The Casting Couch: Just Another Kind of Rape

We’re all talking about sexual harassment. I hear a good number of social media people chuckling about “the casting couch”. Sometimes they add, “Oh she has to be prepared for that, it’s just what that industry’s like…They all did it, y’know, ha ha…” There were plenty who side-stepped or just refused and walked away. But what about that actress who let Weinstein in a second time–after he’d assaulted her the first time? What about women like her?

A powerful, connected man lies to the actress, and manipulates and intimidates; he’s dangling her heart’s desire in front of her and at the same time, flexes his business muscles at her, and, in a sense, clenches his fist, hinting that things will never go right for her if she doesn’t play along. He has *the whole weight of the male dominated industry* behind him. She’s spun with confusion.

The actress has put every other possibility aside in the pursuit of her chance; she knows she’s got talent and appeal and she can do this if they’ll just give her a chance and it’s such a difficult obstacle course and–then thugs like Weinstein get her alone, and push her around. She’s got an agent, or she doesn’t, but either way, she’s really alone. And the whirl of the business, the prospects and the obstacles, are confusing–they’re confusing to anyone in her place. And while she’s probably no virginal child, she’s still fairly naive. And he’s taking advantage of all that. In fact he’s not so far from a drooling stepfather alone with his wife’s confused pubescent daughter.

There’s more than one kind of rape. Manipulating, intimidating a woman, can be part of rape too. It’s not a joke.

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