I feel compelled to say something about the Kavanaugh circus; and I know it’s like wading into a snake den of passionate sensitivities by doing so, but I can’t contain my excitement.
Because I am thrilled that our national, collective toxic bro culture is being nationally reexamined and scrutinized and punished for centuries of entitled douchebaggery. The privileged white world from whence Kavanaugh hails is a nauseating cesspool of back-slapping, smoke-filled rooms and insularity with members who have been the behind-the-scenes progenitors of anti-democratic, self-serving, win-and-maintain-our-status-at-any-costs coterie of people who cement their legacies and status at the tippy top of the American controlling population. The .01% of power.
I’ve been in rooms with so many of these guys – arrogant prigs who have little emotional connections to anyone and are stunted in terms of genuine communication; guys who have self-loathing behind their eyes because they’re so lost in real human connection, but know their cultural places are sealed by birthright.
Luckily, this is a very small percentage of the people I’ve known in my life. But that one or two dickheads sets the tone for an entire locker room, introductory reception, first day of work and what have you. They somehow speak loudest and the rest of the guys (my younger self included) suddenly race to play the same game of one-upsmanship, domination, and masculine virility.
It’s soul-sucking to try so hard to establish one’s self with the lowest bar that happens to be at the top of our cultural food chain.
In high school, there were the few guys whose dads clearly gave them the confidence to stride around dominating and bullying every circle.
In college, more of the same, but less focused on sports. It wasn’t just the top athletes, but more like the top of the social scene – like plenty of fraternities, of course.
In my time studying abroad with an Ivy League school, I saw another level of moneyed entitlement that floored me. Again – 2% of our studying group. But they were the leaders and set the tone. (Until they didn’t.)
When I interned in Washington, DC, for the Al Gore Presidential campaign, I was flabbergasted by the amount of politically-connected guys who strutted around like they owned the place (mind you, fellow interns); and the higher the level of daddy’s connections, the higher their incompetence or dedication to work.
And since leaving politics and entering show business, I’ve seen much less of the wannabe-masters-of-the-universe, except at parties with producers, directors, casting directors and the like – then it becomes much more a who’s-who. But it’s still just “play-acting” and not blue blood Brooks Brothers. So it’s different.
Anyway, I digress.
I believe every word from Dr. Chrstine Blasey Ford, and the other accusers, and Anita Hill, and the accusers of all the other men who’ve fallen from the high ranks of society over the last few years. I’m sorry for the mental anguish these women have undergone.
And I am thrilled that dickheads are being called out, that “boys will be boys” is becoming an unacceptable passé, and that this society of assholes might actually have to curb their behavior to more humane ways of relating to the world around them.
I’m so lucky to have amazing male friends with whom I share emotion, dreams, concerns, and genuine connection. I pity the smug fucks who set such a low bar for interpersonal connection, yet still control so much of our society.
But it’s changing. I believe it’s changing. I pray it will change.
Now that headlines include terms like “toxic bro-hood”, I’m thrilled that I might not have to work so hard to instill in my children an appreciation for respecting other women and men, collaborating more than competing, and knowing that there are consequences for greed, aggression, and entitlement.
I’m sorry for the pain that is being re-lived and surfacing for so many people, these days. But I hope many, many more will step forward to say “this was NOT OK” yesterday, last month, a decade or more ago, and now people need to make reparations, suffer consequences, and change our future.
Speak more, women. Lots of us are listening.