File this under: I definitely won’t be checking the comments section on this one, because Krysta is being too woke about feminism. In the bromance of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, I have amazingly found myself leaning towards Ben in regards to how they’ve both handled this whole “everyone in Hollywood is an habitual predator” thing.
This might shock some people, given that Ben has actually been thrown into the mix of dudes accused of groping women and being totally complicit to Harvey Weinstein’s predatory behavior, but please give me a minute to explain myself.
Since the whole Harvey Weinstein thing blew the lid off of sexual misconduct in every work force in America, both Matt and Ben have weighed in and received backlash for their responses. Ben was accused of knowing about Weinstein this whole time and was also reminded he’d grabbed some boob and ass in his day, whereas everyone from Cher to Debra Messing to Matt’s ex-girlfriend Minnie Driver has accused Matt of constantly giving tone deaf and “faux ally” responses and so on and so forth.
So why am I more likely to favor Ben Affleck in this situation? Or favor ANYONE in this situation, for that matter?
It’s actually very simple.
Ben Affleck was a young man raised in a culture where men are taught that a smack on the butt or, yes, even a little boob tweak, is a form of playful flirtation. I genuinely and truly believe that when Ben Affleck gave Hilarie Burton a little boob squeeze on TRL back in the day he genuinely thought he was being playful and flirtatious and was definitely not making her uncomfortable (he did it on live tv for Christ’s sake). Does this excuse his behavior? No. But do I understand why he would think this behavior was ok? Of course. Before this year, the media and society were telling men that this behavior wasn’t a problem. In fact, as I’ve mentioned, it was considered playful.
When I think back to junior high or high school or university and all the genuine male friends I have who crossed lines like this thinking they were being playful, I’d be sitting here all day sending messages to dudes letting them know at some point they made me feel weird or uncomfortable. And it’s really fucking hard as a woman and a feminazi (as you would call me) to realize that 1) this behavior is not ok and never was, but 2) for sooooo fucking long these young men didn’t really know it wasn’t ok because women were too afraid of being shamed or not believed or whatever to say it wasn’t and we weren’t having the conversations abut consent that we are THANKFULLY having today.
Do I think not being aware at the time that what they were doing was sexual harassment completely absolves all shitty behavior towards women? Of course not! But, at the very least, Ben Affleck has openly said he’s been a part of the problem and now he would like to be a part of the solution. The Rose McGowan in me wants to say “Tough luck, fuck you”, but the woman in me who is striving for real equality and understanding amongst the sexes is like “Ok, let’s see you be a part of the solution then.” Because I need to give people the hope of evolving and changing, because if we’re not going to believe that men who may have been idiots in the past are even capable of changing, why would they even bother trying?
So how does this relate to Matt Damon, who hasn’t been accused of any kind of sexual misconduct whatsoever?
Matt Damon has taken every opportunity since this whole scandal started to weigh in on the situation and he just keeps saying all the wrong fucking things. He gets so stupid defensive with his “Not all men, though!” and “Well, as a father of daughters!” and “There’s a spectrum to sexual assault, though! We have to consider that!” bullshit, when really he just needs to STFU and talk about whatever dumbass movie he’s promoting. While Ben has been smart enough to apologize and STFU, Matt is out here running his mouth every chance he gets and he really needs to just stop because he’s digging himself a hole so deep even George Clooney won’t be able to help get him out.