Listen, white men of Hollywood, it’s become a bit of a stressful period. Totally understand. It’s awards season—historically, your time to relax and bask in the glow of lavish, sometimes-earned praise!
While women are plucked at and scrutinized and sacrificed at the alter of the mani cam, you just bounce from event to event, heralded. Sometimes, you wear an ascot, and that gets attention. Sometimes, you muster up a nice speech, and everyone cheers. But mostly, you just exist. And until 2018, that’s been enough. Trombones. Applause! What an achievement.
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You know now that it’s different this time. The #MeToo movement has only gained momentum since it exploded last fall, and it may seem to you like you no matter what you do, you just can’t win. But that’s OK! Sweeties, relax. You’ve won for millennia. So, not winning—that’ll be a novel experience for you! The method approach! Really, lean in to it.
Here is a humble recommendation, a gratis idea from me to men: Stay home this awards season. That’s it. So simple! Just re-heat some leftovers, do a sheet mask, and send your mom to the show instead while you tune in to the telecast. In the millennia you would spend in traffic to and from the Dolby Theatre, you can text every woman you’ve ever worked with and tell her how much you made on the movies in which you co-starred. It’s probably many, many millions more than she did. Write a check to Time’s Up, and then text your buddies and tell them you hope their moms are having fun and to do the same. And since you won’t have made some stupid remark about “due process” and no one will have to explain to you for the millionth time that no man is constitutionally entitled to his job, you can really get a head start on your taxes. Your accountant will be thrilled. Everyone wins! Except for you—at least not in a public, ostentatious fashion. And that’s the point.
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Plus, your mom will have a great time. She will meet all her heroes! Ryan Seacrest, who will also be home, will not be there to make her do a dumb twirl. She will not have to strain a forced smile. And she can still twirl herself, if she wants to. If you nab a little statuette, she can get up there and accept the award on her own behalf. She raised you, you ass-cot. And if you don’t, well that’s good, too. I hope it was “Best Director,” and a woman won it instead.
Admit it. You’ve been worried about the red carpet. How to wear a black tux as you literally always have, but make it appear bold and deliberate? How to cede the spotlight to the women who deserve it, but not be too suspiciously silent? We can’t all be Aziz Ansari! Well, calm down. (You’re very emotional.) I have charted the path forward. Kick up your non-heels. Unwind. Send your mom. The press will be good, and the sense of relief you’ll feel that you don’t look like a complete and utter tool will be even better.
Now, yes, I know we need male allies. We need men who stand up for women whether or not those women birthed them. We need men who hire and mentor women, men who see the women in their offices as peers and friends or even competition. We need them to do all that in public.
But what we don’t need is one more soundbite from Matt Damon. What we don’t need is more white men in black tuxes, bumbling on about the importance of feminism even as they do so little to realize its aims. What we don’t need is men who stand at the podium and tell us about the world they want for their daughters, never making a connection between the realities of the one we live in now and the fact they’ve never starred in a movie with a woman behind the camera.
But now they’ll have the chance! That’s it, friends. Sit on a couch. Reflect a little! Introspection—it does the mind good.
Men, you’re welcome. Moms, have a ball. Hugh Jackman, you’re still invited to everything.