It’s been almost a month since the New York Times broke the story of Ashley Judd’s allegations against Harvey Weinstein. A month in which people have bravely stepped forward to break the silence and tell their own stories. A month of support and empowerment.
Do I have a responsibility not to self-harm because of the impact it will have on those around me?
Not exactly a party starter, is it? But it’s because this is a deeply uncomfortable question with significant and numerous ramifications that we don’t engage with it – we try not to think about it at all – despite the vital insights it might offer.
Creating images is Hollywood’s business, so perhaps we should be a little less taken aback by the allegations raining down upon Harvey Weinstein like Oscars used to do.
But then, the pictures they like best tend to be formed from bold colour palettes, semiotics, tropes and conventions to push us towards a resolution that while not necessarily satisfactory, is at least coherent. If the stories they told were as convoluted, confusing and messy as those we experience in real life, no one would watch them.
Allegations that a very rich,very powerful Hollywood mogul behaved inappropriately with a number of women he worked with and paid some of them to keep quiet about it would have been revelatory ten years ago. Maybe even five.
Unless you’re a woman born before 1995. If that’s the case, the only revelation is that two female reporters were allowed to conduct an investigation into the matter which the New York Times broke yesterday.
The crowded train carriage is rocking rhythmically. It might be accidental and you don’t want to come off like a screaming hysteric, but still. That leg, arm or pelvis pressed against you is uncomfortable and you’d rather it wasn’t there. Like when Mark from Peep Show put his hand on the bus seat and then Soph sat on it. He probably doesn’t even know and will be mortified if you were to call him out publicly. He looks alright. Not weird or anything.
Phew. You shifted and the contact is broken. That could have been really awkward.
While true crime is enjoying something of a spike in popularity, let’s not treat it like a recently discovered, previously untapped mine of compulsive entertainment. People have been getting their kicks from vivid descriptions of gory violence and proximity to psychopathy since the true crime section sprang up in WH Smiths.
I know. I was there.
Stereotypes tell me that at least 50% of you are going to recoil from this post because of the title. Because you’re men and have a genetic condition that renders you incapable of seeing the word tampon without having a panic attack, let alone stride confidently through the aisles of the supermarket grasping the box of Tampax Super your other half requested.
I choose not to believe in stereotypes. They’re a luxury from a bygone age, when we didn’t use them to obfuscate and externalise our responsibilities.
You’re better than that.
I suppose it would be odd if I didn’t write something about depression in Mental Health Week. But ironically, I’m currently depressed, and more ironically still, unlike all the artists I love and admire, I’m not inspired to greatness by suspension in my own misery.
Twitter is a weird place.
Embed from Getty Images
I’ve never been particularly comfortable with Caitlyn Jenner’s transition.
That bothered me.