Power and fame among men have always conveyed a certain sex appeal for women. It’s hard, I would imagine, in such a position as Hollywood or politics to avoid temptation to take advantage of it. And how fine the line between “taking advantage of an opportunity” and “abuse” can be. Sometimes it is simply a matter of perspective on which side of that line behavior falls.
Which makes one wonder: Is Hollywood so “progressive” out of guilt? All the power, fame, and riches they accrue, for acting. Though many of them may be talented at that, they are not exactly curing cancer. They are entertainment. Not to mention, the debaucherous behavior some of them exhibit, the lurid parties we hear about, even the sordid sexual plunders of many of the men (underage women, casting couches, etc.)
Men will always do what men are programmed to do by evolution – to spread our seed far and wide as practically possible. And famous and powerful men have more means to do so, more opportunity. But it is how society reacts to that which tells us much about the age within which we live.
Errol Flynn was a Hollywood movie star in the 1930’s and 1940’s, originally from Australia. Known for playing pirates and soldiers and cowboys, he was one of the earliest prototypes of the galivanting action star. He was also an international sex symbol. Some even attribute the idiom “in like Flynn” – which means to quickly seduce someone – to him.
What you may not know about him was his darker side – a raging alcoholic who liked to party hard. He was refused entry into the United States Army during WWII (after becoming a naturalized citizen in 1942) for among other things having a host of venereal diseases. In fact, when he died, his penis was covered with several genital warts so large that they were considered a medical curiosity – to the point that one of the medical examiners at his autopsy wanted to remove them to show future medical students.
Flynn was also accused at several points of harassing women, even being put on trial for raping two underage teen women (though he was acquitted). His Hollywood mansion was outfitted with various one-way mirrors, trapdoors overlooking bedrooms, and audio equipment for listening in on women’s bathrooms … all for Flynn’s voyeuristic entertainment. His final girlfriend at the time of his death he met and started a relationship with when she was a 15-year-old auditioning as a dancer. Flynn was 48 at the time.
All of this highlights the simple fact: women are attracted to men with status. Men with fame and power. Apparently even if they have giant warts on their dick.
And Flynn, well he was just doing what men have been programmed to do since our days as primates living in the jungle like gorillas and chimpanzees: accumulate status, then leverage that for sexual access. You can be morally outraged about that, or realize it is a tale as old as time.
This of course brings us to the sordid modern day tales of Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, amongst many, many other recently accused from powerful politicians to famous actors and rock musicians. We could name names, but that is not the point here.
I am not going to defend any of their actions, nor really even comment on them or the witch hunt nature of some of the accusations or the broader #MeToo movement (such as Dustin Hoffman being accused of making a woman “uncomfortable” 32 years ago), other than pointing out as I did above that leveraging status and power for sexual access is a very basic male behavior in primates. No, the simple conjecture I make here is that a lot of Hollywood and their ilk aligning with progressive and feminist political movements is likely due to their guilt over such behavior.
You see, many of those actors and producers and what not come from a more whimsical “creative” place, where the realities of evolution and power and sex are seen as “brutish” or uncivilized. They are beyond that, in their minds. In contrast, a businessman or politician who claws his way to the top of course has often accepted that evolutionary reality – the tooth vs. tooth scramble for ascendency that is natural selection (both in nature or business).
But for those male creative types, when they finally “make it” and instantly have status and fame and power, they are suddenly able to do something very similar to those politicians and businessmen – leverage that status for sexual access. Even to the point of exploiting those who are weaker if they are so tempted. In short, their very primal male behaviors come out, as they have been honed by evolution to do for millions of years. An uncomfortable, or should we say “inconvenient truth”, rears its head. The cognitive dissonance is surely stifling.
So it’s no surprise their visceral reaction to that is guilt. Nor should it be a surprise that due to that guilt that they align themselves with those political/social movements they see as supporting the “weak”. It is a way to absolve themselves. Beware sheep who become wolves condemning the behavior of other wolves.
I would be remiss to not mention that publicly hating what you really are out of shame is a major plotline of the movie American Beauty (where a secretly gay man hates homosexuals), which ironically Kevin Spacey starred in.