It’s like Candyland, but terrible.
While reading the recent article about garbage human Max Landis and his long (and well-documented) history of domestic abuse and sexual assault, I was struck by this sentence:
“A representative for the producers of Shadow in the Cloud told The Daily Beast that they were not aware of any allegations prior to optioning the script…”
Shadow in the Cloud is a project that was meant to be Landis’s “comeback,” (and by “comeback” I mean “reacceptance into the Hollywood fold after a few allegations surfaced and after Bright was super not good”). Given the discourse around the project, I realized, “The producers are either absolute idiots or they’re deliberately obtuse.” The rumors about Landis have been an open secret for years—a cursory Google search would have brought up dozens of articles. So the producers either did exactly zero background research on their meal ticket with a strong family name (possible) or they heard some of the rumors and didn’t care because they didn’t seem substantial enough to cause problems (probable). After pondering this for a while, I had yet another realization: There is no amount of sexual assault survivors that will be “enough.” There is no number of women that will be enough to be taken seriously when it is their word against a powerful man. Five women came forward against Louis C.K. Eight women have come forward against Max Landis. Nine women came forward against Roy Moore. Twenty-three women came forward against Trump. Sixty women came forward against Bill Cosby. More than ninety women came forward against Harvey Weinstein.
In each case, the women were doubted, scorned, and gaslit along the way. And in pretty much every case, their accusations came to almost nothing. Louis C.K. lost some cred and some projects but is back on the comedy circuit, mocking Parkland survivors and the #MeToo movement. Max Landis was temporarily shunned but kept getting handed plum projects even after the first few accusations, and is only now facing any sort of serious pushback (which I promise you is gonna fade in like, five months). Roy Moore barely lost his election, and is already talking about running again. Trump is… well he’s the goddamn president, isn’t he. Bill Cosby finally faced consequences after literal decades of accusations, and he’s still out here tweeting about how he’s “America’s Dad.” Which is both “no,” and “….yeah, that’s probably sadly fitting.” Weinstein is coming to some settlements that will in no way make up for what he did, and he has a closet full of Oscars to sell on E-Bay to help him make ends meet.
There is basically no “safe” number of women who can come forward with an accusation and have it actually mean anything. For all the bellyaching about how false sexual assault accusations ruin men’s lives… well it looks like true sexual assault accusations don’t even ruin men’s lives.
So based on my years of research, I have come up with this number game/guide for how to get away with sexual assault without really trying. And I mean the last part—if all goes “well,” if you rape someone, the rest of society will make these excuses for you, and you won’t have to lift a finger, let alone address your behavior in any way.*
*Note please, please, please do not use this as an actual guide to get away with sexual assault. This is a little thing known as satire. If you have sexually assaulted anyone, please for the love of all that is holy, confess to your behavior and repair the harm you have done however possible.
- 1 survivor steps forward: “It’s just he said/she said. How are we supposed to know what is true?”
- 2 survivors step forward: “The second one is just a copycat, trying to get some attention after the first person came forward.”
- 3-5 survivors step forward: “If this happened to them, why are they staying anonymous? Why won’t they stand behind what they said?”
- 5-10 survivors step forward: “How long are we supposed to ruin his life for, when he just committed a few indiscretions?”
- 10-20 survivors step forward: “Why are they only coming forward now? This is clearly just an attempt to cash in/ruin his reputation.”
- 20-40 survivors step forward: “This happened so long ago, he’s a changed person/they can’t possibly be remembering correctly.”
- 40+ survivors step forward: “Bitches be crazy.”
….that about sums it up, and I’m really depressed now. So. Cool. Thanks for that, Max Landis and terrible culture.
Signed: Feminist Fury
Featured image depicts a close-up of the board game Candyland. It was taken by Flickr user Dave Parker and is used under a Creative Commons CC-BY-2.0 License.