An Honest Man’s Guild to What Some Of Us Really Think About Sexual Harassment, Part Three: The Myth of the Blameless Women

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First, I am not a billionaire, so that perceived entitlement is out the window. I have never grabbed a woman by the pussy, nor have I ever wanted to. Nor do I typically refer to a woman’s vagina as a “pussy,” to be fair, save for maybe my private moments.

How I do cherish those private moments, though, stated as an assurance that your author is emphatically not holier than thou.

So there’s all that. The title of this piece does use the term “honest man,” and I am frankly not concerned with how you perceive me after you read it. Before you get the wrong impression as to the nature of this essay, however, I encourage you to take a read of the first two parts of what has inadvertently become a larger work:

Men by and large were angry with me as a result, believing I had demonized them. The majority of women who responded applauded. I have not been swayed by either to continue these articles, but I did want to address one glaring aspect of the controversy that I had yet to fully explore:

The role of women who attempt to seduce men to advance in their career. (Of course, men do the same. This chapter, though, is specifically about women and their efforts with men, as we’ve discussed male harassment in the series’ earlier sections.)

I had mentioned this before. A few years ago, as a writer-producer of television and film, I had housed my production company office at Paramount Studios. Invariably, several times a week young women less than half my age (I’m 55 now) would approach me with various promises in exchange for, or coy queries about, casting opportunities. Some said they would “do anything” for a part in any of my upcoming projects; some were more reserved until the ice was broken.

I’m a happily-married monogamous guy (monogamy being my choice and my heart, and I do not believe it is right for everyone), and I had never taken advantage of the opportunities so presented (again, my choice). I may have been one of the few who hadn’t, based on various overheard conversations during lunch in the commissary. I don’t judge. If I was single, I very well may have taken complete advantage.

Reverting back to a favored cliche, it is what it is.

I found myself feeling sorry for the women, the average age among them maybe 21 or 22. Their efforts to me reeked of desperation. Once I left Paramount, these incidents occurred with far less frequency, but they never stopped. In 2015, my wife and I visited an out-of-state film conference where I was a featured speaker. I was asked to take a photo with an attendee. I complied. As the photographer readied his camera, the woman whispered into my ear: “Are you and your wife into a threesome tonight?”

No.

That didn’t stop a big-time agent who also attended, whose wife was home in Los Angeles and pregnant with their second child, to take on a couple of his own opportunities. One looked like she could have still been in high school. On the bus from one event to another, he exclaimed to his seat-mate just across from me: “God, I love this business.”

And then, the parties. Los Angeles film and television-related parties are a constant. They are held at mansions in Beverly Hills or the Hollywood Hills, at various halls around town, in apartments …

These Los Angeles “industry parties” are hotbeds for free sex. Some of the “women” who attend appear to be either barely legal, or soon to be legal, meaning they’re minors. It doesn’t matter to most. Nobody checks IDs.

To be clear, if I had suspicions and witnessed someone I believed to be underage as being sexually exploited in any way, I’d attempt to break it up myself and/or immediately call the authorities. Party be damned. This is among the most important and horrifying of all related topics, that I will discuss at length in a follow-up I believe must be written.

Otherwise, to move forward but not to dismiss the above, legal-aged opportunities for sex remain prevalent in my business, and as a fully-functioning straight male, the low-cut outfits, the offers, the flirting … of course it has held its share of temptation. Oral sex among partiers in pool areas and private rooms are a particular favorite of which I nonetheless would not partake, as common and popular as the pills or roaches passed from one attendee to another.

Certainly, none of this is relegated to straight young women and straight older men. Same-sex, trans-sex, no matter and no judgement. The difficulty, as I’ve also been told time and again, comes when both parties consent … and then the other changes their mind after the fact.

For whatever the reason, which is frequently valid and sometimes not.

Let’s address this pointed issue, again remaining with the topic of women attempting to use their sex appeal to further their career goals.

Women are not all innocent. In today’s era, many men do indeed believe that the opportunities that arise for themselves may be set-ups for later (I do not subscribe to this), but they cannot turn them down in the moment. I have a friend presently rising in the business who lives in chronic paranoia about his own past, and is now on medication.

We cannot change our pasts. Consider that Lesson One from Captain Obvious. You engage in high-risk behavior, the repercussions are yours to resolve. Lesson Two.

There is nothing to prevent a lawsuit down the road. There is nothing to prevent a woman believing she was taken advantage of. There is nothing to prevent your future from being destroyed, and there is nothing to prevent a woman from blackmailing you later.

Yes, men do all of this too. Again, though, remaining with the focus of this article, “gold diggers” do exist.

Are all women victims, as certain women claim?

I’ve answered the question. That’s disingenuous and dangerous thinking on the part of both sexes. But neither are all women “sluts,” “whores,” or otherwise “willing” because you believe you are either well-endowed, or particularly skilled.

As an aside, for an excellent article on the concept of toxic femininity, from Medium columnist Meghan Dauman, see here:

#ItsTime to move forward, in the real world and for the purpose of this piece. So let me take a quick moment to discuss all of us, not just women, which is the point of this entire endeavor.

As a society, members of both sexes and all sexual identities must join together and recognize that we are all human. We all have our temptations; we all have our breaking points.

What am I saying here that everyone reading this does not already know?

Nothing.

Then why do we continue to act as though we’re all innocent?

Please advise.

To be continued.

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Joel Eisenberg is an award-winning author, screenwriter, and producer. The Oscar in the profile pic isn’t his but he’s scheming. WGA and Pen America member.

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