I've always been attracted to strong, tough, smart women. Apparently my mother watched a lot of Katharine Hepburn movies when she was pregnant with me.
I was lucky because I was young in the best of times. It was the 1960s, 70s and 80s. And the 90s. In those days, women were strong, tough, decisive and they knew what they wanted. When it came to sex, they enjoyed it. Sometimes they initiated it.
In the advertising agency that Ron Travisano and I started in 1967, at one point we employed close to 300 people in New York and Los Angeles. There was plenty of sex in both offices. No complaints – just plenty of people enjoying each other. Being in an office where there was a lot of good, healthy sexual tension made coming to work fun. We all had so much fun we didn't have time to waste on being politically correct. A number of people who met at my agency and started affairs stayed together and are now, many years later, happily married.
No one ever complained to Human Resources because there was no Human Resources department. Human Resources was then called "Personnel," and their job was to fill out forms and mind their own business.
The women in my office were not victims. They were participants. Tough? They didn't come any tougher than one of my favorites, a creative director named Helen Nolan.
Once, when a senior male account executive failed to sell a campaign she had written for his client, she got even in her own way. He was very much aware that he had sold her work down the river, so to make up to her he tiptoed into her office, went behind her, put his arms around her waist, kissed the back of her neck and whispered, "Are you still mad at me?"
Helen promptly spun around, took the pencil she had in her hand and stabbed him in the chest. He came running into my office, bleeding from the puncture in his chest, screaming that I had to fire Helen. I couldn't stop laughing and replied that I was thinking of giving her a raise.
I guess at this time I have to invoke the Sexual Harassment Miranda Act.
I'm not writing about alleged rapists like the Harvey Weinsteins, Kevin Spaceys, Bill Cosbys and the Dr. Larry Nassars. I'm not writing about men who try to physically force women to have sex with them. They are despicable. Don't wait 20 years to report them. Report them the next day. Put them in jail … throw away the key.
What I'm concerned about is those people who now are in the midst of a "MeToo" witch-hunt. Every day there's another complaint. Some are bullcrap, made-up complaints by people who are jumping on the "MeToo" bandwagon. They are using sex to destroy lives.
I'm concerned with the power of these few women to make all women sound pathetic and weak. Like that whiney woman who enjoyed months of sex with Matt Lauer and now says, "Even though my situation with Matt was consensual, I ultimately felt like a victim because of the power dynamic."
The old "Power Dynamic" excuse. "He was powerful and I'm weak." That's all it takes these days to be a "MeToo" heroine. Matt Lauer is a "MeToo" victim. I would like to get every NBC executive who threw him under the bus up on the witness stand under oath and ask them if they ever had an affair with someone with whom they worked.
You'll hear a lot of "Humma … humma … humma."
I feel sorry for actor Aziz Ansari, another "MeToo" victim who has had to respond to allegations of sexual misconduct.
In the report, a 23-year-old woman recounts a 2017 date with Ansari when she went to his apartment after dinner. They both undressed. They both had oral sex. She complained that when she asked for a glass of wine he brought her a glass of red wine when "he knew I preferred white."
Serving red wine instead of white while having sex? Off with his head.
Let's hear it for a smart woman, HLN host Ashleigh Banfield, who slammed Ansari's accuser. Banfield, speaking on her HLN program "Crime & Justice," addressed "Grace" — the pseudonym used by the woman who claimed Ansari "violated" her — by saying, "I'm sorry you had a bad date ... but let's take a moment to reflect on what you claim was the 'worst night of your life.'"
Banfield went on to say to Grace that when the date got "overly amorous" and she began "protesting [Ansari's] moves," she "did not get up and leave" and "continued to engage in the sexual encounter." As one columnist reported, "Don't confuse regret with rape."
The latest outrage: The great artist Chuck Close was accused of sexual harassment by two professional nude models. Mr. Close, who is a quadriplegic in a wheelchair, has denied their allegations as lies and says he is being "crucified." Unfortunately, the politically correct idiots at the National Gallery of Art in Washington have postponed an exhibition of his work.
Catherine Deneuve, the great French actress, joined more than 100 other Frenchwomen in entertainment, publishing and academic fields arguing that: "… Rape is a crime. But insistent or clumsy flirting is not a crime …"
They contend that the "MeToo" movement has led to a campaign of public accusations that have placed undeserving people in the same category as sex offenders without giving them a chance to defend themselves. "… This expedited justice already has its victims, men prevented from practicing their profession as punishment, forced to resign, etc., while the only thing they did wrong was touching a knee, trying to steal a kiss, or speaking about 'intimate' things at a work dinner, or sending messages with sexual connotations to a woman whose feelings were not mutual …"
I agree, but maybe I'm just an old guy who wants to go back to a time when women were strong and could take care of themselves.
In my defense I've always identified with strong tough women, to a point that many years ago, when I was being interviewed by Dick Cavett on his television show and he asked me: "If Hollywood makes a movie of your book 'From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor," whom would you like to see playing you?"
Without a second's hesitation I answered, "Lauren Bacall."
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