Ed.: 102717 – Words: 1804 – Audio: N/A
I had an earlier post about a week ago the growing outrage becoming increasingly popular with women, and men, regarding female sexual abuse from men, especially men with power who use threat and intimidation for sexual gain over women, as has been the topic since the Weinstein revelations. This has sort of spilled over into other situations of sexual abuse women experience from men that do not necessarily encompass intimidation through power in the workplace. Some of these situations, or claims of sexual abuse from victimized women, seem a bit… well.. how do I say this so as to not piss women off (See? That in itself is part of the problem… I am a male and hence I have no say in the matter.).. they seem a bit less than a true crisis, and some of these claims might suggest a measure of simply applying a bit of common sense to just diffuse the event at the time it occurred. Oh dear… now I am being judgmental about a woman’s claim.. a typical male, right?
I spent my last post on this subject making sure I said copious times that I fully appreciate and agree with the outrage of men of power victimizing women. Well, now we have this other thing becoming popular… men without power having “sexually assaulted” women, sometimes many years back. Now, that makes me wonder what all this “sexual assaulting” is about and it seems for the most part this has been some male doing some unconsentual groping. Ok.. I fully agree that if there’s no consent then whomever is doing the unconsentual groping is a candidate for a formal charge of assault, in the least.
Then I began to wonder… where does the “sexual” part of that assault enter into the picture. Is it what body location has been groped that defines a “sexual” assault? I would have to guess that Trump pussy grabbing would then be sexual assault… on top of the power and intimidation thing, if he were an employer or not. After all, genitals are a sex part. The other parts? I would be guessing here, if you touch a woman’s breasts.. and/or a woman’s butt… that would be a “sexual” assault. Also, I am again just guessing here… sneaking an unconsentual kiss on the lips would be a “sexual” assault? I dunno. I’m just trying to clarify the context here. (Somehow I am trying to imagine… “Hey, Joe.. what did you get thrown in jail for?” “Female sexual assault.” “Oh, wow! Did you rape someone?” “No, I kissed her without her consent.”)
Would I be correct in assuming that if I touched a woman’s arm, or held her hand unconsentually, that is more like simple assault and not sexual? I mean, truly here… is any of this even defined under the law? I mean, c’mon … if the part I touched unconsentually is defined as a sex part then wouldn’t I end up on the national sex pervert list for life?? Now I am reflecting on my own past and how many times I have “assaulted” a woman in casual encounters and even in the workplace… without even being conscious of it. Now I am wondering how many of my “victims” have traveled through life still recalling this traumatic event I put them through (like all the women I might have gently touched on an arm to direct them to move out of the way for someone passing by, or my responding in kind to women making general levity sexual innuendos in the workplace) and having post traumatic emotional issues. I am such an insensitive, penis-centric bastard of a male!
My Sexually Confused Sarcasm Aside…
I read a news blurb that actor Ben Affleck had publicly full-on grabbed a female fellow actor’s breast (over her clothes) and it was captured on film.
(read it HERE)
The actress was just now making this public statement five years after the event. Ben was not her employer nor was there anything to suggest it was a “power grab” (ha… I like that term. Opps.. sorry for being insensitive, girls.). From the photo it appears the moment had a bit of clowning around to it… and Ben likely got a bit too carried away. Obviously he was wrong in what he did, whether he may have been drinking or not. The actress was not only embarrassed regarding the grab itself but the fact it was in a photo. Anyway Ben apologized publically following her announcing the event… and it seems it’s going no further. But here’s the thing that nags in my head a bit. I was taught as a part of growing up that if someone does you wrong, either verbally or in deed, then you call them on it right away.. not letting them get away with it, and letting them know of your displeasure. Obviously as we go through life we all manage to learn to temper our anger when someone messes with us, but by and large if we are offended by a social encounter we make it known, then decide if the apology is acceptable and sincere. Why did this actress let this obviously fester inside her for years… then somehow decide to bring it out now that all the public attention is on this kind of act? Heck, there was a time in my past where part of my behavior around women was meant to avoid getting slapped across the face for doing something improper (I must have been on good behavior.. never got slapped). Don’t women slap guys for getting “friskie” (ok, ok.. unconsentual touching) anymore?
So I supposed I am left wondering whether or not this actress might not bear some responsibility… NOT FOR THE ACT ITSELF… but allowing herself to suffer from it all this time without confronting him up front. What power over her would have prevented her from doing that?
Now, About That 89 Year Old “Sex Pervert”, Former President Bush, Sr.
(read it HERE)
The ex-President is now 93 but at the time of the “violation”, about 4 years ago now, he was 89.. and confined to his wheel chair. According to actress, Heather Lind, at an AMC promotional event for the then new TV series, Turn: Washington’s Spies ( a good series, by the way.. although now cancelled), Bush, Sr. allegedly placed his hand/grabbed her butt during a photo shoot (above), although the assault was not readily discernible from the photo itself, while Barbara Bush was present. He also is reported to have told an off-color sex joke. In a release put out by the family…
At age 93, President Bush has been confined to a wheelchair for roughly five years, so his arm falls on the lower waist of people with whom he takes pictures,” according to the statement. “To try to put people at ease, the president routinely tells the same joke – and on occasion, he has patted women’s rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner.
Some have seen it as innocent; others clearly view it as inappropriate. To anyone he has offended, President Bush apologizes most sincerely.
In the meantime, another actress has come forward, Jordana Grolnick, who said at another similar function Bush, Sr. grabbed her buttocks, and retorted that his “favorite magician is David Cop-a-feel.”
Well.. I am sure there are women out there who don’t buy the excuse given, nor would they buy any male excuse.. because to them there is no excuse. Ok… but I see that more of an explanation rather than an excuse. Everyone seems to certainly agree it was inappropriate, hence the apology. So, are we to assume then when these girls were “sexually assaulted” that they feared if they said anything about an ex-president doing that to them that the resources of an ex-president of Bush’s wealth and professional contacts would smear them to hell and back, thusly destroying their careers?
Let me suggest this differently… these ladies ASSUMED the ex-President’s response would have been a vehement denial, and in some way, destroy their careers? There doesn’t seem to be any threat from the Bush family to keep quiet.. but we will never know because these ladies didn’t apparently report it when it happened. They kept quiet, then brought it up four years later when media and public outrage over more serious charges against men abusing their power toward women, might somehow give their voice some added credibility. Given that I then make the observation, four years ago the two actresses had the possibility of some legal recourse to achieve some justified personal satisfaction. Bringing it up now… they are throwing their allegations into the court of public opinion. Is there any more or less satisfaction now?
Now honestly… there is a level of common sense involved in handling these things when they occur. I know some very capable women who, if they were in the same situation, would have pushed away his hand and said, “Behave yourself, Mr. President… that’s not appropriate.”… and maybe catching the eye of Barbara Bush as you said it. Why? He’s an 89 year old guy in a wheel chair. While that does not allow him a free ride in abusing women it does suggest that there may be some aging deficiencies and awareness issues at play and getting Barbara’s attention might allow her to intervene with him. That’s it. Situation resolved. He might apologize.. likely Barbara would apologize for him. You go home with a story to tell your friends and family. The other alternative is to say nothing, let it eat away at you for four years under a PRESUMED fear of what MIGHT happen to your career if you said anything.
These two actresses were indeed victims.. no question. But they were responsible, both to themselves for their own well-being and to prevent this from happening to the next victim, by not even trying to report it, whether it was just to Barbara Bush at the photo op or law enforcement and then the judicial system. There is all this talk about “enabling” people to continue with their misdeeds… well, by not reporting it when it happened did they not simply “enable” the ex-President to do it again? In fact, if actress Lind had reported her violation four years ago maybe that might have kept Bush from violating Grolnick last year.
Ok.. I’ll take responsibility for being an insensitive male and laughing at locker room jokes about women.. and thusly “enabling” my male counterparts to run rampant thru society abusing women because of it…. if women will accept responsibility of reporting their abuse in order to prevent other women from becoming victims, and to address care for their own mental health if the assault has affected their quality of life.