The opportunity if not necessarily the deed of sexual abuse and assault goes way back in history possibly as far back as Adam and Eve. But in modern history the focus has been almost entirely on entertainment industry moguls and stars one of whom has been alleged to have sexually molested and or assaulted more than 80 women. It is certainly possible that not every one of the woman making their claim may not be totally accurate but there are two facts that are inescapable. One is that absolutely many women have been physically and emotionally damaged. The other obvious fact is that the men accused also suffer huge loss of reputation, statue and financial standing. But, as horrific as it most certainly has been for all of the victims and even for the alleged perpetrators, this pain reaches well beyond. Consider this situation.
Recently my beautiful and talented young daughter, a mere 23 years old, was invited to meet with some entertainment industry men in Amsterdam to discuss a possible collaboration. I am a dad, she is my daughter so I instantly lit up in overwhelming concern, to say the very least. She did seem to have it together and she had, indeed, previously met with one of the men while attending a prestigious university. But still the last thing I ever want to be anywhere near my beloved daughter is a hash tag me too. So, as she set off on the journey I asked that just keep in mind only two words and be prepared to take swift and effective defensive action. Those two words were simply “Hell No!”
Well by all accounts the trip went well and it seems she did form some sort of collaboration and will soon be heading off to other far-away places pursing her dreams and living a great adventure. This is but one story of potentially hundreds of thousands especially when it involves the entertainment industry.
Every year tens of thousands of young women come to Hollywood in pursuit of their dreams. Sure, they have heard the many stories of far too many men who have sexually assaulted women but hey what the heck that was those people and then and this is me and now so everything should be fine, right? Well perhaps but then again perhaps not.
As a life-long absolutely devout hetero sexual male I can say without hesitation that all of us of that persuasion have an undying interest in lovely young women and you will never find a higher concentration of lovely young women than in Hollywood. In fact, not long after moving to Hollywood in the early 1980’s I quickly learned that if any man wanted to have an abundance of sex all he needed to do was stop by a print shop and get business cards that read: Name, Casting Director. That said it is fortunately true that most men most of the time can and do behave in a respectful manner. The problem is that is not absolutely true all the time. And it gets worse when you consider that believe it or not there are also plenty of women in Hollywood who are perfectly ready, willing and able to use sex to “make it” in the movie business. So while sexual misconduct can and does happen pretty much everywhere in our world Hollywood presents a unique chemistry that can and does amplify the problem
But based on all available evidence when it comes to sexual misconduct there is as of now one man who is pretty much the undisputed king of that rat pack. Yet again he is not alone. So beyond the 80 or so victims and their families there is a much greater reach that this problem has brought to light. Now even caring dad’s like me and millions of others have a far more heightened awareness and concern such that should their daughter like my daughter receive an opportunity to explore a potentially great opportunity but it involves an older man in a far-off land the red lights shine very bright indeed. My personal hash tag for this is #dadscaredwhitless.
Yes, I know that most people do behave properly most of the time. Sure. And most folks would never even think of committing murder and yet some do. So the only rational action for all of us dad’s is to find out as much detail about the men in the proposed deal and caution our daughters to always always always remember those two words “Hell No” and at the very first sign of any level of misconduct be ready willing and able to run away fast and seek police assistance. That way our daughters can earn that far better hash tag: “OH NO NOT ME.”
Enjoy some true poetic beauty:
All photos: Courtesy of Ron Irwin