In my post and the comments about people whom I would be shocked by being charged with sexual abuse, Crip Dyke asked the following interesting question about the names given by me and other commenters.
I find it interesting that Tabby is the only person to name any women. Are there really no women who would shock the commenters on this post? Or is it that it doesn’t even occur to you that women might be perpetrators, so you didn’t imagine being shocked at an accusation because you can’t even imagine the accusation?
That’s an interesting point. I cannot speak for the other responders to Crip Dyke’s question but in my case, my response would be the latter. Almost any woman’s name would be a surprise. It is not that I think women are somehow better than men but the kind of behavior we have been hearing about requires a combination of abusive personal characteristics and power over others. It is the latter that women generally lack. I believe that this lack of power forces them to act more collegially to achieve their career goals and thus inhibits any temptation to indulge in abusive behavior. I think women are acutely aware of how vulnerable they are and that any single misstep could result in loss of career. No women who behaved towards others the way that Harvey Weinstein or Kevin Spacey or Charlie Rose did would have lasted very long. The stories about them would have spread like wildfire because the women usually had no power to coerce silence or retaliate.
Women have been forced to adopt public personas that are friendly and engaging, nice and easy going, whether they are really like that or not. I cannot think of a single female actor who has the image of being hard charging, abrasive, and demanding, the kind of reputation that so many famous male actors have and for which they are viewed merely as naughty scamps. Can one think of any female equivalents of men like Russell Crowe, Marlon Brando, Billy Bob Thornton, and Mel Gibson (to name some just off the top of my head) who were notoriously disruptive and yet seem to find it easy to get good roles and high paychecks? On the contrary, Mira Sorvino and Ashley Judd, in addition to being sexually harassed by Harvey Weinstein, had their careers effectively sabotaged by Weinstein’s company Miramax spreading the word that they were ‘difficult to work with’, and that vague innuendo was sufficient for director Peter Jackson to drop them from consideration from any of his Lord of the Rings films.
That is what would make any allegation of abuse by women shocking. I expect that women in music would have greater flexibility to be ‘difficult to work with’ and even be abusive and yet succeed, perhaps because they are mainly solo performers and thus have more control over the production and marketing of the finished product than actors. Since I am way out of touch with popular music culture, I really do not know what the performers there are like so cannot list names to support my hypothesis.