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Harrassed and Seduced by American Culture

Updated on March 6, 2018
izettl profile image

I am passionate about health, wellness, and relationships. I'm in the business of people and offer solid advice from experience.

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Trends above principles

If it’s a trend, you can bet Hollywood will jump on it. The trending campaign for #metoo is supposed to mean something to all of us right now in 2017/2018 as victims finally come forward 20 years after being assaulted.

If Hollywood had an ounce of decent moral, we would've helped a lot of victims many years ago, including saved just as many from being victimized.

As Oscars near, people will gear up and glam up to suppprt an industry that continues to support sexual predators, from harassment to intimidation and manipulative seduction.

When it comes to sexual harassment, people are pointing fingers and ignoring the elephant in the room. There's a much bigger issue than the list of names on harassment charges.

Have you been sexually harrassed?

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Once upon a time...

A 12 year girl was too young to understand she had to 'do this' in order to get roles in movies. Her roles were described as the 'sexy girl' at age 9 and a 'pre-teen prostitute' while her mother was allowed to orchestrate it all. This was completely supported and encouraged by the entertainment industry.

She remembers feeling exposed in risqué photos at the age of 10 all leading to a subsequent role...and all done in the public eye.

Brooke Shields recounts all of this in her memoirs about the Hollywood entertainment business in the 1970's.

This is the industry Harvey Weinstein worked in for 30+ years.

My point- an openly accepted, sexualized entertainment industry paves the way to an American culture that cultivates the mentality and environment in which this unethical behavior is rooted, and therefore thrives.

Astonishingly, it's been sitting right under our noses for decades.

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Selective Ethics

36 million people watch The Oscars. The Academy has handed out numerous awards to actors even AFTER being accused, arrested, and found guilty of seuxal misconduct.

History of acceptable and despicable behavior

The Academy of Hollywood has a long history of nominees who have been accused of misconduct. Roman Polanski fled the country after he was arrested for, and pled guilty to, the rape of a 13-year-old girl and has since won an Oscar!

Woody Allen has been accused of sexual abuse and has been honored by the Oscars.

Casey Affleck, Ben's brother’s nomination and award came after major harassment allegations, and a settlement outside of court to the tune of over 2 million dollars, to two separate women who had very detailed reports.

I can't keep up...

Day after day there are new sexual harassment reports and claims filling the headlines and being made against a major, sometimes reputable, public figure. This is indicative of a much bigger issue, not just a bunch of powerful perverts running their game.

We focus on the big names while underlying issues continue to be swept under the rug. Yes, Hollywood is on blast for this type of "behind-the-scenes" activity, but Hollywood will continue to sell and blatantly perpetuate power and sex "on-screen".

How can we stand by and ignore that?

Is it any wonder we find ourselves dealing with this mega assault to our sense of sexual security?

Source

Are enough people willing to withdrawal their support for both extreme violence and sexual content in entertainment?

Shock and awe

The big issue is an entire (American) culture refuses to see their role in the misdeeds of a society's unraveling ethics. The communities and society play a large role, but to what extent will the responsibility be disbursed, if at all?

Are enough people willing to withdrawal their support for both violence and strong sexual content in entertainment?

A report on Matt Lauer condones his extramarital affairs, but reacts brashly to his covert advances toward co-workers. Affairs are OK?

"Everyone on staff knew he cheated on his wife regularly. That wasn't a secret. But sexual misconduct is a shock." (In regards to NBC's Matt Lauer scandal).

You have to wonder about a sentiment, without pause, that suggests extramarital affairs are not a "secret" or do not harbor at least a bit of shock value.

And it could be we have the vaguest of notions and awareness about our contributions to this phenomena as viewers and admirers of these people, as well as high regards to the traits like fame and power.

The perfect storm

The sad part is that we don't see, or know about, the average case of sexual harassment that is not represented in the spotlight. The big picture is also affecting those not in the public eye- it affects an entire culture who respects power and rewards sex.

In a way, both women and men use sex and power differently. When a culture establishes certain collateral, people will use it to their advantage.

Many women learn to use their appearance. They seem to accept this as their form of currency, and sometimes a form of power as well. Studies have shown that young women perceive “everyday harassment and abuse as normal male behavior”. I would go so far as to say they expect it, and plan accordingly. Some women 'put up with it' and others use it.

In 2014 nearly 238,000 women experienced sexual harassment. The cases go unreported 60 percent of the time.

Blurred Lines

Our society uses sex and power in almost every facet of our lives from products to lifestyle to politics.

There's a billion dollar diet and exercise industry banking on the fact that you want the perfect body just like your favorite actress or entertainer.

