Footage has recently been unearthed of a popular cable news host joking about slipping then-candidate Hillary Clinton, a date rape drug. Chris Matthews, the face of MSNBC’s popular political news show, Hardball, has been outed for what some might call stalking of the also-ran presidential candidate.
And I would feel real sympathy for Mrs. Clinton had she known that the joke was on her at the time. No one should have to endure, because of gender, this locker room sophomoric comportment; a behavior that many women have endured. You know those guys; the bully in grade school that pulled pigtails, or a smitten teenager who was turned away that started hurtful rumors. In large part, they amount to catcalls and wolf whistles, and other boorish insults that most women have shrugged off and then moved on with their lives. Yes, this is not breaking news. Except when it involves the pretty and powerful.
Perhaps you wonder why this tidbit is circulating around the ‘newsies’ as it’s certainly water under the bridge. But the narrative is important because it is indicative of how those in influential positions feel they can get away with anything, and continue to attempt to do so without repercussions. Until the #MeToo movement.
A movement long overdue, and welcomed; driven by a constituency of Hollywood starlets. Seemingly, a few A-listers were feeling a tad irrelevant in today’s climate of toppling abusers; those narcissistic actresses who found themselves in the shadows of far braver women were feeling the dimming of the limelight.
Then we have Paltrow, Hayek and dozens of others who remained mum, attempting to rewrite the screenplay of their history to stay in limelight—which has sparked controversy. So, what horrible sin have they committed? None. Instead, they have kept #MeToo moving forward. Did they steal the victim’s thunder by tweaking a serious and reprehensible practice and promoting a celeb cause du jour? Maybe. But if their support and participation change the way people are treated by those commanding authority—whoever they may be—then our job as humans is to not judge them but to join them.
Quirk or Mental Condition?
And now, what we are witnessing en masse, is the diagnosing of this behavior as if it is a mental disorder, by few who could grasp or even pronounce medical terminology. I especially appreciate the likes of mail carriers, store clerks, or even the occasional paramedic who parrots some random psychological disorder as if they could understand and converse authoritatively with Sigmund Freud. Why do we have to find a cause for actions taken by those we deem abnormal? Apparently, it allows us to move on.
No Mental Illness
But I do not believe for one second that the Weinsteins, Cosbys, and Frankens of the world are mentally ill. They are spoiled, privileged, men in powerful positions that cannot function without having to belittle, drug, hold hostage or forcibly appropriate what they believe is theirs inherently. These aforementioned men are demonstrating the insecure antics of high school boys who covet what the hunky quarterback with unlimited choice has at his behest.
But Chris Matthews? He, by all accounts, could possibly be mentally ill, and obsessed with Hillary Clinton. He has been observed pinching her cheek after an interview, and upon a certain level of rebuff, resorted to calling her names such as “witchy”, “Nurse Ratched”, and my favorite, “uppity”.
Just go away now, Chris. The exposure of your actions portends a dramatic decline in ratings and sponsorship dollars. Stalker.
Let’s allow the real victims to run with #MeToo and preserve its credibility while accepting support from the rest of us–it is a necessary campaign and a long-time coming. For the abundantly privileged males in positions of power (especially those who shape political and societal norms with an almost unlimited media platform), your innate desires may not change. But keep your schoolboy aggressions and obsessions in check and just shut up already or you may end up on Hillary’s to-do list, or sleeping on Uncle Harvey’s casting couch at his new casa in Pomona. Neither of which you will enjoy if Karma has anything to say about it.