Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Is there a point to this?

I know I haven't gotten around to criticizing any celebrities yet. This just feels like the appropriate order for getting things out logically. Today's post includes someone else criticizing a celebrity, if that counts. There was more to it than that.

Specifically, one of my Twitter mutuals was questioning the credibility of Rebel Wilson coming forward with her own #metoo story.

Knowing when the story broke allows me to know about the time when it happened. I know that I had written about it in my journal then, but those pages remain entombed on the dead hard drive. Some details are foggy.

I remember clearly that the gist of his comment was that no one would want her enough to harass her in any way, and she was only saying it to help her career. I also can see from my blog that I had just been writing about sexual harassment and assault, so that was all pretty fresh.

I also know that I have shared a few of my own experiences on this blog, and while I may write about the topic without mentioning specific circumstances, being on the topic reminds me of them.  Feelings were pretty fresh, is what I'm trying to say.

I don't remember whether he specifically used the word fat against her, but it was implied if not stated. As a fat woman, I know pretty well that this is not a shield against harassment or assault. That is what I replied to him, pretty much.

Now that is personal, and although he does pride himself on not being politically correct and not caring how easily people are offended, he was not a big enough jerk to not feel some shame at that.

There was a certain amount of backpedaling. I engaged on the points that it can and does happen to anyone, and also that while it tends not to help careers anyway, she has been working pretty steadily and doesn't really need that. He did take some time to scoff at the quality of the film roles she was getting, but kind of moved to saying it probably did happen, but she was still just using it for her career. It was kind of an improvement, but not great.

One reason I remember it so clearly is because I another conversation very close to it, where it was a different topic but a similar situation. A Facebook friend said something that was kind of nasty, but also wrong, I countered with facts, and after some going back and forth they were replying that they were not saying the thing that I could look up higher in the thread and see that they had clearly said.

One thing that could have been helpful with the first one would have been addressing it on the grounds of her experience. The main one as described in the linked article... okay, it is sexual in nature, but it's gross and humiliating (including the part about having friends film it), and this is not a compliment. That she was then admonished to be supportive of the actor is not just the icing on the cake, but a pretty clear demonstration of how Hollywood works, and what reinforces it as workplace harassment.

This post is not really about Rebel Wilson's experiences, though I support her. It is more about what we think and say.

My friend criticized Wilson for stupid movies that he didn't like and the roles she plays in them, which sounds fine. However, I have read that she tries to take more serious or at least less outrageous roles, and she gets typecast. There is a perception of what a fat woman should be, and it's hard to break out. If that correlates with society looking down on certain body sizes, and where it feels right to dislike a fat woman, or a woman, or a Black person, are you sure that it's just how you feel about their acting? Could there be more there?

Because I can't help but notice that when we are against political correctness and believe in telling it like it is, that seems to excuse a lot of racism and sexism. If that is not how it really is, does that make it harder for you to see what really is? Does it make it easier for you to hold things against specific groups, and feel justified in it?

For example, I have been writing about privilege this week, and how it benefits white males. Maybe that felt uncomfortable, but they caught the Austin bomber and he is being described as shy and nerdy and godly and not a terrorist, but he killed and injured and terrorized people and it looked pretty racist. Isn't it kind of weird to focus on making him sympathetic?

Finally - and here's where we get the title - did those engagements help at all?

I do not think that either person felt like they were lying when they backtracked and said they weren't saying that. I suppose it indicates a possibly subconscious acknowledgment that they were being wrong, but will they think differently the next time? I didn't call them on it, and calling them on it would have felt really rude. Maybe it's more that it would feel like piling on because I had already called them on the first thing. Did it help?

I know it was super frustrating for me? The personal response is probably "Would it kill you to admit that I have a point?" I don't mind putting aside the ego for the greater good (as a fat woman I'm not really supposed to have any dignity anyway), but did it help? Could I have been more effective? And I don't know.

But I kind of think this. I had thought so much about the harassment and how it works and whom it affects - and blogged out my thoughts so redundantly (probably) - that I knew immediately that he was wrong, and why he was wrong. Whatever the other interaction was, it was probably the same thing.

So I guess I will keep up with the reading a lot and repetitive blogging. At least that's right in my wheelhouse.

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