphone under skin-tight evening gowns. She suggested that we both be fired and a female sound crew be hired. We would have, too, if there had been any willing to take the job for the miserable wages we were earning.
I have the utmost of sympathy and respect for the massive iceberg of women under the tip of the scandal that's engulfing the public sphere. I am heartened that conditions might improve. But I also know that the terms being discussed take on a singular power of their own and that the safe move for everyone is to err on the side of purity, regardless of the circumstances. Thus we come full circle with this column: all men are bad, period.
I've read three screenplays that were bald-faced adaptations of Lysistrata. All of them were by aspiring screenwriters who were sick of a male-dominated industry. Good on 'em. But we have legitimately reached a point where it's easier to assume that a male in public is guilty of malfeasance than not because obviously, all men are scum even if we, personally, try real hard not to be.