We have those in powerful positions who use their money and fame to sway and buy election votes, or entertainers who advertise and promote products that use their name to endorse them. At what point is it over-stepping boundaries of power?

In the eyes of a potential victim, what are the expectations to hold, or start, a career in Hollywood?

The lines are blurred.

There's bound to be trouble actually defining what sexual harassment is and how to differentiate between negative sexual contact and mutual when people outside of the entertainment industry are the ones buying into it.

Movie-goers
Movie-goers | Source

Hollywood, the $10.2 billion industry of glamor, sex, and money, is the biggest propellant of sexual harassment and rape. If Hollywood is making money, it's because people are buying into it.

— Abhimanyu Shekhar, www.theartiface.com

Progressive principles

The best description yet of how the entertainment industry is fooling us and causing harm in the nature of their content.

"…the entertainment industry is lying to themselves when they claim to be progressive. Progressives do not sexually harass women. Progressives do not rape women. Progressives do not delight in the rape, sexual harassment and degradation of women in films and television programs."

If we worship fame, we'll continue to pay the price.

Sexual victimization, continuing to objectify women, and non-existent principles makes Hollywood the least “progressive” element in our society.

It's a two-way street

The lines are also blurred concerning what role men and women play in the sex and power dynamic. Women use sex and power as well. Certainly women use forms of seduction, which is viewed as sexy, and not the abuse of power that it is.

Sex holds power as well, and women can use this to their advantage without reaping any negative consequences.

Possibly one of the most disturbing examples of this is in the comment sections of articles reporting about female teachers preying upon underage male students. There's an overwhelming supportive group of people who think that is "sexy" as if it's impossible to prey upon boys in a sexual nature.

Sexual harrassment occurs anywhere where power is unevenly distributed
Sexual harrassment occurs anywhere where power is unevenly distributed | Source

Predators do not exist without a platform!

"These are awful guys," said one commenter on a sexual harassment article.

“Awful guys” exist and these awful guys would not have easy access to massively mistreat women, and other men, without the large and powerful entertainment industry that supports it. Furthermore, they pass it down to our culture and general public, spreading the misconduct throughout our society.

Sex versus storyline!

Hollywood and the entertainment industry could decrease gun violence and sexual content to gain respect, and actually be a positive contribution to our society- actually making a positive difference rather than preaching it off-screen.

Increasing creative content and original plot lines would inspire our youth and draw in crowds based on that rather than relying on shock and awe.

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    • izettl profile image
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      Laura Izett 3 months ago from The Great Northwest

      Paula,

      Exactly... “our youth being encouraged to pattern their lives”.

      I’m actually relieved someone else is as disturbed as I am over the Hollywood scene!

      Thank you very much for your comment !

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Laura....Oh my dear woman, Thank you for writing this. I have strong feelings but my disgust and anger at the entire situation, prevents me from being able to share my opinions in writing. My words would be "Bleep-worthy!!"

      Hollywood, in general, pretty much nauseates me. Of course I enjoy being entertained and I appreciate a good actor in a good movie. I just don't buy into the "idol syndrome" nor do I foster our youth being encouraged to pattern their lives after people like~~say for instance Miley Cyrus! Yikes. She's come a long, unpleasant distance from sweet, innocent "Hannah Montanna." It seems to be the route they ALL take soon enough, both male and female. It's a huge disappointment, for parents especially.

      To your article~~ Harvey literally makes me ILL~ just the sight of him. And this was BEFORE his outing as a sexual deviant! Now, he's too disgusting to think about. Really, Hollywood?? So MANY women, so much denial and cowardice, protecting their jobs?

      Well, I'll stop here. Enough. I do know that your words are so true and this attitude is NOW shared by the vast majority of decent people! Like you have said, Laura, "Why? Why so much time, so much fear and cover-up.?" Yes, we know why, but we needn't ever accept it! Peace, Paula

    • izettl profile image
      Author

      Laura Izett 3 months ago from The Great Northwest

      Thanks so much for your comment! In a rickety that practically worships fame and celebrities, it’s nit too hard to see where the negative aspects of our society stem from.

    • profile image

      laura Izett 3 months ago

      I couldn't say it better myself. Hollywood knows exactly what they are doing. They don't care about how it affects society. All they care about is themselves. It's all about them. They Never take responsibility for their behavior. Thank you for going after Hollywood.

    • izettl profile image
      Author

      Laura Izett 5 months ago from The Great Northwest

      MsDora! Glad we are on the same page about the “big picture” in this social issue!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 5 months ago from The Caribbean

      Absolutely right! So many more are guilty than those whose names are mentioned; and among those who are mentioned, so many get away with it, and then are celebrated! Society has got to stop condoning this behavior.

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