Pain is a tricky thing. You can’t measure pain. It’s pretty much that simple.
If there’s a context, you can more or less imagine that a situation that presents itself, could be more hurtful to person A than it would be to person B, because person A was on a bike while person B drove over person A with a car. Therefor, person B being traumatised hitting person A with the car could be overshadowed by the fact that person B now has to eat through a straw with both legs up.
That’s pretty simple.
When it comes to verbal pain, or harassment, bullying and so on, it becomes a bit more complicated. There’s people with a thick skin, there’s people with barely any. So a remark, a silly word, phrase or even a certain tone, can cause quite a wave. A bigger one than expected by either parties, receiving or the one telling.
That’s the thing these days with the #meToo thing going on, but also with comedians and journalists hitting boundaries.
People now have become extremely sensitive for certain issues, where others are still telling them;
“Stop whining, you’ve had your moment, now move on”. In the case of the #meToo, this will, from now on, always be seen as a ‘oh, so you’re agreeing with the enemy now?!’ while it can be good to be told: move on.
Not because your situation has not been serious enough, but because it is simply best to move on. And it’s not good to dwell on the past for too long. It sours your personality. Is it easy? No, far from it. But you’ll notice you get out stronger. Able to look at the situation from a distance, instead of in the middle of it.
Again, it’s easier said than done.
I remember the moment where my father in law compared his new girlfriend to his just diseased wife.
‘She (girlfriend) is so much sweeter for me than she (the diseased one) ever was!’ this was witin six weeks time. I was still in mourning over my mother in law, so I wanted to kick him in the nuts, the shins or wherever would hurt greatly. Of course I didn’t. I was too shocked to do so. He would go on and make comparisons like that, to my own parents aswell, again on very very sensitive moments.
Confronted with those quotes, he will say now:
‘That’s so long ago, you should forget about it now’, while he still gets to complain about things that I apparently did wrong the same amount of time ago and that -in my opinion- must have hurt him in about the same amount.
But he is an old man who has, according to my husband, had problems with his mental and physical health all of his life. Which makes my father in law a patient for life. He married the girlfriend that was ‘so much sweeter’. Of course. Not very surprising. The problem is, this woman allows him to be a victim forever.
His late wife didn’t. She would tell him, at some point: ‘oh alright now, get a grip and move on’. But that was because physically she outwon him. Unfortunately not in a nice way. They got married because he was supposed to die first, of heart failure. After a year it turned out she was gonna die first. Of cancer. So whatever issues he could come up with (‘I’m sweaty!’, ‘I feel nauseous’, ‘I think my left eyebrow is shifting’) was overshadowed by: ‘dear, I think all of my guts came out at once in the toilet, can you please help me clean ‘m up?’
In a way, I think he must have thought that was unfair.
Yes, that’s a bit dark. But you get my drift.
I am not saying victims of crimes should never feel like a victim. But there’s different ways of handling things, and some work better than others.
The thing is: this is highly personal.
So a Rose McGowen telling Meryl Streep that Meryl’s way of handling things is wrong, seems weird to me. Rose McGowen told (wo)men to protest by not tweeting, not using any social media, to basically use silence to show how angry they were, against people such as Weinstein. Now Meryl Streep and others wanted to do just that to empathise with this group of victims, suddenly Rose McGowen is saying that they should be as loud as possible. It could be me, but that sounds a bit hypocritical to me? Especially the part where she says Meryl Streep a hypocrit. It’s a bit kettle & pot, but that could be just me. And how is it that Rose McGowen is the authority on instructing people how they should handle situations like this in name of everyone anyway? And yes, I now mention Rose McGowen, but it could be anyone, of course. Anyone who has fallen a victim and doesn’t feel heard and wants to tell people on how to act on their behalf. Be aware that your way isn’t necessarily the way of others. It’s just how it is. But I do think that if you want to change things forgood, you should stick together instead.
I mean I don’t know about you, but not only do I love to watch films, I also like to check actors and actresses. I do so on imdb. It’s a great website, tells you all and more about the idol you have (pets, marriages, children, quotes, whatever they have available, really), and there has been one thing that struck me.
Many women who became famous, didn’t do so with a background in acting. They did while dancing. I was quite surprised when I saw that coming up more than once (Shirley McLaine, Goldie Hawn, etc). It made it clear to me that to be able to move your body around supple, dazzling directors no doubt, apparently was a way to make it into Hollywood. I am wondering how many of these women are yet to speak out about what happened to them, or would they have developed such a thick skin that they are simply thinking ‘it got me where I am today, or at least it was part of my road. It was a bumpy one, but I’m glad I’m here’? It’s possible. And I don’t think that’s wrong either. It is a way of dealing with what happened to you.
So no, I’m not saying any of these victims should stop complaining. Because it is true: people should have a safe work environment, no matter where they work. They should not need to be afraid of what might happen, due to the fact that there are a lot of other people wanting the same position. A bit of healthy competition can be a good thing, but this should strictly entail actual work related skills. And unless you’re working the porn industry, such types of skills are never part of that competition.
But it is true that there are people who easier ‘move on’ than others.
And then there’s people trying to support the ‘fallen’ ones, as good as there’s people to support the victims of these fallen ones.
There’s a tricky factor there too: backing up on someone who claims it didn’t happen, even if there’s proof that it did (look at Donald Trump) results in not being taken seriously ever again. To be fair I think that’s right, but Donald Trump is quite a different story here anyways.
Back to other business. I think it was right when Harvey Weinstein got kicked out badly. In the email that was released, he tried to safe his own ass by saying ‘give me a second chance’, which was laughable considering this wasn’t a second chance, it would have been the 2000st chance more like.
But there are stars who back up other harassers, like Matt Damon who tried to stick up for Louis C.K., who are being punished unusually hard for this. I don’t think Matt Damon is that wrong in his general opinion: during the start of the #meToo movement -and hopefully after! – men and women are being punished for abusing their position. The abuse of power should always be punished. But it seems that some people are being punished harder and louder than others. I’m sure Dylan Farrow still wonders why Woody Allen is still everyone’s favorite, while she has a nasty aftertaste about her childhood. While others wonder how Mia Farrow got away with teaching her daughter to hate her adoptive father so much that she’s been willing to do some incontrollable damage (in my opinion, the latter is still also an option, as I have seen from closeby how nasty mothers can become towards their own brood when a seperation is happening, and I don’t know either Mia Farrow nor Woody Allen well enough to make such a judgement).
Basically what we’re dealing with is the grey area that starts to exist when people don’t know if they were ever comfortable with someone touching them in whatever way possible, actual touching, or talking. And the ‘is he bastard enough to do this again, or can we just slap him really hard (physically or verbally) and move on and he will know he can’t do that again?’ Because yes, there’s people who will try once, then stop when they’re confronted with their weird business, and there’s people like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, who need to be outed and kicked in the shins as loud as possible to make sure that they never do it again.
For me, people like Ben Affleck, Johnny Depp (different category, I know, but same thing: will he ever do it again?) and so on, aren’t innocent, but I do think they’ve learned their lesson by now.
It’s time to move on.