"ILLEGITIMATE" COERCION.

4 Dec 2017

There’s been so much filth thrown about, and directly at people, in clumps that this post is going to have to be all over the place. This doesn’t go with my OCD but it goes with how much information there is to process and work with. Since it all had started (publicly) with Harvey Weinstein, let us start with Harvey Weinstein – a couple months back, when the first domino, named Rose McGowan, hit the next one, named Asia Argento, and the chain reaction has since been seamlessly taking us into the festive season – ho ho ho.

It’s fascinating, and admittedly scary, to see what the public at large has had to say. I am an active social media user, I have pretty much read every relevant comment/”think piece” that was “liked” by some of my friends. My circle of friends is worthy of a true introvert, meaning I hardly needed to trudge through trenches of comments, but the few I did come across were so loaded that it didn’t take a scientist to figure out the common denominator: it is only if and when a woman is being ripped apart and puts up a physical fight for her pride and decency that she is “legitimately raped”. (It will forever remain a mystery how f-cking insane you’d have to be to fight a predator and not be afraid of, I don’t know, being beaten to death?). Russian folks seem to particularly struggle with pretending to understand how oral sex can be administered against one’s will (Harvey Weinstein has been accused of both forcefully going down on women and having women go down on him). I have read those dismissive, disdainful, half-assed remarks, written in a tone that was meant to sound light, witty and insightful, and filed them under “Dangerous Idiots”.

The truth is, it is very f-cking easy to coerce a human being into doing what they don’t want. Somebody with Harvey Weinstein’s power, the level of power that is beyond most peoples’ grasp of understanding, is literally able to do what he wants without ever using physical force. I was once under pressure to push a dude off me, but, like, in a nice way. There’re so many “guidelines” about acting “hard to get” he was probably under the impression I was doing that. Whatever, he does not deserve my benefit of the doubt. It felt gross and wrong, though that may have been because it WAS wrong. For weeks afterwards, I kept acting so… confused: I FELT what we did wasn’t consensual and yet I let it. How, right? My knowledge and understanding of what defines consent was too limited to justify or validate my own f-cking emotions. I didn’t need to untangle them, everything felt pretty untangled, thank you very much – I did not want to do what I did – but the inside world failed to match the outside world view. Btw, zero prizes for guessing whether I was back in contact with him – in my book, physical involvement is relationship potential. #REGRET! This anecdote about some schmo, who definitely was not one of the most powerful men in the Hollywood industry, is nothing in comparison to what Harvey’s accusers had to go through, are you kidding.

So, there I was, on October 16th 2017, the day after the first allegations against Harvey Weinstein had come to the surface and into the ears of everyone who has them, reading yet again that women’s experiences should remain invalid due to their hilarious ridiculousness: if there is no physical defence to prove you fought back then you must have wanted it. Violation is only “real” when it looks like in the movies, not when someone like Harvey Weinstein is "merely" using it to leverage your career, your chance to earn a salary, to, you know, feed yourself and your family. With a half-assed wave of a wand your livelihood disappears into thin air like magic you don’t even believe in. This is just the basics, IRL Harvey Weinstein has intimidated his victims with the help from private investigators and intelligence agencies with real-ass former military spies (!!!), whom he had hired to dig compromising dirt on anyone he suspected of coming after him. Holy f-ck. And now he is in rehab for sex addiction, not in court for endless accounts of rape.

I would love to sit down and tell every man and woman who nonchalantly wrote those dismissive comments and explain to them that consent is fluid – it must start with a yes and it must end with a yes. Even when more than the tip is hitting the inside target and you’re winning at life but the recipient decides to stop, you STOP.