This weekend marks the Oscars and the 71 year old Glenn Close seems to have a lock on her more youthful counterparts and if one has not see The Wife one should as it is a fascinating look at marriage and being a woman who comes of age in time of change for women but not of women. The other film The Favourite seems to be the cause du jour about women in power but they only prove what we have already come to believe, that women are all secretly Lesbians, manipulative and catty with other women they view as threats. I hated it not all of it but a lot of it. The film that I felt best captured being a woman of a certain age in a certain time was Can You Ever Forgive Me. I felt that while I was very much alive in that time Lee Israel was not someone on my radar and not one on many people's radars. She seem very interested in the stories of women told by women and perhaps that is why her career faltered. The story continual emphasizes her age, 51 at that time in the early 90s, and her inability to connect to a more mainstream society and play a role that writers must and women certainly must in which to be a success. Literally her partner-in-crime, a Gay misfit who seems homeless and equally criminal in behavior shows that those on the fringe are those who often most pay the price for their sins unless they are stories that can be told on the screen long after they are gone and then we can forgive them. Some of Bohemian Rhapsody addresses that but for some it was not enough but frankly it was about the band, Queen, and not the Queen of a Singer who led them forward to fame and fortune. That is another movie for another time to be told.
Stories that are told are told in that time, with that frame of reference and perspective of the narrator and in turn the listeners are often participants, the background to the foreground of who is telling the story. And we know that when there are many eyewitnesses a story will be told from all those eyes and all of those eyes are telling their "truth" be that as what they recall, what they saw and their ability to tell the story in a way that makes them heard.
This weekend as the Jussie Smollett story played out there was a lot of outrage and of course frustration not for Jussie but for the shame that his story enabled others to connect and of course disconnect as the truth was told. We still have not heard the story from the primary narrator and maybe in a few years he too will ask for forgiveness and share his truth.
I was listening to Bill Maher on his show and his comment regarding this was prescient that we demand we believe any victim but that is not always the truth. We must, however, listen to each victim and enable the truth be told over time and be patient to hear all the stories of the narrators so to make a conclusion on the truth. I had my story of 2012 and no one believed me at the time and I have never gone back to any of them to ask them if they do now given what we are hearing repeatedly on the news about sexual power, dynamics, rape and assault. And no they are not the same and should not be treated in the same way. Some are crimes and some are just bad acts that veer on criminal but are not crimes. We have if one thing over-lawed ourselves with laws after laws that in the long run do not serve the intent they were written and we have seen that with some sexual activity especially with regards to listing on sexual preadator lists and arrests. The 19 year old boy who sexts his 16 y/o girlfriend needs a talking too and that come to Jesus moment with the families but no not an arrest and not certainly being listed on a sexual predator list for life. This goes the same for the owner of the Patriots, Robert Kraft. Bad form, bad judgment and frankly bizarre but the man sought sexual gratification and perhaps committed some crime but the owners of the spa and their management and treatment of these women are the real criminals. Again perspective and a sense of understanding which takes time.
I have said repeatedly that sexual encounters are less about consent but more about conversation and frankly we don't have those "talks" with anyone we are about to get busy with and that is why I suspect many sexual encounters are just not good, not satisfying and lead to aggression, confusion and pain. I have been the "victim" of many said encounters and the night of 2012 I never knew what could have happened to me but I often say that the car accident stopped that from happening and may have in some backward way saved my life. He was not the first man I had sex with in my life that was largely one sited and utterly empty, he was, however, the last. There were two other times since where I had idiotic, frustrated and pathetic sexual encounters largely to see if I could possibly engage in that way with men and they taught me the reality is that no I cannot. For me to learn how to do that would require too much time, energy and money to really change something that no longer mattered to me. I miss companionship and I would love a friendship free of the sexual obligations that a male-female one demands so for now I stick to myself and find that sex is just orgasm and you can DIY that.
The weekend brought more attention to the #MeToo movement as the President of all of eight months suddenly resigned for "personal" reasons. Those reasons were that her son is now having one of those moments too.
The emergence and return of many of the perpetrators of the horrific stories of bad behavior and sexual misconduct are back to work or at least trying to and to that I say go ahead you have to make a living and here is a very short leash in which to do it. To those working with these individuals well Que Sera Sera or Caveat Empteor and hell at least you know this one is nuts so you can work around it. Again do we want everyone labeled and relegated to a trailer park somewhere and on a list to isolate and in turn demonize without the possibility of redemption.
This weekend saw the Church attempt to do that and those who were victimized seem to have little hope but to any future possible victims, aka members of the Church, you do know so you can just do whatever you need to to change your behavior and relationship to the Church. Attend services, volunteer but limit your contact and watch them for the signs and symptoms of what defines a predator and in turn LISTEN to all the narrators and their stories to understand and find the truth that is the basis of Christianity after all.
As for R. Kelly this was 20 years in the making. Twenty years he preyed on young women and was tried and acquitted for it so without treatment or without admitting guilt people enabled him and turned their back on what was clearly damaging and sick behavior. Those who tried to bring attention the issue were castigated and marginalized and dismissed literally from their jobs so again this proves when no one listens no one hears regardless of the storyteller.
And no not everyone supports this movement nor believes it either and those are women, women of a certain age who came of time in a certain age. I do think that many women, myself included, thought they were dating a powerful man with equal interest and desire and no that is not true in the least but the belief of that is what prevents the rage and sadness to face that truth. For men having many women in their lives it was defines them it is how they have them that defines what type of relationship it is. And for many women that truth is also linked to an obligation, a duty and responsibility and we are all guilty of not having our best interests aligned with our partners when we engage in a relationship. As my Mother used to say, "It's easy to marry a rich man as a poor one" and true economic security is a high factor in finding a match but it is not always the best nor only reason in which to do so.
I watched CBS Sunday Morning and the profile was on Angie Dickinson who was a woman of my era and her feisty performances were always one that to me showed a sharp woman who of course was clearly feminine. She was married to Burt Bacharach and he was truly one of our favorites in our home during those years. She admitted he did not love her and was not good to her and left it at that. She does not support the MeToo movement and is right when she said, "An open robe is not a rape." I suspect Ms. Dickinson saw many an open robe and in turn what you chose to do with that is your business and yours alone. Sarah Silverman has come out to support Louis CK and to admit that he masturbated in her presence many times and she allowed it. Again one woman's abuse is another woman's ignorance. That is sex in reality, one man or woman's pain is another pleasure. Hello kink!
Then I read this article about Dolly Parton who had been profiled the week before on CBS with the upcoming Grammy's. I don't like her but love her songwriting. The last year her Publicist was mentioned as a MeToo problem with the gay community in Nashville, he has since also re-emerged with a new company. Dolly has definitely rejected any sense of the concept of Feminism while taking full advantage of being a female run industry of her own making. He song publishing rights are quite significant and this girl from Pigeon Hollow is not an idiot despite the pretense and that is what it is a pretense. I am bored with it in the same way I would find Minnie Pearl a bore today. There is a similar character on the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and she too did not want the rubes to know how she really lived and behaved as it would hurt her financial interests but at some point does it matter? I mean really do you watch every Kevin Spacey movie going: Wow that guy fucked a lot of teenagers we need to burn these movies. Or hey can we just watch it and not think about what a fucking asshole he is. Same goes with Ryan Adams, I never listened to anything but 1989 and I promptly dumped it as it just did not interest me anymore and frankly what more excuse do I need. That said I never listened to R. Kelly and now have no reason. But folks the Finding Neverland documentary comes out on HBO in two weeks and that despite knowing all of this does make me once again wonder about why no one stopped/helped Michael Jackson and me not listening to him now does little to change that as he is very dead largely due to drugs he used to control pain. Pain I think less about the body and more about the mind.
I respect those who admit their failings, find their truth and try to reconcile what they have done and more importantly not done to change their behavior and in turn repair those relationships that they damaged. I can never forgive the two Lawyers who failed to help me, Ted Vosk and Kevin Trombold, did more damage to me than my date the night of 2/8/12 ever did. I don't forgive him nor need to as he has never asked nor admitted to me that he drugged me that night and poured alcohol down my throat to do what? I don't know and never will but I know he was there as the witness with his eyes saw a man walk up to my car, open the passenger side and reach in and go, "She is still breathing" and walk off into the night. The description matched and later when I read of rapes in the same area with similar descriptions and similar car he drove at the time I thought he had graduated on to bigger and better. Again I have nothing to forgive as one believed me nor heard me at the time and I have no reason to today to change that if someone chose me to be the listener.
We choose our behavior and more importantly we choose how to respond to others. Free will and all that. I have my will and my ways and I believe in first do no harm. Funny Doctors have that as their oath and yet they seem to fail to do that all the time. So who do you believe?