Oy… celebrities and the dumb shit they say sometimes. I just cannot.
In 2010 Kristen Stewart likened seeing pictures of herself to being raped but she later apologised, rightfully so, for her utter lack of tact. In 2011 Johnny Depp equated his feelings on being photographed to being raped and he too later apologised for his “poor choice of words”. Recently, high organic priestess and Goop Queen, Gwyneth Paltrow likened negative comments online about herself and her friends to being on the war frontline because of how “dehumanising” it is.
“You come across internet comments about yourself and about your friends, and it’s a very dehumanising thing… it’s almost like how, in war, you go through this bloody, dehumanizing thing, and then something is defined out of it. My hope is, as we get out of it, we’ll reach the next level of conscience.”
What a consciously idiotic thing to say. But its Gwyneth Paltrow, why is anyone surprised. Back in March she incurred the ire of working moms when she argued that Hollywood moms, with all the modern conveniences and more at her disposal, the team of nannies and maids, had a far rawer deal than average working mothers on the 9 to 5 mill, most of whom have no help, no maids, etc, because their routine is nothing like it is on a film set. Oh puh-leeze! Have a seat. Have ALL the seats.
The latest celebrity to spew Gwyneth level of nonsense is Charlize Theron, a woman I expected more from. In an interview with Sky News to promote her new movie, when the interviewer informs her about her Google search results, she likens that level press intrusion into her life to being raped.
“I dont do that so that’s my saving grace. Yeah. I think its when you start living in that world and doing that, that you start, I guess, feeling…raped.”
“Well you know, when it comes to your son and your private life, maybe that’s just me and some people might relish in all of that stuff but there are certain things in my life that I think of as very sacred and I’m very protective over them. That doesn’t mean that I always win that war, but as long as I don’t have to see that stuff or read that stuff or hear that stuff, then I can live with my head in a cleat space that’s probably a lot healthier than living in that little dark room.”
Ugh. Where do I start? First of all, unless its rape, this word should not be used and abused in such a way. Its not rocket science its just common sense. Its not the next “it” word, its not the next buzzword. Rape is a hateful and hurtful crime. I expected more from Charlize because she is a rape activist, has been involved in campaigns to high light the rape epidermic in her native South Africa. She witnessed the troubled marriage of her parents and when her mother shot and killed her alcoholic father after he threatened to kill them both. I also thought she was one of the more intelligent celebrities. My bad. This wasn’t some off the cuff remark, having seen the footage, it is clear that she meant what she said, how she said it, even when the interviewer gave her an out, she justified her position in the name of passion for protection of her privacy.
Rape as defined by the dictionary reads thus-
As a noun-The crime, typically committed by a man, of forcing another person to have sexual intercourse with the offender against their will.
As a verb- (Typically of a man) force (another person) to have sexual intercourse with the offender against their will.
In other meanings- wanton destruction or spoiling of a place.
Therefore, we can safely conclude that not only is the use of this word, in this context irresponsible but its deeply offensive. Here’s the thing, I can fully appreciate that the press intrusion into the lives of celebrities has reach truly terrifying levels- it cannot be fun living in an age where gossip and salacious details about one’s private life is highly demanded, where personal freedom and the right to privacy is no longer sacrosanct. It cannot be fun having a camera shoved in your face every single time you leave the house, so much so, it almost makes you not want to leave your home. It is definitely not fun when it puts the lives of your loved ones in danger. We get it. However, to compare that situation, a situation where you can still exercise your freedom of choice, to one where you have been forcefully, violently, physically stripped of all your freedom, in the most depraved way, is ignorant. It trivialises the trauma suffered by rape victims, the torment- emotional, physical and psychological abuse.
Her comments come a few days after we learn of two Indian girls, aged 14 and 16 who were gang raped and hung when they went to the bushes to use the bathroom because they didn’t have one in their home. She says this knowing that in her native South Africa, hundreds of women are raped daily. She says this knowing that 223 young girls are still being held hostage by terrorists and have been stripped of all power and choice. She says this knowing that rape is used as a weapon in wars against women and children.
The relationship between the press and the celebrity is a double edged sword- celebrities use the press for publicity and the press cash in on the celebrity for their story; it goes hand in hand. The level of intrusion at the expense of that publicity is no doubt a stressful thing to endure, as is having to deal with the constant negativity spewed online by trolls and idiots, of course it is but you know, it does not, in any way, shape or form, equate to rape. There are many words Theron could have used to describe her feelings on the subject but she chose the more offensive, and purposely in my opinion, possibly as a ploy to insight a reaction that would keep her name and her new movie out there. It wouldn’t be the first time a celebrity has done that.
Whatever the reason for displaying such abject stupidity, Napoleon Hill said it best, “think twice before you speak…” Always. You’ll find yourself in a much less sorrier position.