As a woman in the entertainment industry I've thought about equality and what that means more than I have ever before. I'm learning how to keep my dignity and integrity intact. To be true to myself even in times when I'm vulnerable, when there's a lot more at stake than I might care to admit, or when a situation smacks me right in the face and I don't know how to respond.
And as I continue to traverse this interesting landscape of life and acting, one thing is clear to me. Men have no fucking clue. Now, don't get me wrong. We are all clueless human beings trying to convince everybody else on this planet of the contrary. And we all have our own shortcomings and issues that, hopefully, we're dealing with and working through. But, what really gets under my skin is when someone is convinced they are something when they're actually the exact opposite. I don't know if they're doing it on purpose or if they truly have no fucking clue, and I honestly don't know which one is worse.
It struck me during one of my marathon runs of the comedic but surprisingly deep show, Scrubs, when Dr. Miller, the new surgical attending played by Scandals' Bellamy Young, who happens to be a woman says this:
"You know what's worse than the basic knuckle-dragging scalpel jocks I usually work with? You. You are the worst kind of sexist. You're one of the sneaky ones who prides himself on saying all the right things when, deep down, what you really think is that I'm just a little girl who needs protecting."
And her point is this. The worst kind of sexists are those sneaky ones who think just because they're saying all the right things and supposedly doing all the right things, that they're scott-free. That they don't have to be held accountable to their beliefs and behaviors because look! They're on "your side". They're the "good" guys.
In the past couple of months I have had an engaged man fondle my hair and shamelessly flirt and tease me, and attempt to manipulate me with things he thinks I'd throw myself away for, who thinks by constantly telling me "I'm hot" he will win over my favor. I have had a guy who has a god-complex and likes to talk to women in a derogatory manner, and to prevent him from doing so I have to constantly be baring my fangs at him, and furthermore, gets so obviously threatened when a woman makes a stand for herself in direct response to his ridiculous self-needed-and-imposed male dominance to compensate for his small man complex. It's exhausting. It's disgusting. It's infuriating. And what's more it's pervasively incurable.
Being with a man who has taught me what real respect for women is, it's unbearable to tolerate anything less. But, I realize I have to learn how to navigate these kinds of situations. Especially in an industry that, more often than not, objectifies women for a living.
Watching an interview with Jennifer Lawrence inspired me, as she always does, to take my power back. To take no fucking nonsense, while doing it in a playful, I-Know-What-You're-Doing Kind of way. As a woman, it's exhausting because despite everything you put out there, you still have to prove time and time again that you refuse to be bought, you refuse to be manipulated, you refuse to be treated anything less than what you're worth as a woman and not a weak, gullible girl to be emotionally manhandled.
I'm still figuring it out. I can't promise to be playful all the time. I'm a fighter. Given my upbringing, which is a whole 'nother thing, I can't really help it. But, recognizing things for what they are, I've found, really helps to dismantle the threat of a situation. It helps to approach things with a certain holistic, unattached awareness. Operating from that. Now, that is true power.