I think what Hollywood puts onscreen reflects their offscreen lives: a world where many (most?) of the women they know are trading sex for something: money, position, access. They’re living in a world where sexual harrassment is not a crime, but a perk — it is accepted by all that a powerful man can do things like make an actress wash his car as her “audition”. They don’t just have casting couches, they have casting *lives*.
For them it is factually true that rape is controversial. They are so embedded inside rape culture that they don’t even realize there could be something outside of it. They keep showing rape as “edgy” because it is, in fact, not a black-and-white issue for them: they do not think of (or experience) sex as necessarily consensual, it’s always a power game. They think rape is “complicated”, emotional, compelling — but not, you know, *wrong*. If I think rape is always wrong, they say I must think sex is wrong — logic which is only logical if your experience of sex is all muddled up with rape.
My response to this was:
I think you’re dead right, and it’s possible that those in Hollywood who have never known anything but the rape culture actually think the rest of us are deluded. Sort of, “Oh, come off it, you can talk pretty all you want and respect and Title IX and that bullshit, but we all know sex is a commodity, and as long as you get something in return for giving it, you have no right to complain.” If that’s true, then of course they would think it’s “edgy” to “tell it like it is.”Reminds me of serial killers who are convinced everyone really *wants* to go around murdering and dismembering and eating folks, and they’re just the only ones with the nerve to do it. Like Polanski saying (in that quote I cited yesterday) “Everybody wants to fuck young girls.”
The more I think about this, the more confident I am it’s true. If you’ve never experienced sex as anything but a power play, but you’re engaged in creating fictions about sex as pure pleasure and/or part of a larger emotional experience, you would probably infer that, in reality, sex is always just a power play and this quaint idea that it can be something nicer than that is just a neat fantasy, like spaceships and talking forest critters. After all, boys are encouraged to think of sex as something you do to impress your friends and elevate your status. It’s hard to become aware of any feelings for a sex partner, even pure physical pleasure, if you’re too busy worrying whether this “score” will be impressive enough to make those mean guys in the locker room stop teasing you.
What do you think? Is this where Polanski’s Hollywood supporters are coming from?