Monday, April 09, 2018

Finally, Matt Damon

Okay, now it's time for Matt Damon.

Granted, I could go other places for finding men who get tired of listening to women. Very close to home I could find Multnomah County judge Kenneth Walker, who interrupted Dana Parks three times before ending her chance to read her victim impact statement, because he wasn't enjoying listening to it. 

It can be very disturbing to listen to stories of abuse, though the refusal to listen is the sort of thing that perpetuates the abuse, but you know,  how can you expect a judge to care about the environment that allows crimes to happen?

Closer to now I could mention Tony Robbins, who criticized #metoo inaccurately, then when corrected used his physical size to intimidate and double down, before offering a terribly insincere apology that seems most likely to be a precursor to allegations against him coming out.

I mean, you could easily argue that the point of #metoo is not for the people coming forward to make themselves important (which it does not do), but to acknowledge that they already are important as people and that abuse against them is not acceptable, and reclaim their voices, which sounds like a very positive thing, unless you aren't actually interested in any shift in power dynamics. I guess Tony Robbins just doesn't read my blog.

But I want to go with Matt Damon here - whom I like (or at least have liked) - because I think he gives us a good springboard into another discussion.

He said many things, like admitting that allegations against someone would not be a reason not to work with them (so much for allegations destroying careers), and saying that he had never heard of Weinstein's abusive behavior but also contradicting it because he had heard about what happened to Gwyneth Paltrow (so maybe he just didn't know of any completed rapes), but that's not what I really want to get into.

I can't really quote it. This is not just because of the profanity but also because it is so poorly said, but the point he was trying to make is that there are many men who don't sexually harass and why aren't we talking about them?

This could easily be dismissed as a pretty typical #notallmen; I don't rape so please give me attention and cookies. Much like the typical #notallmen respondent, he misses some important points.

First of all, if he did know about Gwyneth Paltrow's experience with Harvey Weinstein and did not think of Weinstein as an abuser, then it is quite clear that this group of men who don't do that may either not have as many members or their conduct may not be as good as he thinks. That is worth thinking about.

Beyond that, given his own explanation of the "spectrum" of behavior, could there be types of behavior that contribute to this environment, maybe even without being sexual.

Matt Damon did not sexually harass Effie Brown.

He did shut her down when she tried to raise concerns. They were concerns specific to diversity, and as a Black woman she might have been worth listening to on that subject, but Matt Damon knew better.

Sure, you could think about how if diverse hiring only affects acting, and not writing and behind-the-scenes that this can perpetuate a lot of bad things. I mean, Gone With the Wind had Black cast members and somehow it is still pretty racist.

Beyond that, if the go-to reaction to women mentioning a problem is shutting them down - and that seems like a pretty common reaction - what does that perpetuate?

And I'm guessing that Matt Damon doesn't read my blog either, so any pondering on that will have to be done by other people.

Just allow to once more emphasize the importance of listening.

Also, for more on how you need more than diverse characters, but also diverse voices creating the characters, setting up the characters, and so on, this article is kind of fun:

No comments: