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Open Letter to Louis CK

Dear Louis,

I was a huge fan of yours.  My husband and I watched your stand-up and your television show.  I thought of you as somewhat of a feminist ally, simply because you seemed to recognize power inequities in your act and would make fun of them.

Then the rumors about you masturbating in front of female comics started making the rounds.  I didn’t want to believe it, but from your stand-up alone it was clear that you had some issues with sex.  Eventually, after YEARS of rumors, the #me,too movement caught up with you.

You apologized and I thought, “Louis gets it.  He’s taken responsibility for his actions and he will make this right.  He’ll show Hollywood how to do it.”  Then I actually read your apology, and it was lackluster, man.  Just some passive aggressive attempt to apologize without taking responsibility.  I was disappointed in you but still had some hope for your redemption.  “If anyone can do it, Louis can,” I erroneously thought.

Then I heard about your recent stand-up where you bitch about having to say “they” to accommodate trans people, complaining about having to call them what they would prefer.  Fuck you, Louis.  I bet you didn’t know that trans people have one of the highest suicide rates in the country.  I bet you also didn’t know that calling trans people by their name – the one they say is their name – and their preferred pronouns reduces the risk of them committing suicide.

But then I realized, you don’t really care, do you Louis?  You are so busy feeling sorry for yourself and the fact that you lost millions in the space of the hour (boo-fucking-hoo, man, most of us never see the kind of cash you are sitting on in our lifetime and the women whose careers you destroyed certainly don’t have the luxury of weeping over $30+ million lost), that you haven’t really taken a look at real ways to make a comeback.  You know what would be a good start?  Helping the people your manager blacklisted and threatened.  You still have the power to open doors, to help them with their careers.  You stole their opportunities from them so you could creepily get off and you haven’t done shit to fix that.

Why haven’t you done anything to fix it?

If you’d gone out of your way to not only apologize but make legitimate amends to them, you’d be surprised how well received you would be the next time you go up on stage.  Instead of doing the right thing, instead of being an example to other Hollywood people in similar circumstances, instead of being who we thought you were, you’ve done nothing but feel sorry for yourself and then trash trans people like a bigoted asshole.

It’s not only sad for the women you victimized and silenced, but it’s sad for you and your fans.  You could have made this a moment where you actually made amends.  Where instead of giving lip service to taking responsibility, you actually did it.  You could have restored our faith in you, a flawed, but good man.  Instead, you sulked for a few months and then came to the stage with anti-trans bullshit.  That’s not what good men do.  It’s what opportunistic assholes do.

I’m done thinking that you will eventually make amends to those you’ve harmed.  Your self pitying bullshit shows that you don’t actually care about those you victimized.

Fuck you, Louis.  And while we’re at it – fuck you, too, Janeane Garofalo, you apologist bitch.




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Believe Women – Internalized Misogyny

“It is hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head.” Sally Kempton

There are so many things I wanted to blog about in regards to the whole Kavanaugh national disgrace, but the thing that keeps coming up for me over and over again is internalized misogyny.  We all have it, but there are so many women out there commenting about Dr. Ford being a “liar trying to ruin a man’s reputation” that I’ve been pissed off and frustrated.

While the Kavanaugh hearing and debacle has dredged up so many things I thought dealt with or buried in dealing with my own abuse and trauma, I keep remembering this girl in the 4th or 5th grade.  I can’t remember her name, and I wish I could because I’d try to reach out to her and apologize.

This girl was 10-12 years old, as was I, and she said that the orchestra teacher had molested her.  Ten years later this man was finally caught and arrested.  I’m assuming no one believed the girls that came after her, either.

More importantly to this narrative, *I* didn’t believe her.

I remember quite clearly lining up to go inside after recess and me and my bitchy friends were talking about it and she overheard us.  She motioned me over and asked if I wanted to know what happened, and I said yes.  She told me about this man – who my family nicknamed Chester the Molester a few years after this incident because it became a known secret that he did this – and how he shoved his hand down her shirt.

And being a bastion of hope, kindness, and open mindedness, I went back to my friends and said loudly, “She told me but I don’t believe her.”

I said it loud enough for her to hear and I said it with venom.  There is no making this more palatable – I was a fucking bitch to this girl.

Now here I want to forgive my pre-teen self for being an unmitigated bitch.  I want to talk about how my grandmother would say – any time she heard of anyone being raped that they should have just kept their legs together.  I want to say that I had internalized the culture of disbelief and was just doing as I was taught.

But honestly, that’s all bullshit.  This girl – who wasn’t popular and was often alone – told me what happened and I smacked her down for it.  I think about this often as I see clips of Dr. Ford’s testimony.  The shaking, the voice, and the suppressed panic – this girl exhibited all of this and my bitchy childhood self took it as an indication of someone lying.

So, to this girl – god how I wish I remembered your name – I’m sorry.  I shouldn’t have said that to you or about you.  I’m sorry I didn’t believe you and I’m sorry it took so long for the man who did this to you to get his comeuppance.

I’m sorry I was an asshole to you over something indescribably traumatic.  I was shitty to you and I should have led with kindness not viciousness.

Seeing all of the women out there that as grown adults acted the same way I did as kid is pretty distressing.  Hearing all of the men out there call Dr. Ford a liar – and after the hearing, I honestly believe people who believe him over her are delusional, a Devil’s Three-way is a drinking game?  What the fuck ever, Brett – why on earth would women come forward in this culture?

My hope is that many of the women commenting this heinous stuff are never put in the same situation with a victim I was in or if they are, I hope they reply more compassionately than I did.  However, with the way Republican women came out and voted for Roy Moore, I’m not optimistic.

The #believewomen hashtag is moving across the internet and I’ve had even allies come up with problems to this.  “Oh, just believe women automatically without any proof or anything?!  That’s insane!”  Yes, I think you should believe women when they tell their stories, especially since most of these stories are being posted online and they aren’t in a court of law.

If the accused is “innocent until proven guilty” the accuser should also be considered “innocent until proven guilty” but no one thinks this way.  Believing women doesn’t mean you get a posse together and go after anyone vigilante-style.  It means be supportive to the women in your life and give them the benefit of the doubt.  Don’t just discount what they are saying as some sort of knee-jerk ingrained reaction.