The reason for his indiscretion is simple. He knew that his behavior would be tolerated. And up until very recently, he was right—he would sexually harass and assault women, and suffer absolutely no consequences. Matt Damon knew. Ben Affleck knew. Brad Pitt knew. Quentin Tarantino knew. Seth MacFarlane knew. It stands to reason that hundreds of other men in the industry, who have remained strangely silent, also knew. And they all did nothing.
But of course, she’s also almost always white, thin, able-bodied, heterosexual, and conventionally beautiful—therefore making her strange behaviors seem “quirky” and “cute” rather than off-putting and disturbing. She’s every single girl in a John Green novel. She is a girl who “loved mysteries so much that she became one.” She “embodies the Great Perhaps.” She is the “faintest scent of a cactus flower, the flitting shadow of an elf owl.” She is “bendable light.”
And these are almost always men, working with colleagues or co-founders who are also men, who all pride themselves on being bros who just want to “bro down and crush some code.” Being a bitcoin bro isn’t just defined by your occupation or hobby; it’s a lifestyle, an image, an aesthetic. And this aesthetic is overwhelmingly characterized by a desire to exclude women. Beneath their inspirational TEDtalks and their grand ideas of creating a better future for humanity lies a deep-rooted disdain for women and subconscious belief in male superiority.
Many women jumped to answer her question, advising her to wait anywhere from three dates to “as long as you can.” These answers are not unfamiliar to me. Growing up, I had received similar advice from television shows, magazines, and even other women. I was told to wait three dates—or better, five, or even better, eight—before having sex with a man. I was told to make him wait as long as you can, because if you have sex with him too soon, he will lose all respect for you. After all, “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?”
Objectification of women’s bodies, however, is nothing new. Throughout history, much of visual art has been about appreciating female beauty and the female form. Less than 4 percent of the artists in the Modern Art section of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art are women, but 76 percent of the nudes are female. From the Venus de Milo to the Mona Lisa, women are overwhelmingly the objects, not the subjects, of art. Imagery is catered to the male gaze. Women are not meant to do the looking; they are meant to be looked at.