I straight up cannot believe my first post is about Louis CK’s penis. I knew this was coming (no pun intended). When Weinstein was outed and the whole house of cards began to topple (sorrrrrryyy) I braced myself, knowing that eventually, someone I profoundly liked would emerge as …well… as a what exactly?
Every term that comes to me seems inaccurate, or worse inadequate. He’s not a sex pest, it’s too mild and puts one in mind of how the cat gets under my feet when she wants biscuits. He’s not a pervert, because that illicits the image of the subway flasher, furiously beating his meat and thinking about all the birthday parties he wasn’t invited to. He’s not a Weinstein, Spacey or Westwick he’s just….gross…a let down…a feeble and literal drunken wanker. A symptom of a society that expects women to look the other way, far too often.
We need to talk about the recent avalanche of Hollywood allegations. You’ll notice , throughout, that I am assuming guilt until innocence is proven. This is my personal decision, and if these men come to trial and I am proven by a jury of peers to be incorrect I will adjust accordingly.
I’ve made this choice to take a firm stance against victim blaming. Crimes against women are the only crimes where we demand proof before we show sympathy. It might also be worth mentioning that in the most recent study I could get my hands on, only 62 sex offenders have been exonerated since records began, in contrast with over 750 murderers.
The reason I’m doing that is because I find it extremely improbable, that a metric fucktonne of women have randomly , in a fit of mass hysteria , simultaneously accused a bunch of powerful men of sex crimes- this is not The Crucible. If all is well in the world, these men should be scampering, enthusiastically towards a court-room to have their names cleared. And yet, we do not hear the pounding of well-heeled feet towards the halls of justice, I wonder why not?
To be honest, I’d never heard of Weinstein before this distasteful hoo-ha. I’ve always thought Kevin Spacey was probably a terrible bastard, and Ed Westwick made his name portraying ultimate shit Chuck Bass, but the problem with Louis CK is that we like him- we like his down to earth demeanour and his balding, ginger self-deprecation. We relate to him, and that makes it SO difficult because if he’s a…whatever he is , then what are we? Our choices define us and we’ve all chosen to laugh heartily at his jokes and make him rich, and he’s chosen to expose himself and jizz all over our ideals.
Maybe that’s why people keep remarking on how candid and heartfelt his apology statement is. Maybe those people need to calm down just a minute and realise that if the best thing you can say about a man is “well at least he admitted to public masturbation graciously” that is still so, so far from good enough. If someone wants to hold themselves accountable, fucking let them-but don’t let him off just because he doesn’t look as much like Jaba the Hut as Weinstein , or because he doesn’t have Spacey’s serial killer glare. A pass for Louis CK is a pass for all of them.
Most of the men who’ve been toppled in the recent revelations have been quick to pathologise their behaviours (when they eventually stop lying about it) , scuttling away , like beetles, for “treatment” far from the prying eyes of the paparazzi, as if to cure some recognised illness . What are they being treated for? A severe dose of male privilege? And why do they only seek treatment when their behaviour is no longer secret? As Adam Hills pointed out on The Last Leg “it removes you from any responsibility”. Is there some kind of pill I’m unaware of that stops you from being at best a disgusting entitled bastard and at worst a serial rapist and horror show? Is it available to all sex offenders or just the rich ones?
The “position of power” everyone keep harping on about is not some heady intoxicant only available to the rich and famous- almost every man is in a position of physical power over almost every woman, unless the man and woman in question happen to be Spongebob and Rhonda Rousey. I have been surrounded by big burly men my entire life Not a one of them has ever had a momentary lapse in judgement and groped or raped me or masturbated at me and they deserve absolutely no praise for that- it’s just normal.
I loved Louis CK, I would frequently watch his stuff during aggressive bouts of depression, but I will be throwing him on the shit heap with every other man who has mistreated a woman because I’m on my own side, and I will choose the safety of women over the reputation of a man any day , and a pass for Louis CK, or any of the others, is giving a pass to all sexual assault and rape and a big “fuck you” to anyone who has an aerosol in their bag because Mace is illegal (literally every female you know, I promise you). Nobody is exempt from the law, or from disgrace, it doesn’t matter how talented or funny or charming you are, no good deed can counterbalance the choice to attack another human being just because you had the opportunity and the physical strength to do it or the power, money or fame to keep it quiet.
I’m grateful to see that Louis CK has been pulled down off every platform. This is finally an adequate response to men who terrorise women. We can’t pull evidence and subsequent convictions out of thin air, but we can stop giving these people Oscars and ovations , at least until such a time as we can give them either an all clear or a prison sentence.