I feel like I should write a post about all of the sexual harassment "scandals" rocketing through Hollywood (and now also politics and on to pretty much every other industry) over the past several weeks. I'm just not really sure what exactly I have to say about it.
Anything I could possibly write in this blog post should be fairly obvious. Duh you shouldn't rape people. Respect women; we're people, too. Let's also not touch men without their consent while we're at it. Like, duh. There's no hot take to be had. There are shades of gray like there are in everything - there's a huge difference between Harvey Weinstein and Senator Al Franken - but so long as you have the minimal amount of awareness and respect for your fellow humans, acknowledge when you fuck up, and do your best to make it right when it happens, there generally shouldn't be a problem. Let's all work together to destroy rape culture. No shit, Sherlock.
But on a more personal note, it's the first thing that's ever made me nervous about being an actor. I've known my whole life that I'm going to struggle a little financially, that I'll never have job security, and that if I do "make it," I'll be objectified in tabloids. It's not exactly a part of the career that I enjoy/am looking forward to, but I knew what I was getting myself into with that and I'm okay with it. I did not think I was signing myself up to, more likely than not, get sexually assaulted.
Another obvious statement: I don't want to get raped. And it's discomforting to realize I've put myself in a place where it could easily happen. If my previous experience with harassment has been any indicator, no one will step in to help - the only one who would be able to stop it is me. So many abusers are being dragged into the court of public opinion, but not a whole lot is being done to change the "old boys club" culture and mindset, and there are very few recourses available if someone in a position of power does decide to put me in the casting couch scenario. If/When that happens, I will be forced to choose between my self-respect and my dreams.
It feels like a variant on the trolley problem in ethics. I can do nothing, and let someone take advantage of me, or I can walk out and potentially wreck my career, the only thing I've ever really wanted.
To be honest, if/when that happens, I genuinely have no idea what I'll choose.
It should be more comforting that people are beginning to actually believe women as they describe being assaulted and by whom. But, while I support each of these incredible people coming forward 1000%, it's way more terrifying than comforting. It's just another stark reminder that so many people I've spent so much of my life admiring are actually monsters. And who am I if I've spent all this time wanting to be them, or at least be around them?