you can’t break that which isn’t yours

I guess, after five years, I still have questions.

Why did you come here and do what you did? What benefit to you, the womanising and the lying? Did it result in getting your end away with some convenient, confused girl? Did you just need to feel good about yourself and that was how?

Because for all your faults, you weren’t bad at your craft. I liked the play. I wouldn’t have stuck with it. I had minor quibbles with the writing, but the kind of quibbles that happen when you’re practically raised to write (seriously, at that point I had been learning for fifteen years — and I was twenty-two). My job was this: to sit in on rehearsals, feel out what changes to your script were happening organically, and help the director decide whether they worked.

You were never going to be a great director. But a writer? You did that well. If you had left Jim to do the directing… well, that’s another problem, and ultimately it isn’t mine. No, mine is with the part where every woman in the production was a tool and a toy. Who raised you to believe that? Was it a result of L.A. living?

I dreamed a version of you that was good underneath. I dreamed it only last night, which means I’m not done with this somehow. I didn’t do or read anything last night that would prompt a dream like that. Could be the Anthony Weiner scandal dredging it all back up; who knows? But I dreamed a version that really did have permission to cat about, and a version of me that acknowledged how good it could feel between a complete set of consenting partners.

Call me crazy, but I believe I can inflict non-consensual sexuality on Eleven. I can do it by breaking our agreements regarding third parties. If he’s not okay with what’s going on, I have no right to do it. What’s more, this is reciprocal, this notion about breaking faith. It’s how our non-monogamy works. It’s how we maintain an ethic with which we can live. So if he should turn to someone else without asking me, that’s cheating. And if I did the same, it would be the same.

Why would you do that to your wife? Why would you do it in such a way that lacked respect for anyone involved, really? Were you just being Robin Thicke and having some good, dirty fun? But Thicke and his fellow artists no doubt had their wives’ permission (and possibly those wives were present in some way) (and likely they knew what was happening). Did your wife know and understand that you wanted some good, dirty fun?

And Thicke, for all he’s in the spotlight and hotly debated, only ever praises the women in his “Blurred Lines” video. He doesn’t pass judgment. If as an artist, he got in the costumer’s face about an actress’s undergarments, we haven’t heard. If he put down his crew for not being up to the same standard of beauty as the actresses, or for possessing a different beauty, or even for looking like they’d broken a sweat that day — we haven’t heard. Remember that your crew works hard to bring you a good show. Don’t piss us off. Don’t divide us. We sacrifice so your words come to life the way you desire, from the director on down. Don’t get in our faces; don’t treat us like objects.

I wore those goddamn earrings that day to feel pretty. I wore that goddamn kerchief to keep my hair out of my eyes when I went to beat hell (and years of dust, and possibly hazmat) out of black curtains you needed for your scenery. Don’t fuck with a woman who weighs as much as the curtains, who faces them as if they were silk on the breeze, who with her compatriots brings them back as clean as they will come. Whatever I inhaled that day, rest assured I did it for the show and the good people working alongside me. So you will never again look at a woman who knows she is facing a dirty task and tease her over her one piece of gorgeous, do you hear?

I should never have shamed you then. I should have kept my head and educated you, except that I hadn’t yet learned enough to be able to say these things. I fell back on rage, and also on “get him the hell away from here”. But now, though I have all but forgotten your name, I wish you could read this — if you could understand it. If you were open to admitting that men with even the tiniest power must be careful how they use it.

Are you open to it now?

If I remember your name, I may even ask.


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