“I’m sorry if I made you uncomfortable, flashing my wealth around.” “No no don’t be silly.” “Because I know that money is a problem for you. And your father won’t be around for too long. You’ve just split up with your boyfriend. You’re not getting any younger…” This is a conversation between my broke friend and her boss (pushing 80). The boss only recently lost his wife. My friend ended up briefly back in his big house the other night. Boss is in his seventies. She’s the same age as boss’s son.
“A lot of women get involved with people for money.” He ventures. “How much would it cost for you to ‘lie back and think of England’? ” he actually phrases it like that thinking on some level that it’s a wry joke.
Another fucking parasite preying on someone’s desire not to hurt someone. She’s thinking he’s just lost his wife so worries about his well being. He’s not thinking of anything or anyone but the little soft bit of flesh he probably calls “the sergeant,” which is so rarely engorged that it probably thinks it’s a holiday. She leaves it standing up, maybe for the last time, but now her day job is in jeopardy. And her job was created by this man. And she needs the work.
Again and again and again this happens. It’s societal. It trickles down. Right now there’s this compensating flaccid hypertense orange coward who likes wee wee on his face face, and he’s nominally in charge of the free world. I guess that sort of desperate middle aged catastrophic FUCK ME I HATE MYSELF shit is still going to be validated all over the place until they’re all dead, and it’s somehow overlooked, despite all the attempts to publicly call it out and show it for the colour it is. Power is power. We must be careful and know when we are exerting it. If we have it, great. Use it kindly. It’s not the seventies anymore.
I had a journalist call me up last December. He said he was a Nichiren Buddhist. Knew my ex. He wanted to know about Kevin Spacey and The Old Vic. He knew I was friends with people who had actively benefitted from or conversely been harmed by the unspoken culture there. He wanted to talk about sexual harassment in my industry. I suggested to him that the only reason why my industry was in the spotlight was because people who do my job habitually speak out. That’s our job. He disagreed. “No. It’s worse for you. The late hours. The drinking culture.” I said “Bullshit. This is across the board. You can’t make it about just our industry because we talk about it. You’re a journalist! You have late hours and drinking culture too! And this stuff is endemic. It’s about people, not lifestyle.” He was aggressive in response, and a bit humpy. “No, I think it’s worse in your industry.” he insisted, needy. Because that was his (fucked) angle. Well, good luck Kumar you idiot. I hope you subscribed nicely. Because it’s fucked across the board. Estate agents through lawyers through sales through recruitment through politics through etc etc
And yeah, perhaps this old bastard boss of my friend has followed the same flawed thinking pattern as the idiot journalist. I’ve heard it so many times. “She’s an actress. Wahey. Fair game.”
This stuff isn’t finished. It’s not. We don’t need to witch hunt it though. But surely we can get something into common parlance that helps people know when their advances aren’t welcome. Again and again my female friends tell me about how the guy didn’t take no for an answer. It needs to come from the men. Awareness Stop being entirely driven by your dicks? Learn to listen. A penis is not a solution. Being close is not the same as being horny.
Hey ho. I had a gorgeous evening with friends. I met a beautiful woman who is happily married with two kids. We met in a pub in Mornington Crescent. I rarely fancy strangers but hell I fancied her. She was my age. Old raver. She liked the idea of setting me up with her illustrator friend. I didn’t give her my number. Probably should have. Welcome to my world. Had a nice walk down the canal. Got angry. Wrote blog. Day.