I suggest listening to this as background as you gaze at the picture…
Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual advances in a workplace setting. Sexual assault is an uninvited or consented to touching of a sexual nature.
Outspoken feminist/writer/actress Lena Dunham decided to spontaneously kiss walk over toher “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” costar Brad Pitt and kiss him, at the Quentin Tarantino film’s London premiere. I’m enjoying the media accounts—more on this below— that say she “appeared” to kiss him: what else could she be trying to do? Whisper in his mouth? Eat his lips?)
The photographic evidence makes it clear that the advance was unwelcome, indeed evoking an exchange in “Singing in the Rain”:
Someone should ask Brad whether he’d choose to kiss Dunham over a tarantula. I’m sure he’ll be gallant, but this photo …
…suggests that his honest answer would echo Jack Benny’s famous “I’m thinking! I’m thinking!”
Dunham is not only a leading Hollywood #MeToo feminist, she’s a smug and obnoxious Hollywood #MeToo feminist. On what basis, then, could she think that ambushing Brad Pitt with an attempted open mouth kiss would not signal utter hypocrisy and, one more time, the convenient double standards of an “oppressed” group that believes that they should get passes for the exact same conduct they have fiercely and publicly condemned in others?
Naturally, the “woke” media mostly shrugged off this revealing episode, one of many that suggest that behind much—most?— of the #MeToo movement is the motive of bringing down powerful men. Here’s typical coverage:
“The pictures prompted some backlash on social media, with many saying it represents a double standard when it comes to sexual misconduct. Some argued that Dunham had assaulted Pitt, since it appeared that he wasn’t consenting to her kiss.”
Suggested that it’s a double standard? It is a double standard. If John Lasseter tried the same moves on Dunham, she would hold a press conference demanding justice. Of course, Lasseter, the shamed and dethroned head of Pixar who was a serial hugger—you know, like leading Democratic Presidential contender Joe Biden—isn’t as cute as Brad.
Some argued that Dunham had assaulted Pitt? There’s no argument: if someone kisses someone else without any hint of consent or invitation, that’s both assault and battery. (The assault is creating the fear of imminent touching—Brad’s expression makes THAT inarguable–and the battery is the contact itself, in this case having forced contact with Lena Dunham’s mouth, which might have been God Knows Where.)
So what are the rules that #MeToo is demanding we impose? Men can’t impulsively kiss, hug or otherwise touch in an arguably sexual way any women, unless the man is the only non-crazy Democratic candidate whom the average American could pick out of line-up? Attractive women are always off limits for trembling, aspiring male lips, but women can kiss them without opprobrium, especially on stage, or on live TV? This would be the Madonna Exception. Remember the 2003 VMAs? Sure you do…
Homely, desperate, unethical male entertainment industry figures like Harvey Weinstein, Les Moonves and Garrison Keillor are power-abusing monsters if they presume to exploit situations to kiss women in the workplace, but homely, desperate, unethical female entertainment industry figures can kiss male eye-candy at will—is that the deal? Or does this just apply to Brad Pitt? Or only Dunham? Somebody ask Lena; she’s a #MeToo expert, I hear.
All we are asking for, #MeToo, is clear rules. They don’t have to make sense, because where sex in the workplace is involved, they never can and never will. Let me take that back a bit: one rule makes sense and is quite clear. Don’t engage in sexual touching or other sexual conduct of any kind in the workplace, unless you’re a sex worker.