hiding, listening, and silence

As Oprah and my new neck tattoo say, 
A NEW DAY IS ON THE HORIZON!


is she reaching out to pet my hair
like i'm her little puppy
oh god
i hope so

We just blacked out the red carpet at the Golden Globes and successfully demonstrated if not full-blown commitment to equity and justice, at least full-blown commitment to not wanting to get on Reese Witherspoon's shit list.

(Look Chad, I don't care why you wore black. I don't need to know what's in your heart; I just need your money to pay for lawyers to protect farm laborers.)

The ladies of the Globes brought fierce fire and fury to the red carpet, the acceptance speeches, the comedy patter of the monologue, and even the presentation of awards:


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH
I love the casual truthbomb
I love the lowkey zero fucks given
I love the look on her face... 
and then the look on RON HOWARD'S FACE
YEAH SON
YEAH
WE GOT FIRE IN US NOW
WHAT

And yet, does it seem like every single bro, pal, and Chad missed the fucking memo?

Let's take a quick peek at some of the acceptance speeches, shall we?


First let's check in with the Big Little Lies crew:

Laura Dern - Restorative justice!

Nicole Kidman - I stand here because of my mother's commitment to women's rights!

Reese Witherspoon - I want to thank people who broke silence! We see you and we hear you!

Alexander Skarsgard - My castmates are talented!

hahahahaha
hahahaha
ha
now we shall eat him


Now let's toss to Team Three Billboards:


Frances McDormand - This is a tectonic shift in our industry!

Sam Rockwell - This was a great script by Martin!

Martin McDonagh - Happy Birthday Mom!


WTF GUYS.

I am not the first woman to call out the conspicuous, unbroken silence of men on the issue of women's equity, sexual harassment, and feminism at the Golden Globes. In fact, I think I might be the 47-thousandth woman if you don't count Snapchat.

Y'all stuck your heads in the ground and hoped we wouldn't notice. BUT HEY, CHAD,  GUESS WHAT. YOU WERE ONSTAGE ALONE IN A SPOTLIGHT WITH A THOUSAND CAMERAS ON YOU AND A LITERAL FUCKING ORCHESTRA SCORING YOUR WORDS.

WE NOTICED.

The general response to our complaints of male silence is that a) ugh women are so demanding, and b) men were there to listen.

They wore black. 
They wore their flipping pins. 
They listened.

Isn't that exactly what we wanted them to do?

Why are we being so difficult?

I'm so glad you asked.

Because we need to talk about listening.

What we saw at the Golden Globes wasn't listening. It was hiding.

Want to see the difference?


Here's the scene:
You just had an awful day at work. 
You go see your dad to talk.

hi dad

You: I just had the worst day.

Dad: Oh really?

You: Yeah. A client dropped us and my boss screamed at me in front of the whole office and nobody stood up for me. It wasn't my fault, but I'm going to take all the blame. And now I don't know if I'm going to get that promotion. 

Dad points to shirt he's wearing:



... and then starts to talk about the exciting new project that he's working on... repainting the garage.

OMG Dad is such a good listener, right? Do you feel HEARD?

Wait, you don't feel heard? 
That's weird
because his shirt CLEARLY states that he's listening. 

Hey! Gentlemen who attended the Golden Globes! I'm talking to you.

yes
even you
my love

You wore Time's Up buttons and black suits and acted like that was the same thing as participating in a conversation.

Although, props, I want to give a big shout out to all the guys who took one for the team and wore black suits on the red carpet. Wow. Huge sacrifice. For everyone.

I know the traditional tuxedo color for the Golden Globes is magenta, so we really appreciate you toning it down to honor the struggle of women around the world who make half to three fourths of what men do, and who make less money while listening to their bosses make blow job jokes, and dodging breast-brushes and butt-pats, and trying not to get backed into a corner where the choice is between having sex or getting fired.

But that black suit tho! SO big of you. Thanks so much, I'm moved by your solidarity.

Also I'm nominating you for "Man Who Got Dressed" of the Year. The ceremony's in Miami. Mark your calendar and if you're feeling like a courageous social justice warrior maybe you'll break with convention and wear a SWIMSUIT to the POOL. You know, just to be woke.)

today in yoga
we all decided to wear leggings
and no shoes
as an expression of solidarity
with black lives matter
so obviously
we're cured of racism

i mean
we wore leggings to yoga

It's like you thought you were done
untangling centuries of abuse 
because you got dressed.

Do you know how to play cricket 
whenever you wear white pants?

Do you also speak French
when you don a saucy beret?

Non, Chad. 
Non. Vous don't.


Stay with me here, because I know this is a world-rocker, but there is a difference between "listening" and "standing next to someone while wearing pants."

Silence isn't listening. Silence is hiding.

And when we came out in the open to meet you, to show you where we were hurt, it really sucks that you didn't have the spine to meet us halfway.

Listen, I can empathize with silent men. It takes courage to assume a position of conversational submission when you're accustomed to domination. It takes courage to speak, even briefly, about something that is loaded, personal, and complex.

I understand the instinct to just withdraw. One day my 5-year-old loudly asked - hollered, really - if the barista at Starbucks was a boy or a girl. I did not handle it well.

I was these things in this order:

1) afraid that the barista heard us and was embarrassed or hurt
2) afraid that other people around us heard us and were judging us
3) ashamed that I didn't know how to handle the situation
4) curious because I honestly didn't know if the barista was a boy or a girl
5) furious because IT'S 2017 AND IT DOESN'T MATTER KATIE UGH SHUT UP
6) sleepy because I didn't have coffee yet

I shushed Chicken and rushed us out of the store. I hid. I get it. I get why you want to talk about literally anything else.

But you can't ignore this anymore. You can't hide from us.

I couldn't hide from the gender-fluid barista, either. All it took was one horrible moment to realize that I didn't know what to do, that I wasn't yet equipped with the wisdom I needed to teach my kid and feel confident that I wouldn't "make it worse."

I went home and googled my ass off and I learned about what to do and what not to do.

(PSA: Don't ask the barista's pronouns. That's weird and performative and so much work for the barista. Just say, "I'm not sure, and it doesn't matter because this barista is making the coffee I need to get you to the zoo!" Then take your coffee and GET OUT.)

So guys, you need to do the same thing. You've got some time between now and the next awards show. Google your asses off. There's A LITTLE BIT OF THINGS written by women on the entire internet.

Seriously, I need ONE FUCKING GUY to say, "It's devastating to learn that so many of the women I respect and admire have had to survive this dehumanizing treatment." Or maybe, "I am here to listen and learn. I'm thankful for these women for starting the conversation. I'm scared of them and I know I should be."

Or even, seriously, "My sister helped me write a statement because she told me I couldn't be trusted to speak extemporaneously on the red carpet when my head is still so far up my ass." (pulls out index card.)

BTW, if you need help crafting a statement, reach out to me. My rates are very reasonable for profesh red carpet statement consultations.

Guess what, fellas? 
You have no choice but to move through the world 
with a heart, a brain, and a spine. 
No substitutions. No exceptions.

Listening and hiding can look the same. Both require some silence and some stillness. Both require that you feel more than you say.

But hiding is about protecting yourself, and listening is about protecting someone else.

Come out here and meet me. I'm out here with my hurt. Don't hide.

Time's up.

*** Edited to Add:

I would be remiss if I didn't shout out to Seth Myers for coming at the bros. I would also be remiss if I didn't shout out to Sterling K. Brown who used his time onstage to point out the important line between colorblind casting, and creating roles that can only be played by people of color.


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5 comments:

  1. While I am not an actor on the red carpet I would like to point out that in the recent weeks/months I have encountered the "why won't men just SHUT UP" sentiment many, many times. Which is the reason I did, largely, shut up and focused on amplifying women's voices. And then I got asked why don't I even mention the (male) elephant in the room.

    This is not a "what about teh menz" post. I don't know if it's even an explanation of Chads' behaviour. I just know that I'd like to do the right thing but I get extremely conflicting information on what the right thing is, and staying quiet seems the safest thing to do.

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    Replies
    1. Were you silent, or were you amplifying women’s voices?

      Delete
    2. Because it appears that you just posted a comment all about why it's okay for you to not listen, why you feel frustrated, and why we should be doing better at helping you work on your ability to listen to women. If you think your comment is not a "What about teh menz" post, it may be time to take a step back and recalibrate.

      If you wanted to listen and participate in the conversation, you could say, "The men on the red carpet didn't address this critical issue at all. I don't know what I would have done either, but I understand that silence isn't enough. Thank you for helping to clarify what was wrong about their silence."

      Delete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. I kept thinking, all night, "All one of them has to do is say "Time's Up" when they finish their speech, fist-bump the women on stage, and walk off."

    I would have been thrilled with that. Not hard. Not wordy. Not taking over the moment. Sigh. Here's hoping they do get their shit together before the Oscars (LOOKING AT YOU MCGREGOR).

    ReplyDelete