Me too

I put those words at the top of this post with a great deal of hesitancy. Not because I have some truly terrible horror story that I hesitate to reveal but rather because I don’t. I don’t know if that is due to my inborn suspicious nature or just plain luck. I am sure there were opportunities though.

Back when I was young and probably more naive than I wanted to think I was, I was once approached by a “photographer” while I sat at the cash register in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We have all heard of famous actresses being discovered at the counter in Schwabs so why not while working a cash register at the Met. He told me he could take “head shots” of me that I could use to take round to modeling agencies. So I agreed to meet him at his “Studio”. When I arrived I found myself in a small one bedroom apartment, not a photo studio at all. Through the bedroom door I could see bikinis that he said I should wear all laid out on the bed. I turned around and walked out the front door. Now, who knows what might have happened if I had given him the benefit of the doubt that I sincerely doubt he would have deserved.

Like most other women living in New York, I too was subjected to the never-ending stream of catcalls from the construction workers lining the streets. The variety and repertoire of the calls was vast and I have to admit not always horrible. A good-looking young guy calling out “Hi beautiful, give us a smile.” more often than not got his smile from me. But much ruder and more vile comments from disgusting old guys were more the norm and formed the gauntlet that women had to stream past on the NY streets. All of that stopped when I moved to Stockholm. Swedish men didn’t catcall. Boy what a relief that was.

And now comes Harvey Weinstein plummeting down from his heights awakening all this righteous indignation. The casting couch wasn’t invented by Harvey. It’s been around since Hollywood started making moving pictures with actresses in them. Actually probably since God invented Adam. The first woman that God made, according to the Bible, was Lilith, and she said “no”. So God made Eve and she said, “Yeah, OK”. That was probably what started all the problems.

But for people to act indignant and claim to not know about it – come on – give me a break. That to me is like all those Germans and Poles saying they didn’t know that all that smoke was because they were burning Jewish bodies. People might not always have first-hand knowledge but they knew. Scott Rosenberg says on his Facebook page that everybody knew and the reason he knows that is because he knew everybody there who knew.  But I’m pretty sure Harvey isn’t the only one. He’s just the latest scapegoat – which doesn’t mean I think anyone should feel sorry for him. Absolutely not! But I am also pretty sure there are a lot of men out there thinking “Thank god they are all looking at Harvey and not looking at me.”  Tread carefully there, guys.

So back to my hesitantly putting up Me Too on the top of this post – I think it’s terrible that so many women have had such horrible experiences, that they were in a position where they couldn’t turn around and walk out that door, where they couldn’t say no or when no had no meaning. It truly sucks. But I don’t think putting Me Too up on a Facebook post will really do anything to change that. Not in the long run. There will always be schmucks. And there will always be schmucks in positions of power. So the only real thing that women can do is be smarter than the schmucks and reach those positions of power themselves. And don’t turn into schmucks themselves.

But anyway, Me too!

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