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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

curated: the #MeToo scandal surrounding Geoffrey Rush

This absolutely infuriating article in The New York Times beautifully details so many of the ugly lines that women are supposed to delicately walk… an impossible feat that of course we are inevitably going to fail at.

Most women who go public with #MeToo stories are fearful for obvious reasons. There is the pain of reliving traumatic experiences. There is the rage of not being believed. And there is sometimes the discomfort of admitting, as Ms. [Yael] Stone readily does, that she didn’t say “no” and at times even encouraged some of his behavior. She did so, she says, out of fear of offending a mentor and friend.

But Ms. Stone isn’t just afraid of the emotional consequences of talking about her allegations against Mr. Rush, her onetime hero, including that he danced naked in front of her in their dressing room, used a mirror to watch her while she showered and sent her occasionally erotic text messages while she was 25 years old and starring opposite Mr. Rush, then 59, on stage in “The Diary of a Madman” in 2010 and 2011.

She is worried that Australia’s defamation laws will drag her into a legal and financial quagmire.

Not only is it easier for a plaintiff to win a defamation suit in Australia, but people are far less likely to blow the whistle on misconduct, knowing what the legal (and therefore financial) consequences might be. Indeed, if a law firm had not volunteered to represent Ms. Stone pro bono, she said, there is no way she would have been able to come forward.

But that financial support goes only so far. Crucially, if the actress is sued and loses, she will be personally responsible for the damages. That Ms. Stone is willing to take such a risk indicates how strongly she feels about the matter.


This story is also a reminder that we women are socialized from birth to put the feelings of others first, particularly the feelings of men, and that we must always ensure that men are never, ever made uncomfortable by us and our needs.

Pretty good description of the ethos of many Hollywood movies, in fact.

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