sexism in comedy : CK and the rest
This is going to come across scattered at best, but I can only bring myself to publish one thing about this man before I move on with my life, because all the vitriol spewed at victims have distracted me from my goals this week.
I think I have a few things to offer, as a woman who has spent the majority of my life in male dominated fields. I was raised watching male dominated films. I spent my youth resenting my gender because my parents told me at the age of 13 that the only reason I was born was because they wanted a boy. That's where I'm coming from.
1. The thing that men attacking these women seem to miss:
The hardest thing about this whole situation is the realization that I cannot make people be more empathetic to women. It took me 32 years of being a woman for me to learn to empathize with them, and defend them *a little*. How can I expect guys to immediately understand what we're going through? I can't. What I can do is notice who's saying "she reacted inappropriately to her POTENTIAL EMPLOYER TAKING OUT HIS DICK" and remove them from my life. No one should EVER be given the opportunity to "react inappropriately" to their superior taking his dick out because he shouldn't have taken his dick out in the first place. ".....bbbbbbut he asked first!" That's the thing: HE SHOULDN'T HAVE ASKED. And if you a person who can't understand that there are laws in every work place that expressly restrict the right for an employer to take out his dick, you can't understand how to respect the female half of your peers, and I don't need you in my life because I'm never going to fuck you.
2. I've pretended to feel positively about CK's style of humor for a long time but I'm glad I get to stop hiding:
I remember the first time I saw Louis, in the early to mid 2000s. He was performing at the Comedy Underground and all of my comedy peers told me I HAD to go see this INCREDIBLE comedian. I was full of self loathing at the time, and even I sat, in the back of the room, and recoiled at the vitriol he spewed against me. And as I sat in a group of people I was told to be friends with for the sake of my career, I watched them laugh, and I felt smaller and smaller. But he was worshiped then, and nothing has changed. Talk to a woman over the age of 30 about Louis CK's jokes. I posit that she will admit he's excellent structurally -- but he will not be in the list of her top favorites. There is a reason.
The reason I pretended to like him during his early heyday was simply so that my "peers" would not exclude me because I was crazy to not like "one of the best working comedians at that time." I preferred to pretend I appreciated his comedy and be included in shows than to lose my spots to the only 2 other girls present in the comedy scene because I just didn't "get it."
3. To the people saying "but he shouldn't lose his career over sexual harassment that happened so long ago! He's a good comedian!"
If he had been held accountable early on, he would never have had a career in the first place! If women weren't constantly afraid to come forward and talk about misconduct we suffer at the hands of our peers without fear of harassment and intimidation, he never would have gotten the opportunities to advance as far as he did. Also, lets acknowledge that the second he finished his "I did it" statement (he never once actually said "I'm sorry"), he started working on his next hour. So your complaints about his job being gone are moot. He's gonna hide for a while, but he will be back.
Also, his entire career has been built on the premise of the "what can I say? I'm a scumbag" defense. Even if you can just dismiss that as his "act," that means his "act" normalizes predatory behavior. This is systemic, and it's reinforced by people in the public eye. "Yeah, I touched this 13 year old, but what can I say? I'm a scumbag!" How does it not make sense to NOT NORMALIZE this behavior? Accepting you're a scumbag is not an admirable trait. Growing beyond it is. Sexual predators shouldn't be handed a platform to normalize their POVs when women barely make it past "2 dimensional character."
That's all I'll ever say about this. I'm a rational person who happens to have a vagina. I've been called crazy just because I have one. I've spent my life resenting my gender and fighting every impulse that would seem womanly so I could "fit in" and be "one of the guys." I am currently watching women be torn apart because men are getting angry at them for being HONEST about their experiences, and it sucks.
So the question is..... do I get that sex change or do I quit comedy ;-)