There have been an overwhelming amount of men in the entertainment industry facing the consequences of sexual harassment and assault this year, including but not limited to members of the film industry such as Harvey Weinsten, Kevin Spacey, Danny Masterson, and James Toback (as well as members of the music industry such as former Real Estate guitarist Matt Mondanile, Crystal Castles' Ethan Kath, and Alex Calder). In the wake of all of this, Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast penned an op-ed for Billboard titled Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino on Explosion of Sexual Assault Allegations in Hollywood: 'Consider 2017 the Year of Male Consequence'. It begins:
Picture this: it’s 2017, a reality TV star/alleged sexual predator is President of the United States. On a daily basis, women are fighting against losing their right to safe, affordable healthcare. I know it sounds like the opening to a post-apocalyptic horror film but the sad fact is, it’s our reality. You may be asking yourself, "how did we get here?" Don’t worry, I ask myself that same question every morning when I wake up. And sadly, I don’t have an answer for myself or for you.
But if we look back on history we might be able to see where this horrific reality came from. The attack on women and the idea that men with power abuse it is nothing new. In 2017, though, it feels more prevalent than ever.
As a female in the entertainment industry I will tell you this, sexism is rampant and it is terrifying. I see it every single day when I’m on tour. Whether it’s in the form of a condescending tone from a house sound guy who is talking down to me for asking a question as simple as “can I get more of my vocal in my monitor?” Or a security guard that is asking to see my credentials after he just let my male counter part through the backstage, no questions asked. Women in every industry, even women without jobs, are reminded every single day that they are women, and are therefore somehow lesser than.
Her essay has this conclusion:
The thing about all of this -- the #MeToo movement, the calling out of creeps and pedophiles and let’s just call them what they are, bad men -- is it’s actually really working. These men are losing their jobs. They’re becoming famous for new reasons. Their legacies now include “sexual predator” and that is not something you can so easily be forgiven for. Not in 2017.
We might all be in shock that these types of cases continue to exist, that they continue to happen to all of us. But what we should be celebrating is that a lot of these men -- ESPECIALLY these powerful men -- have nowhere to hide anymore. The secret is out, and none of us are going to go back to silence. The passion to out these perverts is spreading like a wildfire.
If 2016 was the year we elected a grabber-in-chief, consider 2017 the year of male consequence. So men, in all industries, all over the world, I suggest you start acting right or your creepy activities could be the next ones plastered in headlines across the globe.
And women, continue to speak up, because we are listening, we believe you and we are ready to fight this fight with you.
Those are just a few excerpts of her powerful essay, which you can read in full HERE.
Bethany also published an op-ed on sexism in the music industry last year, after music publicist Heathcliff Berru was accused by multiple women of sexual assault and stepped down from his position at Life or Death PR.