Don't Call It A Comeback
Last week, two topics of importance to the #MeToo movement were in the news: the comebacks of the “fallen men” from the #MeToo movement, and Bill Cosby was found guilty of sexual assault. I sat with both of these things weighing on me because both have left me speechless and angry. It’s been a turbulent year for all survivors, as any year is, but to have the constant commentary on assault/harassment and the discussions on what those two words mean has been, for me, extremely toxic. What does it mean when people start talking about a comeback for Matt Lauer? Why is Charlie Rose getting a television show to interview other men who were affected by the movement? And, Bill Cosby finally got his due, but it’s been decades after women started saying he had raped them. As you can tell, it’s been a lot.
When it comes to Bill Cosby, it doesn’t escape my attention that people are touting the return of all these ridiculous white men, but are celebrating a black man being taken down. Admittedly, it’s high time for this, and should’ve been done at the first inkling of discussion because he is straight up monster. It’s, however, interesting to see that white men will continue to get a pass each and every time, when all of them deserve to be punished and all deserve nothing more than losing their careers and being disgraced.
Now, some of you may say, “Liz, everyone deserves a second chance.” But, I would disagree with you. People do not have the right to walk into someone’s life, take what they want from it without consent and then act as though nothing ever happened. Louis CK doesn’t get to masturbate in front of women, feel bad about it, disappear for a while and then plan a comeback. There are women who will never be heard because they were scared of what the repercussions would be for them, and not even a year later, we are deciding it’s probably time for his comeback? I’m sorry, has anyone missed him? Is anyone sitting around sad that Matt Lauer isn’t on tv in the early morning being condescending to his guests, and asking questions to women like Anne Hathaway about not wearing underwear? These guys don’t need a comeback. They don’t deserve a comeback. Why do they get to make some grand statement and COME BACK when survivors of assault and harassment have to deal with their trauma in therapy, or really never get over it?
Supposedly on the docket in the coming months will be a show that Charlie Rose will host a show discussing the #MeToo movement with other men who were affected by the fallout of this movement. Apparently, they think they get a voice in this. It’s been said that Rose has been hanging out with Woody Allen and Sean Penn, both men who are respected in the industry but have been accused of horrific acts of violence and sexual abuse. I guess if Charlie Rose is hanging with these two guys he probably feels a sense of entitlement to get his career back, considering his two “friends” have never had to pay for what they’ve been accused of. Cool. But, again, is anyone clamoring for more interviews from an old white man talking to other white men about what they were accused of doing? Have you all been going to CBS and saying, “I really miss that boring old man and his weird sexual banter with his co-workers on morning television. BRING HIM BACK!” I mean, maybe people have? This world is weird, so I don’t know what goes on most of the time.
I’ve found myself to be incredibly angry and sad about this news. If you’ve been reading this website for any length of time, you’d know this isn’t new for me. I’m often angry and sad about this kind of information, but given the fact that the year has been so draining and hard on so many women that I know, I don’t know that I can take much more. How is this a #TimesUp on these men if we begin discussing their comebacks? What about the change that was supposed to come with all of this? What about the voice that we were told would no longer be silenced? Was it all for nothing? Was listening to descriptions of abuse and harassment all just to make it look like this country cared about victims? Honestly, I’ve had to check out from the news within the last few weeks because I value my mental health, and it’s news like this that makes me realize avoiding the news is actually a good thing. To me, all of this stinks of money talking and white men being able to do what they want if they have a little bit of cash and little bit of influence.
Let’s not talk about the comebacks. Let’s not give them second chances. They don’t deserve them. Louis CK, Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer, Harvey Weinstein all deserve to be stripped of their influence and riches. I don’t want to hear from them ever again. Bill Cosby deserves to rot in jail, and while we’re at it, when the hell is R Kelly going to be taken down? Simply because these are males, most of them white and rich, doesn’t make room or excuse the damage that has been done. So, no, don’t call for their comebacks. Don’t call for them at all. Or else, this whole year was merely some sort of weird experiment to see how much triggering victims of assault and harassment can take. But, maybe I’m giving too much credit to this world? Maybe that IS the actual idea? I don’t know, we do have an admitted Pussy Grabber sitting in the White House, so I guess anything is possible.
But, whatever you do, don’t call for a comeback.