Does how willing you are to succumb to the sexual advances of men determine how far they can go in life more than their talent or capability? Is that what determines their chances of progressing and succeeding in a world controlled by older, white, male gatekeepers? In the entertainment industry, the most public facing of all, that is unquestionably true and it is sickening.
This is what men miss. Most of us don’t even consider this a possibility. We don’t experience the everyday sexual innuendo and inappropriate comments which harden us against the realities of life. We don’t live with the constant expectation that someone will try to exert some form of control over what we can do based on what we can do for them. We don’t expect any meeting with someone who has more power than us to be an opportunity for us to be taken advantage of.
So we continually experience the same feeling of shock. The perpetrator apologises, expecting us to believe they are sincere when they are only sorry they got caught. When you have been outed there should never be any means of recourse. When your victims have had to live with the consequences of your actions for however long you have been active you do not deserve any understanding. Nothing will make up for the careers you have ruined, the opportunities you have destroyed, the people you have held back.
That is something that resonates deeply with me. How many stars have been lost in the entertainment industry? How many women have been prevented from changing the course of history through their refusal to participate in such a putrid world? How many woman’s dreams have been shattered by someone exploiting their position of power? These questions can never be answered but they must be recognised. What strikes me is that there are such few avenues for reporting. Whether it is the venture capital industry, the film industry or every day life, we continually put ourselves as a society in the position of finding such initial report lacking in trust.
Men must grow up and smell the coffee. If you don’t report this you are equally culpable. You might not be guilty of committing the act but you have enabled it. You have let it happen. When these reports come out, their is always shock and dismay from those closest to them. They condemn them while distancing themselves from the act. People need to remember that anything you ignore could lead to something much bigger.
The thread that ties every instance of disgusting exploitation is that there are always multiple opportunities missed to stop the person from causing further harm.
I just don’t want my girls to grow up in a world where what they can achieve is determined by a disgusting, fat, old man’s exploitation of power.