I wasn’t going to write anymore this year, but here is a bonus track:
The Daily Beast has a knee-slapper of sophistry trying to redeem Meryl Streep, and trying to make a case that (a) she didn’t know that Hollywood was an abusive place for women, and (b) that any criticism of a female enabler or female in general is tantamount to being sexist.
No, and no.
Of course Meryl Streep knew what was going down all those decades. Her denials are as believable as the wealthy wife of a philanderer who is never home, always on a business trip, can never stay with her the entire time even for one vacation, and is surrounded by young and attractive underlings.
The wife knows. She is not getting all that painful plastic surgery because she doesn’t know her husband sees her as a prop and not a human being, but the price is right, and she doesn’t want people gossiping about her and her losing face with the siblings and neighbours she keeps rubbing her lifestyle to at every waking moment.
So let us not insult the intelligence of a multiple-Oscar winning actress who has been an A-list star for her entire career. She is not some naive little girl with a delicate disposition.
Because it doesn’t ring true.
What is Ira Madison III imagining? Some contrived movie where the underlings whisper, “Shh! Don’t tell Meryl what Harvey did to Rose! She’s not supposed to know about that.”
Give me a break — even the best boys knew. Journalism and Hollywood are two industries that live and die by gossip. Everybody gossips about everyone and everything because that’s the currency of those industries that are highly competitive.
So let’s debunk that silly belief.
And let’s talk about a more interesting wrinkle: how did Meryl Streep get such a free ride in Hollywood all those years?
In a business filled with misogyny, she had a very lofty career. That is a business that uses people as props. There is something dehumanizing about it. Actors are expendable, and you don’t see such misery in an industry for nothing. You can be worth millions one day, and be homeless the next.
You can be Meryl Streep today, and Barbara Payton tomorrow.
And if you are saying, “Barbara who?” use that little google thing of yours to find out.
Payton died on the streets at 39 without her front teeth because she was that generation’s Lindsay Lohan.
But once upon a time she had promise. Once upon a time she was making money, and far more so than most of the other starlets were making at that time.
She wasn’t political. She was an actress, and for her beauty and wild ways that got her ticket into Hollywood, she was punished for it and destroyed.
How many A-list women were discarded as the Middle Class people felt glee insulting them, feeling superior to them once the downfall came. Too many to count.
Actresses have always been cannon fodder in Hollywood. Love the blonde one day; hate the blonde the next.
And now it is Streep’s turn, but for very different reasons.
She made a tactical blunder at the Golden Globes, and now she is beginning to pay the price for both her willful ignorance and arrogance.
She had no business using that stage to call Trump a bully.
Because that stage that loved her so much was made by bullies. The end.
If it weren’t for misogynists propping up her career, she’d be just another no-name actress pointing to tampons to make ends meet.
They lavished over her publicity, telling people she was a good actress — a great actress. The sexists that run Hollywood paid for those expensive Oscar campaigns, and those less expensive Golden Globe campaigns.
And Streep pushed her luck, forgetting she was the Golden Girl for the very boors who were doing a whole lot worse than Trump ever did to women. Trump was always about Trump: Hollywood spread its sexist ideals of women globally for decades with a patriarchal narrative that people cannot shake or realize is not natural or divine.
Calling out Trump on that stage was a big no-no, but she bought her own hype, thinking she made it on her talent alone, and now was going to lecture the president on a public platform where people would applaud her — and never notice her inexcusable sin of hypocrisy.
No, Ms. Streep: you made it because you danced the way the sexist power brokers in your industry told you to dance. They didn’t promote feminists. For decades, female directors and producers were shut out.
But you spent your entire life cheering on the boys, haven’t you?
She wasn’t pushing for women to be in the director’s seat, for instance. Her causes were never feminist. She didn’t push for women to have better treatment in front of the camera or off.
I remember when I was a kid, and she was on Donahue raving about one her causes. They even showed a video of her over a kitchen sink scrubbing some fruit or vegetable with a brush and dishwashing soap to get chemicals off it.
Yeah, I am rich and famous woman; see me slave in the kitchen.
That was the day that young Alexandra Kitty saw right through you.
So for the Daily Beast to attack people for rightfully asking the hard questions about Streep is rich — and keeps a misogynistic status quo in place.
No, she had it coming. Hollywood has been controlling what is being an acceptable woman for decades, and there is a reason why Streep was its sole beneficiary for those decades. Her roles were not of powerful women — but of weak women trying to use sophistry to pretend to be strong.
#MeToo is not just about exposing men — but the women who benefitted at the expense of other women.
And just because someone is a woman, it does not mean she is not allowed to be criticized.
She is an adult, just like men, and adults are to be held accountable.
Yes, she knew, because she is an adult.
Her lengthy rebuttal to Rose McGowan was filled with excuses and sophistry.
Our perceptions of reality have been tainted by Hollywood’s portrayals of that reality — and it is time we stop clinging to the past. Streep’s benefactors helped her on her rise, and now they are dragging her down on their fall, and the stage that once loved her, became angry and turned on her because she wasn’t applauding the boorishness that gave her that coveted career.
Let her be held accountable for once, and not think she can use a stage to hide that.
She isn’t that good of an actress.