Ben Brafman, who gets paid a lot of money to defend wealthy men who got into trouble doing the same things that got them rich, is now trying to spin a narrative that is a real knee-slapper that explains why #MeToo was a movement to get real justice outside the courtroom. What Neanderthal logic has he spewed?
This bit of sophistry:
If a woman has sex to help her Hollywood career, that is not rape
This statement is wrong on many levels.
First, it makes the inherent assumption that the actress is nothing more than a prostitute, willing to swap sexual favours for fame, fortune, and free Oscar swag.
This is the way to control the optics by casting any woman who accuses a Hollywood producer as a villain. It is also a way of floating possible ways of countering the dominant narrative of #MeToo as well as begin to poison the collective ideological pool to bring in doubt in the public. As a journalist, I have seen this little gambit played before.
For the record, I do not believe that narrative posed by Brafman, but let us, to humour an arrogant rich white male as he has offered no facts, but mere conjecture.
If the woman has embarked on a career and she cannot get a job unless she gives the gate-keeper sex, she doesn't get a job. He will bad-mouth her, and she can get blacklisted.
That means her survival depends on giving sex.
Just like women who have a knife at their throats and are told by their attackers that if they do not give him sex, he will kill her.
So her survival depends on giving sex.
That's rape. The structures are identical.
A predator can very well talk his victim into believing it is her idea and she is the aggressor. That is a process of luring, priming, and grooming.
Child molesters do it because the victim's trauma and being subservient makes the victim vulnerable and confused, taking the cues of the predator who is in control in that chaos. It is a defence mechanism that cult leaders uses, pedophiles use, abusive spouses and parents use, and rapists use.
You came on to me; so you asked for it; you are bad, and you asked for this.
Brafman's Victorian narrative does not hold up tp psychological research. It is an unfortunate byproduct of artificial patriarchal narratives that are binary.
But let us take it one step further than that:
If the producer refuses to have sex with the woman, his career suffers nothing.
If the actress refuses to have sex with the man, her career is over. Acting is not one of those skills that is transferable to other jobs. You are usually going to be stuck being a waitress and living the poverty line. The stakes are too high to expect someone to make a rational judgement -- while the producer has no such quandary. He gets his limo ride to his mansion at the end of the day. The actress has bills and could be facing an eviction notice and yet another mark on her credit score if she refuses any requests.
It is the unequal power dynamic that makes it rape. It is the same as statutory rape: the victim, who has no power, has no consent going into a situation.
When I am looking for work, you can be sure my survival depends on getting work; therefore, I do not have the same consent as the wealthy tycoon who won't give me the time of day unless I put out for him.
So unequal is the power balance that the very business of Hollywood should be heavily regulated.
Of course it is rape. The knife in this case is the pay check.
The actress is in a vulnerable position from the get-go. The very structure is rigged to completely benefit the one in power, and when you have no safeguards to balance it out, there is no discussion or debate to be had.
Rape is rape.
And Hollywood is nothing but a rape den, and that has got to stop.
The origins of the profession of acting come from Ancient Rome where slaves were the literal actors.
Nothing has changed since then. With the public relations front painting a false narrative that the business can pull you out of poverty and obscurity as you find success and validation, it is the come-on to lure the most desperate where they will be subjugated for the rest of their lives.
It uses the American Dream as bait.
Mr. Brafman would not want a thinking person like me on a jury. I see right through all the excuses and sophistry. If you cannot tell the difference, perhaps you should retire from the profession.
Because some of us are not followers or cowards denying the rot in society. It is time we begin to make serious changes to bring equilibrium to such skewed power structures so that the Weinsteins of the world cannot exploit the vulnerable -- and the Brafmans of the world cannot financially benefit when the Weinsteins are finally exposed and held accountable for their tyranny.