What about all the women we never heard of?

For all the dudes who are concerned about the backlash against sexual harassment, I have some questions I’d like you to ask yourselves:

If a man getting fired is comparable to murder, what about when someone is so miserable at work, they resign without another offer lined up? Is that suicide?

If a woman ends up leaving a job and ultimately gives up her career because the never-ending parade of abuse is fucking up her mental health, would you say she’s been driven to suicide?

Would you be interested in at least a partial accounting (a full accounting may be impossible) of all the people in the entertainment industry whose stories you never heard because they were still obscure and powerless when they were driven to career suicide? If the termination of someone like Harvey Weinstein or Louis CK is a tragedy of lost productivity, then are you willing to estimate the lost productivity of all the people who never got a chance to build the career they wanted because they couldn’t make it past the hurdle of sexual abuse?

For every Ashley Judd or Mira Sorvino, who knows how many promising talents never made it that far before some powerful predator killed their careers? Does their wasted potential count for anything in this discussion of the “brain drain” following sexual harassment accusations?

Or does the equation of job loss with death only count for powerful men?

 

I remember what it felt like to trust someone.

Damon Young has this to say about the confirmation of Louis CK being a serial sexual abuser, and I encourage you to read it all, but I want to highlight this part:

It’s not even how his work—which has frequently, delicately, painfully and hilariously delved into the politics of sex, sexual acts and sexual deviance, and his own sexual anxieties, proclivities and angsts—has to be seen as either him attempting to grapple with his own real-life demons or a performatively progressive cover allowing him a space to conceal his real-life misdeeds (or some combination of both).

See, this is what the truth about Louis CK means to me: it means I can’t enjoy his comedy anymore. It means I have to question what it meant to enjoy his comedy in the past. It means I can’t enjoy another apparently-progressive male comic doing similar material.

It’s not just that I can’t tell who the bad ones are. The situation now is more that I can’t tell who the good ones are. I can’t trust anyone.