11 Jan 2018
Ideally, in keeping with the blog’s structure, I would like to go on dedicating my Thursday posts to celebrities and show business. Because I love everything about it and because my fascination, in my head, is rationalised with how gossip and pop culture reflect the world at large, which I will forever believe that they do. But there’s been So.Much.Sh-t.Going.On in the no longer glossy world of Hollywood and fake glamour that choosing a person to write about only once a week has become a real-ass challenge.
F-ck it, I am going for Matt Damon.
Have you seen China Wall? Obviously I have not, but I hear it’s got scenes of killing space aliens with magnets to save a Chinese army. Save the army from what? The Aliens – duh. Apparently, Matt Damon’s character is better at it than anyone else and who else but a white man to save all the Asian people in times of doom and destruction? You can trust Matt Damon to control the narrative though, who feels “very strongly” that as long as white people don’t paint their faces to represent diversity, it’s cool because apparently we still live 50 years ago and not in 2018, according to Matt Damon’s vision of what constitutes racism and whitewashing. I am as white as they come and even I feel insulted by his lack of willingness to engage in the conversation.
Interestingly, this is not the conversation I want to engage in this cold, gloomy Thursday morning either. Because Matt Damon has opened his mouth again, this time to address the sexual predation in Hollywood. And what he really wants to know and to stand for is, shocker, not the women. The men seem to be of unshakable importance to Matt Damon during these turbulent times when more and more victims of assault in the work place come forward with their stories, their lives fractured and their careers derailed. In the midst of an unending outpour of grossness that is allowed to take place, and be put into place, by an entire system which lets a man jerk off in a woman’s presence without her consent and silence her with his executive power, Matt Damon is very, very worried why the conversation is not on the “good guys” – he doesn’t mean “good” as in standing up and fighting against injustices, he means “good” as in not doing proper raping. “I just think that we have to kind of start delineating between what these behaviours are”. That’s right, Matt Damon doesn’t want to focus on the systemic abuse and the whys of its possibilities and consequences, he wants to focus on the guy who does not have a button under his desk in his office which shuts the door so the victim wouldn’t be able to escape (no joke, that was Matt Lauer).
And Matt Damon is not alone, he is not the only one who misses the point entirely and sees achievement in mediocrity. I have friends, both male and female friends, who are also a bit uneasy about what will happen to the men in the future, after the abuse and coercion have been brought up to the surface and exposed by so many victims. I am a parent, let me transfer this conversation into the motherhood terms and please bear with me till I’ve made my point super clear. I see praising men who don’t assault women the same as looking at mothers who don’t beat up their children. Only I have not heard (at least not since communism had come to an end and taken with it its child-raising methods) anything along the lines of: Oh God, she is a FANTASTIC mother, she doesn’t even beat up her children! Why have I not heard it? Because not violating children is a MINIMUM OF AN EXPECTATION. It’s the bar. It’s the standard. It’s the norm. Nobody expects or gives out praise for acting “normal”, for doing the bare minimum with the definition of decency.
Not in the case with women, apparently. People with and with no apparent influences or voices are rooting for the guy in the corner who has not victimised anyone in the work place. And it remains so, so difficult to get through the trenches of these defenders’ noises and to shine the light in the only direction it should project: that of the art and the discoveries and the scientific revelations that the world had been robbed off because of the system that had forever dismissed the potential and abilities of women, the system that had been allowing sexual and other forms of abuse to happen in the first place with absolutely no repercussions.
I don’t know, man, I am tired of being fooled by men like Matt Damon, who manage to present themselves as solid, decent dudes, but are in reality ignorant and unwilling to engage in change. Am I the stupid one here? Is the disappointment solely on me?