Our family was watching something on Hulu or Netflix recently and there was some commercial with Peyton Manning in it. I grew up in Knoxville where he played with the Vols and he always held a special place in my heart and I said something like, “Oh, I haven’t seen him in awhile. He’s hilarious. I love him.”
But even as I said it, I had this voice in my head saying: Ummm. I think we don’t like him anymore. Didn’t we find out he did something kind shitty? Or something? And just then Donnie said, “Well, except for the whole sexual harassment of a trainer thing.” And then I thought, Dammit. I knew it. There’s just too many to keep up with.
Now, Peyton Manning is no Harvey Weinstein or Brett Kavanaugh in the accusations alleged against him. The story kinda faded but it seemed to have landed him somewhere between LITERAL locker room asshole and sexual harasser, but in this era I still meant to keep him on my: JUST TO BE SAFE, LETS NOT LIKE THESE PEOPLE ANYMORE list. I’m not saying: THROW THEM ALL UNDER A BUS WITHOUT DUE PROCESS but there are a million cool people out there to assign celebrity affection to, I can remove people from that list who might be dicks if I want.
And I totally meant for him to be on that list! I remember when the story came out being very sad I had to put him on the list but I did it! He was on the list!
And then time passed and I forgot and boom! Insurance commercial! He’s so funny!
I was just so mad at myself for forgetting.
But…there are just SO MANY to keep up with.
The new Harry Potter movie is coming out soon and I’ve already declared that I won’t be seeing it. Now, will I see it if it ever shows up for free somewhere? Maybe? I don’t know. But sometimes I forget that Johnny Depp is on that list…that JUST TO BE SAFE, LETS NOT LIKE THESE PEOPLE ANYMORE list. Then I see the bruised face of his ex-wife in my head and I get mad at myself for forgetting. And then I get mad there’s no way to keep these guys out of my world experience so I don’t have to keep reminding myself to avoid them and suddenly I find myself supporting a THROW THEM ALL UNDER A BUS WITHOUT DUE PROCESS list.
There are just so many too remember.
And do I expect everyone to have a list like I have and to avoid everything everyone on that list does? OF COURSE NOT. But I find there are copious forms of entertainment in the world and it’s often hard to decide what to spend my time and money on and if that list helps me narrow down the choices to People Who I Don’t Think Have Been Accused Of Sexually Harassing Or Assaulted Anyone – Yet…then that makes my decision easier. I can’t afford to see EVERY movie at the theater that appeals to me, why not take some off the list of choices at the start?
BUT THERE ARE SO MANY. And I forget to check my list sometimes. And I get really mad at myself on behalf of the accusers. I don’t want to forget their stories. Have they been proven in a court of law? No. But do I choose to believe them as a woman trying to decide which movie to see on the weekend? Yes. I do choose to err on the side of caution since – as a society – we don’t.
And don’t even get me started about my complex feelings I had to battle during the 2016 election in supporting Hillary Clinton. I mean, I supported her efforts for the Presidency but I did NOT support her asshole husband. I really REALLY struggled during those primaries because I also didn’t love Bernie Sanders and it was obvious one of them was going to win. I ended up siding with her because I supported her as legislator and I just hoped I could support her without accidentally supporting her husband. I definitely didn’t want pretend like accusations were never made against him, and I 100% believe he abused his power in his affair with an intern, but I was trying my best to avoid any positive light shedding in his direction when I was supporting his wife.
Even today I still feel torn about it. I moved her books to my “Get Credit at McKay Used Books” pile simply because I’m sick of having to think about her husband every time I see her books on my shelf. And her recent remarks on the topic kinda pushed me to decide, “You know what? I still admire Hillary for a lot of reasons, but I can’t stop thinking about Monica Lewinsky and how brave she is and how wonderful she is and I just feel like – after those comments – I’m betraying her story the longer I keep these books on my shelf.”
So off they went.
I tell you ALL of this as a preface to: How do people stand by political and elected officials with credible accusations in this era? I’m selling a used book because her HUSBAND committed sexual misconduct. I’m refusing to see a movie in my FAVORITE FRANCHISE. I have put a beloved athlete on the: DO NOT LET HIM MAKE YOU LAUGH list. All of these things because I can’t – in this era – support people who have credible accusations against them.
And yet…YET…people still stand by Tr^mp and K^vanaugh (I just feel icky having their names searchable on my blog) and even stand up and SUPPORT them and I just pray…PRAY…that in 2020 we rally behind someone without an icky past so I don’t ever have to ask myself: But if I had no other choice, what would I do? Because honestly? I’m going to always vote for the Democrat. Always. I am not a registered Democrat and don’t think I ever would be, but I lean far enough left that even the most moderate Democrat aligns with my politics closer than the most moderate Republican.
But god forbid we have a Roy Moore moment where we find out our only choice at the ballot was a sexual predator. I don’t know what decision I’d make and I just hope that we vet people long before they get to that level of success.
There’s just SO MANY of them.