We were pleased to attend the red carpet premiere of ‘The Way, Way Back’ at AMC Loews Lincoln Center.
As recently as this week I’ve happened upon two separate status updates from women regarding unwanted attention from men. The first seemed more serious in tone, with two men literally standing in the way of two women and attempting to get them to join them for a drink. The second is people I know getting cat-called on the streets of New York, presumably because it’s warmer out and women wear less clothing and the male mind set goes directly to ‘let me voice my appreciation for what you’re wearing by yelling something.’ I’m not saying that’s the best strategy for picking up women, but in this case it’s more about personal choice.
So how do women combat unwanted attention from men? Unfortunately a lot of men think they’re entitled to make suggestive comments to women and get what they want. It’s called the male ego and it’s been digging holes for men for thousands of years. It’s also, as I said, a warm weather thing. You don’t hear a lot about cat calls in the winter for that reason, there are too many layers to deal with. As a side note, if you walk around town wearing Lululemon yoga pants not expecting to get unwanted attention, your best bet is to turn around, head home, and put on a burka. I’ve seen women wear ‘warm weather’ outfits that they probably should have sold ad space on, because everyone’s looking at their butt.
With that said, not every episode of unwanted male attention has to turn into a Law & Order episode where you’re hoping that Maritzka Hargitay will jump out and tell the guy to knock it off. Unfortunately, in real life, that doesn’t happen. It doesn’t mean, however, that you have to end up being the victim. There’s nothing an assertive man hates more than an equally assertive woman with an object in her hand who is ready to use it. It could be a cell phone, it could be mace, it could be a gun. Whatever it is, you take that out and if the individual knows what’s best for him, he will be on his merry way. As a side note, this is not to say that women who don’t want to harassed need to carry fire arms. They don’t, but if you had gun in your purse, took it out and said ‘leave me alone or I will shoot off a part of your body you didn’t know existed,’ you might just find yourself regaining the upper hand in that situation.
The real issue is this: men have been rude and obnoxious and tried too hard to get women’s attention for thousands of years. It’s just how men work, and women have to deal with it. A lot of you reading this wouldn’t be here if a man hadn’t tried too hard to get a woman’s attention. Men enjoy the cat-calling because they know it gets women’s attention and pisses them off. It’s the same concept as throwing sand at a girl in the sandbox, it’s an obnoxious way of flirting, but men don’t know any better. To us, cat calling is a fun game of ‘can I get her attention and how pissed will she be at me?
Is it true that when cat calling becomes verbal and possible physical harassment that it has gone too far? Yes, but that’s why God invented mace and the police department. Tell someone to knock it off and if they don’t oblige you tell them you’ll get someone to assist them in knocking it off and see what happens. Or you could just wear these leggings
Having lived in New York for the past 8 years, it is a very common occurrence to come in contact with individuals who I will label as ‘crazy.’ This doesn’t necessarily mean certifiable crazy, but it does mean that they’re crazy enough to prevent me from wanting to be in their personal space.
This condition, not entirely bat shit crazy but more in line with oh ‘that guy’ crazy, will rear its head every so often. Such was this case this past Monday when I emerged from the 2/5 train depot on Flatbush Avenue as part of my daily commute home. I meandered my way in the rain through the bus line and people trying to cross the street, when I found myself standing next to a black gentleman in a blue rain coat and baseball cap, not so casually yelling to himself and people around him. I said ‘oh, isn’t that adorable – a crazy guy yelling in the rain. I hope he finds his way home safely.
So I joined said crazy guy for a stroll across the street, which turned into a stroll down Flatbush Avenue. As we approached the driveway to my building, I saw him meander UP the driveway, which meant that he was headed MY way, which disturbed me a bit. Surely he couldn’t be a resident of MY building, the one for which I had to sit in front of an approval board and answer questions. I mean maybe he lived with his relatives who snuck him in the building once their financials were settled. Neverthless, as we both walked in the lobby and headed towards the elevator, I thought to myself – do I really have to be in an elevator with this guy? I know he’s going to start ask me questions and I’ll have to nod, laugh, and say ‘sure it is, ‘ regardless of the question. So there is a wait for the elevator, with said crazy guy standing next to two furniture delivery people. I quietly minded my own business and read a flyer on the wall, hoping that when the elevator arrive I would have no choice but to not get in for fear of crowding. So elevator door opens, and the two men get in along with my new crazy friend. I stand by idly, pretending to be distracted by my wall flyer, when I hear ‘you see that? That dude doesn’t want to get in the elevator with black folks.’ The door closes as I realize that now the crazy man thinks I’m racist for avoiding his company in the elevator. I want to stop the elevator, open the door and say ‘no, it’s not them, it’s YOU, but alas, it was too late.
To remember James Gandolfini, who passed away suddenly yesterday at age 51, here is a clip of Part I of his segment on Inside The Actor’s Studio. Enjoy
*Photo by Joyce Culver for 92Y
By his own admission, Gene Wilder has not made a ton of movies over his career, and certainly not in the past 2 decades, but when he did make them they were very good movies. Wilder is known for particular roles depending on the age of the audience. The older generation knows him for his work in The Producers, whereas folks my age will always know him as Willy Wonka. As Mr. Wilder took the stage at the 92Y on Tuesday for a rare public appearance to promote his book ‘Something to Remember You By: A Perilous Romance,’ you could tell that he was battling the discomfort of a public appearance with the joy of taking in an appreciative audience.
The evening , moderated by film historian and host of ‘Turner Classic Movies’ Robert Osborne, was a relaxed if not challenging walk down memory lane. Wilder is 80 now, and it would seem that people still associate him with the younger and more vibrant characters that he played on screen. This event, being held on the heels of an Evening with Mel Brooks, was certainly a juxtaposition of the older and yet more energetic Brooks with the solemn and quieter Wilder. Both discussed the same projects but in far different levels of detail.
If there was any one element to take away from Wilder’s appearance, it’s that he got disillusioned by the Hollywood process and what he perceived as low quality films that rely too much on swearing and violence to attract an audience. When asked if he wanted to work in Hollywood again he simply said ‘yuck!’ He also made it known that despite enjoying Johnny Depp as an actor, he was insulted that a studio would remake his classic film about a chocolate factory.
Wilder is a very quiet presence. He was thoughtful in his answers, although you the feeling the audience was looking for more juicy details from his film experience. Wilder did not oblige. If you’re looking for a story about his relationship working Richard Pryor, the most you will get is that when he was ‘on’ he was the best and when he was drugged up he was horrible. Wilder said he didn’t consider himself ‘funny’ but that he knew how to be ‘funny’ when it was required. Wilder comes across as a gentle soul who is much happier to be at home with his family writing than taking part in any new Hollywood project that might come his way.
His book is available through Amazon.com via this link
Actress Nefetari Spencer stopped by The Sound Club in LA to attend UnTapped Fashion’s premiere party for Cody Wise. Check it out below: