11/10/2017 0 Comments
Yesterday morning, my newsfeed was plastered with hate-posts about Loius C.K., a comedian who has sold out Madison Square Garden eight times and created an Emmy-winning TV series...
Because he asked some women if he could masturbate in front of them, and they said yes, so he assumed he had their consent. But, apparently, adult women are incapable of giving consent due to the "woman-as-a-child feminist" obsession with "power dynamics."
Like, let's get one thing straight: Louis C.K. is often feminist -- at least on-stage. Here he is, explaining why you shouldn't rape women on the off-chance that they're into that.
Here he is, explaining why men are a huge threat to women:
While his insights about women, sex, and dating may be amusing, apparently Louis didn't fully grasp the extent to which woman-as-a-child feminists are obsessed with the idea of male power. In response to accusations in the New York Times:
In 2002, a Chicago comedy duo, Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov, landed their big break: a chance to perform at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colo. When Louis C.K. invited them to hang out in his hotel room for a nightcap after their late-night show, they did not think twice. The bars were closed and they wanted to celebrate. He was a comedian they admired. The women would be together. His intentions seemed collegial.
So, let's just... I'm trying to imagine this.
They "laughed it off." And then... sat silently while he "took all of his clothes off, and got completely naked, and started masturbating"???
Or were they... chatting like it was normal?
Staring at one another, catatonic?
Is there a reason they didn't... you know. Say no? Or perhaps a lighthearted, "No thanks!?" Or a horrified, "No way!"
OR. Since they're comedians, and comedians joke around with and mock each other like it's their job... they couldn't have come up with some clever retort?
"Sure. But first, you'll have to watch me wash out my menstrual cup."
"Apparently you haven't heard our shtick about unsolicited dick pics. Take a seat -- it's a real doozy."
"Why? So we can talk about how small it is later in the lady's room?" (Fun fact: "Why?" is actually a really great way to stop an obnoxious person or behavior in its tracks. Here's why.)
"No thanks! I've already watched my 'Married Man With Pregnant Wife Masturbates on the Couch' porn for the day!"
They didn't do any of those things, though.
Instead, they... it's not entirely clear from the article what they did do, other than say, "Yes."
And Louis C.K. made the mistake of assuming that two consenting adult women... could actually give consent. According to his statement:
These stories are true. At the time, I said to myself that what I did was okay because I never showed a woman my dick without asking first, which is also true. But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn’t a question. It’s a predicament for them. The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly.
"The power I had over these women is that they admired me."
By this logic, any man who has admirable qualities can never engage in sexual activity with women, because admiration, like alcohol, makes women incapable of giving consent.
(Let me be clear: women can definitely not give consent when they're intoxicated. Don't give me this, "Oh, they had the same amount to drink," bullshit, because it only proves that you're ignorant. If you don't understand the biological differences between male and female bodies, go take an introductory science course.)
It's not as though these people worked together. It's not as though he's their boss. The only thing they have in common is that they're into comedy -- though, yes, he is much better at it than they are.
The fact that two grown-ass, adult women could enter a hotel room together with a man, and then both sit there uncomfortably as he strips naked and masturbates upon getting their consent to do so, could later call this action an "abuse of power" highlights the urgent need for feminists -- true feminists, who actually care about helping women -- to address feminine passivity.
As I wrote in You Can't End Rape Culture WIthout Addressing Feminine Passivity:
By spreading the idea that men are fearsome and women can’t use their words or bodies to stop their advances -- nor is it in any way their responsibility to keep themselves safe -- we are sending a toxic message to today’s young women. Worst case, this message is harmful and leads to rape and unwanted sex.
Feminine passivity doesn't uniquely to "admirable" men. In Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus, Northwestern Professor Laura Kipnis gives dozens of examples of women behaving passively, failing to express their boundaries, and giving consent they "couldn't" give.
At one point, she cites a post called “Surrounded,” on a website called Strategic Misogyny. In it, a female grad student describes going out for drinks with colleagues after a conference. At one point, a male grad student begins stroking her thigh. Then the lecturer put his hand on her knee.
“I felt quite scared, but also frozen. I was in public surrounded by other people, yet I didn’t feel like I could tell both of them to stop touching me. Why didn’t anyone else react? I was surrounded by people who taught me and people with whom I studied. Did they think this was okay?” Read more >
Obviously, this is inappropriate. Perhaps these men are pigs. Perhaps they’re just idiots, and they would benefit from a conversation about dating in the workplace. Actor and investor Ashton Kutcher tried to start this discussion recently… and people called him “anti-feminist” for daring to broach the issue.
But clearly it is an issue.
One that may never fully disappear.
Which is exactly why this grad student learn how to be comfortable looking someone in the eye and shaking her head -- or even saying, “Get your hand off my knee.” Or, “Don’t.” Or, “Stop.” Or, “Awkward!”
It's completely bizarre.
But... apparently I'm not all women. Or even "most women."
When the regressives at Quartz got hold of Louis C.K.'s statement, they "corrected" his apology to make it a "real apology."
Here's the full text:
I wasn't joking about the weird obsession with power and abuse!
This isn't to say that Louis C.K. is completely blameless. In the first example provided by the NYT, I really struggled to condemn him for his behavior (beyond the gut-level, "Ew! Why is he into that?").
But the article also reports that in 2003, Abby Schachner called Louis C.K. to invite him to one of her shows, and during the phone conversation, she could hear him masturbating as they spoke.
Rude. Gross. Why?!
But is that "abuse"?
Another comedian, Rebecca Corry, said that while she was appearing with Louis C.K. on a television pilot in 2005, he asked if he could masturbate in front of her. She declined.
Again... it's crass. But it's not "abuse." Which, I suppose, is why she had no trouble declining.
“He leaned close to my face and said, ‘Can I ask you something?’ I said, ‘Yes,’” Ms. Corry said in a written statement to The New York Times. “He asked if we could go to my dressing room so he could masturbate in front of me.” Stunned and angry, Ms. Corry said she declined, and pointed out that he had a daughter and a pregnant wife. “His face got red,” she recalled, “and he told me he had issues.”
The report that I did find abhorrent was that of a fifth woman, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
In the late ’90s, she was working in production at “The Chris Rock Show” when Louis C.K., a writer and producer there, repeatedly asked her to watch him masturbate, she said. She was in her early 20s and went along with his request, but later questioned his behavior.
You can't constantly hit on women in your workplace. You probably shouldn't even do it once, just to test the waters, unless you're like 99% sure she is interested and will say yes. Louis C.K. obviously crossed a line in this case. But the other stories? Come on.
Like, is it really that hard?
You can't catcall women. You can't force women to kiss you or have unwanted sexual contact with you. That is pretty straightforward -- and if you're one of those dudes who loves to whine about how, "Okay, I'll just never ask a girl out again," my advice to you is this: stop being intentionally dense. Grow up, and stop with the little victimhood complex.
But when you ask a woman if it's okay to do sexual activity X with or in front of her, and she says, "Yes," that is a whole other story.
I'm shocked and disappointed that I have to explain this to people. But there it is.
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