There are many things in history that women have been a part of on a large scale. Some of the best and worst moments in this country’s existence has seen women on both sides fighting for what they believe to be their truth. From slavery and abortion rights to equal pay and LGBTQ issues, women have been there.
We have been in the trenches of countless historical moments, and for the most part, the majority of us have been on the right side. On the side of justice, love, and equality. We have made our marks in the hearts of individuals all over the world as we championed then and continue to do so now some of today’s hottest and most pressing matters. That’s why we have got to be on the right side of the movement of against rape culture.
I am particularly talking about the women who work in the entertainment industry who find themselves in situations with male clients that pose an obvious conflict of interest. The recent cases of Hollywood sexual misconduct, to which there seems to be no end, has left many women having to choose which side to support, especially those who are in agent, publicist, and other positions that represent some of the accused Hollywood predators. In the face of mounting evidence against countless high-powered A-List men, the women who work for them are defining themselves by how they handle the accusations brought against their clients; many of whom are indeed guilty of the things women say they did to them.
Now, I understand the fight that women have waged to be a part of “the industry” off the screen. Like most fields, Tinseltown is a man’s world, and women are lucky enough to find their way to the top of the latter of any branch of entertainment. But where is the line drawn when it comes to the desire to advance one’s career and the need to stand with other women on such a topic as rape culture? I mean women, do you not understand where we are right now?
Many of us have been talking about this subject for years, our calls for action falling on silent ears, and here we are in the midst of the whole world seeing that we are not crazy; that we have indeed been telling the truth about the existence and effects of rape culture. Women on the inside have got to make a choice that affects more than just their bottom dollar. They need to either support the concerted efforts of those trying to end rape culture altogether or step down and away from the situation entirely, despite what it may cost. It is that serious!
This stream of consciousness was brought on by individuals like White House Press Secretary Sara Huckabee Sanders who continues to defend Donald Trump every time his 16 and counting accusers are brought up by the media during White House press briefings. Her recent response to one reporter about the Trump’s sticky sexual assault cases was simply,
“Yeah, we’ve been clear on that from the beginning, and the president’s spoken on it… All I can say is it’s totally fake news. It’s just fake. It’s fake. It’s made-up stuff, and it’s disgraceful, what happens, but that happens in the — that happens in the world of politics.”
Then there is Danny Masterson’s publicist, Jenni Weinman, who said of the rape charges against her client that there is no way he could have done it because he was in a relationship with the alleged victim, Chrissie Bixler. Actually, her exact words to another accuser via a recorded phone call in October of 2016 were,
“Well, Chrissie was Danny’s girlfriend at the time, so there’s really nothing, there’s no story there…they were boyfriend and girlfriend and they dated, and then they fucked for a year after they broke up, so…”
What do you say to these kinds of women? The kind that spews and repeats the patriarchal rhetoric that serves as both supporter and defender of rape culture? How can they and any other woman, faced with heinous accusations against the men that they support professionally dismiss their own womanhood by regurgitating and implementing the tools of rape culture? For a paycheck? For the sake of having a coveted position that looks good on a resume?
Women like Huckabee Sanders and Weinman are the great female enablers of sick male behavior. They are the reason that victims of sexual crimes don’t come forward and they are a part of the reasons why rape culture is as rampant as it is. As long as it didn’t happen to them, they have no compassion or empathy for those who have experienced such heinous abuse. If they can’t exercise an ethical approach to these kinds of situations, it makes you wonder what else they have been willing to overlook all in the name of “my career.”
Some folks may think otherwise, but it does matter how your name is written in the history books. When it comes to an issue that negatively affects so many members of the female population, those women with the influence, position, and access have a mandate to care. They have a mandate to exercise a moral compass through words and actions that help end rape culture.