CUPP: Matt Damon and the surge of stupid reactions to #metoo
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Over the past few Earth-shattering months of the #metoo movement, we’ve heard some of the most powerful, inspiring, and eloquent words — from women and men — on the significance of this moment and how it has impacted the generations of victims of sexual harassment and assault.
We’ve also heard some of the dumbest.
From botched apologies — no, Mario Batali, we aren’t interested in your recipe for pizza dough cinnamon rolls — to tone-deaf musings from time-trapped wrinklies who still think women should dress more modestly to solve this systemic problem, I am gobsmacked by the abundance of stupidity that continues to flow out of imprudent Hollywood mouths.
And yet, here comes Matt Damon to outdo even himself, proving you can be really stupid twice in one week.
After declaring late last week that “patting someone on the butt” isn’t as bad as some other awful violations of a woman’s body — because he’s in charge of the “spectrum,” apparently — he’s back with another self-serving and idiotic bon mot for women to chew on:
“We’re in this watershed moment, and it’s great, but I think one thing that’s not being talked about is there are a whole s—load of guys — the preponderance of men I’ve worked with — who don’t do this kind of thing and whose lives aren’t going to be affected.”
First, congrats, gals. We did it: Matt Damon thinks this watershed moment is great.
But also, you read that right. Damon believes we should spend more time talking about all the guys who have decided not to be predatory monsters, because aren’t they terrific and deserving of a pat on the back for being decent human beings who don’t wield power for sex?
Okay, here goes: Congratu-effing-lations, guys who aren’t rapists and abusers. Thank you for not raping and abusing us.
It’s hard to fathom the arrogance one must possess to suggest out loud that women are somehow overreacting to this moment and forgetting all the “good ones” along the way, when the whole reason it’s a watershed moment is because untold generations of women have been utterly silent about the bad ones until now.
Now that we are finally able to name them and hope for some semblance of accountability, guys like Damon want to tell us, “that’s enough now.”
But there’s more stupid, this time from British actor Ian McKellen, who thinks he has some wisdom to share on the culpability of women:
“I hope we’re going through a period that will help to eradicate it altogether. But from my own experience, when I was starting acting in the early 60s, the director of the theatre I was working at showed me some photographs he got from women who were wanting jobs . . . some of them had at the bottom of their photograph ‘DRR’ — directors’ rights respected. In other words, if you give me a job, you can have sex with me.
“That was commonplace from people who proposed that they should be a victim. Madness. People have taken advantage of that and encouraged it and it absolutely will not do.”
Of course, that’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.
Just because some women, in an industry run by powerful men, participated in a system that they did not design nor control, is no indictment of women.
They offered themselves up because in the system men had built, it worked. Believe me, if they’d been refused and shunned from Hollywood for offering sex for a job, I guarantee they wouldn’t have done it. If you can’t ever own the means of production, you can’t be called a capitalist.
There will undoubtedly be more of this preening, ignorant nonsense as we try to sift through the carnage of the #metoo movement.
But here’s a good rule of thumb for folks who want to weigh in: Unless it’s to offer women a non-handsy hand, some words of support or a no-strings-attached job opportunity, don’t.
Contact Cupp at thesecupp.com.
This column first appeared in the New York Daily News.
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