Most of what we focus on is geeks harassing other geeks. But there’s another side to this which tends to be ignored, or simply written off as something geeks are entitled to simply because they are geeks. To put this very bluntly, those actors/writers/musicians who bring you such geeky delight are not your personal performing monkeys, who only exist to give you said delight. In short, Talent does not have “Property of Fans” tattooed on its ass.
In a recent Slate article, Mad Men actor John Hamm is singled out for scorn for…wait for it…objecting to people objectifying his penis. The tone of the article seems to say that how DARE Hamm complain about something actresses have had to deal with for years.
In short: “Now you know what it feels like!”
There’s a problem here, but it’s not with Hamm. The problem is with dismissing his complaints. Hamm has just as much right as Anne Hathaway to speak out about being objectified. And both their complaints should be taken seriously.
The only people who get to have an opinion on Hamm’s penis are him, his partner, his doctor, and the costume designer for Mad Men (but only in terms of whether he dresses to the left or to the right). By the same token, the only people who get to have an opinion on Hathaway’s breasts are her, her partner, her doctor, and any children she may have who have not yet been weaned.
We must admit that we know all about objectification. We’ve done it ourselves, to one degree or another. But at the end of the day, we have no right to either Hamm or Hathaway (much as we might wish otherwise).
In short: If you don’t like having your ass grabbed by a stranger at a con, the odds are pretty good Talent won’t like it either. So keep your hands to yourself!
I can understand a certain amount of “welcome to the club” or “not so funny when it happens to you, huh?” world-weariness, because… that shit is TIRING, and it trickles down from actresses to ordinary women. But you’re right. It’s not funny for anyone.