Archive | Feminist Matters

The #MeToo of My Tween Acting Career

This morning, as the sun rose wanly here in Truro (yes, I’m back for the rest of the month), I caught up on the Harvey Weinstein revelations. Nothing unpredictable, I’m afraid, which made them all the more appalling. Woman after woman coming forward with the same clutch of details: the bathrobe, the massage requests, the obsession with showers, the need—nay, the demand—for sexual attention. What angered me most: Harvey claimed he was offering career ascension to these hundreds—maybe thousands—of young women, which is loathesome unto itself. But all he really was saying was: If you submit to my sexual demands, I will not harmfully, aggressively cockblock your career.

He is a larcenous pig not unlike, say, our alleged president.

As the estimable Gloria Steinem has written—as the Academy of Motion Pictures itself has acknowledged—such predatory behavior is hardly unique to Weinstein. Instead, this “isolate and destroy” brand of toxic masculinity has meant that we women have felt damned if we do and damned if we don’t in terms of sexual resistance.

Again, not news to anyone walking as female in this life.

But Sarah Polley did raise an issue I hadn’t considered in 15 years. In this week’s New York Times, the director addressed her reason for walking away from acting: She felt like prey. Scratch that. She was prey. And it made me think about my own career as a tween actor.

I never talk about why I quit acting. The truth is that it’s probably no loss to the world. As as an adult, I’m good enough on stage or in front of a camera as a commentator but not especially adept at pretending I’m anything but myself. As a young person, though, I really, really wanted to be an actor and experienced a surprising degree of success. Continue Reading →

Friday the 13th, O Blessed Day!

Just as a reminder, in any cosmology that honors the divine feminine, Friday the 13th is a powerful and transcendently empowering holiday—Venus Day, essentially. Know that this day has been demonized by the same historical patriarchies that landed 45 on top. Honor rather than fear this beautiful goddess energy. Count your blessings, hatch them for others, and release everything that doesn’t live up to her glorious ethos of truth, love, beauty. That’s what we’re doing right now as a culture, aren’t we? That’s what’s been happening in Hollywood, D.C., my very own coffee shop? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. A sweetly measured yes is the essence of the Divine Mother.

art credit: Milton Avery

Coffee Cockacracy Vol. 2

I went back to the coffee shop today because it is my coffee shop and because I am a frugal person in possession of free coffee cards. The men were once again holding forth on the Weinstein revelations–“bla bla, if the women took money, they shouldn’t be complaining now; bla, bla, why didn’t they stand up for themselves at the time?” I had forgotten my headphones so, though sitting apart from them, couldn’t help hearing hearing their male entitlement mishegos. The female barristas were held hostage since they couldn’t yell at customers without jeopardizing their jobs; the mothers were shaking their heads as their toddlers played; the millennials were hunched over their devices trying to ignore the misogyny broadcast. The men rambled on loudly–“you gotta understand, women can’t have it both ways”– ironically luxuriating on the cockacratic continuum whose existence they were denying. Reader, I blew up. “You fucking guys, why don’t you just give it a rest? The rest of us don’t want to hear your sexist bullshit, did that ever occur to you?” and so on, and so forth. At one point one of them said, “Your generation of women don’t listen well enough. That’s why you can’t make relationships work. We’re used to women who know how to be wives.” At which point this spinster in a fur hat really blew up. “THE GOOD OLD DAYS WHEN WOMAN COULDN’T HAVE OUR OWN BANK ACCOUNTS? OR BETTER YET, WHEN WE COULDN’T VOTE? FOR FUCK’S SAKE WE’RE DAMNED IF WE DO AND DAMNED IF WE DON’T. IF WE SAY SOMETHING, WE’RE BLACK-BALLED BITCHES. IF WE DON’T, WE’RE BLAMED LATER FOR NOT STANDING UP FOR OURSELVES.” Continue Reading →

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy