struck stone

Matt Damon is a pretty good actor. Dude doesn’t know when to shut the fuck up, but he’s a pretty good actor. And yeah, of course, he has the right to voice his opinion. In response to the #metoo movement, he apparently made the “spectrum of behavior” argument. That argument always sounds convincing and reasonable.

And hey, he’s right. Patting a woman on the ass isn’t as bad as rape. We acknowledge that some behaviors are worse than others. But that’s not the discussion we need to be having at this singular moment in time. Here’s the discussion we should be having:

Burn the patriarchal system to the ground. Burn it, pound the ashes into dust, scatter the dust, and salt the fucking earth. 

It’s far too late to have the Matt Damon discussion. This isn’t the time for the niceties of fine distinction. This isn’t the time to parse offenses, to weigh and balance behaviors. This isn’t the time to figure out whether twenty years of patting asses is as bad as, say, five instances of wanking in front of women who didn’t (or felt they couldn’t) voice an objection to it. 

This is the time to put the system to the torch. Burn it all, and if some lesser offenders get caught up in the pyre with the worst offenders, well that’s a shame. They’re all offenders. Will some innocent men also get caught up in the blaze? Yeah, sure they will. Bound to happen. Too fucking bad. All the women who were sexually harassed or assaulted, they were innocent too. If there’s One True Thing we all know, it’s that innocence won’t save you.

Years ago — it must have been in 1989 or 1990 — I was in graduate school, living in a rather dodgy part of Columbia Heights in DC (back then the entire neighborhood was pretty much dodgy). My apartment was a couple of blocks from All Souls Church, where Sweet Honey in the Rock were giving a concert. The opening act was an a cappella group of women from South Africa, and they sang a song called Wathint’ abafazi, wathint’ imbokodo. (Okay, I should admit I had to look that up; it was a long time ago, and while I remember the translation, I’d forgotten the actual words). This is what it means:

When you strike the women, you strike stone.

This is the year we’ve struck stone. And if we’re lucky, the sparks from that will start the fire that eventually incinerates the patriarchy.

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5 thoughts on “struck stone

  1. I am sorry, but Damn is 100% correct and the time is NOW to discuss it along with everything else. Just like the left co-opted the term racist and they use it for anything they disagree with that involves a person of color, the same is now held true for sexual assault.

    What is sexual assault? Harvey W whipping out his penis in front of someone and jerking off into an innocent tree is sexual assault. But Al Franken making a goof pose with his hands barely touching or not touching the outside of a flack jacket where the woman’s breast would be, is also sexual assault? HUH?

    You don’t make things right by just pushing the pendulum all the way to the other side, wiping your hands, and say “done”. It will swing right back and knock you in the back of the head as you walk away from it.

    Damon may not have said it directly but there needs to be some definitions made. If a girl says no but then you seduce her with some sweet talk and some Barry White on the Amazon Echo and then she gives in and says yes, was that assault because you did not stop trying with the first “no”?

    It is not black and white and the #metoo campaign is trying to paint it such.

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    • [The pendulum] will swing right back and knock you in the back of the head as you walk away from it.

      Yep. The problem, though, is that this IS the pendulum swinging back. The pendulum swung the male way for centuries…and now it’s reversing course.

      If a girl says no but then you seduce her with some sweet talk and some Barry White on the Amazon Echo and then she gives in and says yes, was that assault because you did not stop trying with the first “no”?

      Two things. First, men shouldn’t be trying to have sex with girls. Just ask Judge Roy Moore about that. Second, If a woman says no…well, that’s it. If you persist, it becomes coercive. This is pretty basic human stuff.

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  2. For every Al Franken that “goofs off” pretending to grab a woman’s breast there will be another that thinks this is licence to actually do it and then just say “Oh but I was just goofing off”. We’re not stupid. We know that not all men exhibit this behaviour. Damon’s comments add nothing to the discussion. They just sound patronising and like he is making excuses for this behaviour. He can do better. He can shut up and listen and be supportive of the women surrounding him who are telling him #metoo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Damon wants a nuanced discussion — and in general, I’m a fan of nuanced discussions. But when the forest is on fire, you don’t have a nuanced discussion about fire prevention; you build a fire break. You bulldoze everything in front of the fire, the healthy trees along with the dry trees, because that’s how you stop the fire from spreading even farther.

      Same thing here. That shit needs to just stop.

      Like

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