Debunking Domingo

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barney
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Debunking Domingo

Post by barney » Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:12 pm

This is an interesting take on the Domingo imbroglio, especially as the author is a woman. In other words, she can't be dismissed as offering reflexive support for the heteronormative, white male patriarchy. It was published on the conservative website Quillette, and is long.

The Defenestration of Domingo
written by Heather Mac Donald


The #MeToo movement has ended the U.S. career of legendary 78-year-old Spanish tenor Placido Domingo, one of classical music’s greatest ambassadors and impresarios. For nearly half a century, Domingo’s intense stage presence and warm, soaring voice captivated opera audiences; during the 1990s, he reached millions of new listeners as a member of the itinerant Three Tenors. In recent years, long after most singers have retired from the stage, he has continued a grueling international performance schedule, now singing baritone roles with remarkable pitch control and legato.

Domingo’s entrepreneurial drive has been as untiring as his stage career. He was pivotal in creating Los Angeles’s first full-time opera company, LA Opera, the culmination of two decades of artistic diplomacy in Southern California. As LA Opera’s general director, he wooed philanthropic support from philistine Hollywood and the city’s political class. In 1993, he founded the international opera competition, Operalia, one of several institutions he has established to promote young singers. He led the Washington National Opera as general director from 1996 to 2011, and his conducting career has spanned opera pits and concert stages around the world.

He has championed the unjustly neglected Spanish opera form, Zarzuela, which he sang growing up in Mexico City, and his charitable endeavors have extended beyond classical music; he led fundraising for Mexico City following its catastrophic earthquake in 1985. Testimonials to his kindness, generosity, and bottomless work ethic abound. Helga Rabl-Stadler, the president of the Salzburg Festival, the most important classical music gathering in the world, recently praised Domingo’s “appreciative treatment” of festival employees: “He knows every name, from the concierge to the secretary; he never fails to thank anyone performing even the smallest service for him.”

On August 13, 2019, however, the AP announced that nine females, all but one anonymous, were accusing Domingo of making unwanted sexual advances decades ago. The accusers—chorus singers, a few small-time soloists, and one ballet dancer—alleged wet kisses, solicitations to rehearse at his apartment, whispered blandishments while on stage, a hand down a shirt or up a skirt in cabs, and persistent phone calls.

The latest of the incidents allegedly occurred in the early 2000s; most dated from the 1980s and 1990s. Some of the accusers had had voluntary sexual liaisons with the singer, yet still asserted victimhood. An anonymous singer with LA Opera claimed that in 1998, after they kissed on his couch, he undressed her in his bedroom for a session of “heavy petting” and “groping.” A mezzo soprano in the chorus of LA Opera slept with Domingo in 1991 at the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles and at his apartment. After those two encounters, she cut off physical contact. The one named accuser, soprano Patricia Wulf, said that he never touched her, but used to whisper in her ear backstage: “Do you have to go home tonight?”

By all accounts, Domingo backed off when told explicitly to do so. None of the accusers alleged quid pro quo pressure to have sex in exchange for a role. Some alleged that their careers plateaued after they broke off relations, without providing any evidence that he was responsible or that their careers were still on an upward trajectory. Nevertheless, the claim that he sometimes “professionally punished those who rejected him,” in the words of the New York Times, has now become a standard feature of the anti-Domingo narrative.

The AP story rocketed around the world. Domingo issued a statement claiming that the allegations “as presented” were “inaccurate,” while acknowledging that “standards” have changed. Without waiting to hear more, the Philadelphia Orchestra booted him from its season-opening gala because, it said, it was “committed to providing a safe, supportive, respectful, and appropriate environment for the orchestra and staff, for collaborating artists and composers, and for our audiences and communities.” The San Francisco Opera also cancelled Domingo’s upcoming engagements. LA Opera launched an investigation and suspended Domingo from day-to-day management. The Metropolitan Opera, where Domingo was scheduled to sing the title role of Verdi’s Macbeth in September, announced that it would await the Los Angeles investigation’s outcome before deciding Domingo’s fate.


On September 5, 2019, the AP published a follow-up, based on another 11 accusers; all but one of whom were again unnamed. (Oddly, the original August 13 AP story seems to have been scrubbed from the site, and the September 5 report has been replaced at the same url with a September 7 story about the same topic.) The named accuser, Angela Turner Wilson, a former soprano with the Washington National Opera, claimed that in 1999—that would be 20 years ago—Domingo grabbed her breast in a dressing room. Before the alleged breast-fondling incident, Domingo had badgered Wilson for dinners, for pre-performance good luck kisses, and for trips to his apartment to talk about possible roles, she says. The AP revealed little about the other ten accusers’ stories. A former tech assistant with the LA Opera did say that Domingo once backed her into a wall, grasped her hand, and whispered in her ear as her male boss looked on, but it impossible to say whether this was sinister or innocuous because we are not even told what Domingo is alleged to have said.

In response to the second AP article, the Dallas Opera pulled the plug on its March 2020 gala, in which Domingo was to have starred. LA Opera administrators told staff via email how “very troubled” they were by ongoing AP allegations against Domingo, and echoed the Philadelphia Orchestra’s “safety” rhetoric: “We believe all our employees and artists should feel valued, supported and safe.” The Washington National Opera said it was “disturbed and disheartened” by the new allegations.

The AP had spent two years trying to get sources to talk about Domingo; a feminist music critic had also been on the hunt but abandoned the project for lack of cooperating witnesses. After the AP’s persistence finally paid off, other outlets scrambled to catch up. NPR was particularly aggressive but the well of complainants with first-hand experience of Domingo’s womanizing had apparently run dry. Nevertheless, on Friday, September 20, NPR ran a story headlined “Met Opera Faces ‘One More Catastrophic Crisis’ As Employees Must Work With Domingo.” The piece was based on four anonymous sources at the Metropolitan Opera, where the Domingo-starring Macbeth was set to open in a few days.

None of NPR’s four sources had experienced any misconduct from Domingo. But Domingo’s overtures to certain women were “common knowledge,” they said; some females allegedly avoided one-on-one situations with the singer. One anonymous orchestra member said that another instrumentalist was calling in sick to avoid working with Domingo; the anonymous orchestra source felt “livid” about having to perform in his presence. “I feel queasy in the pit during rehearsals, seeing him onstage,” she said. (Nausea is a recurrent accompaniment to feminist outrage: in 2005, MIT biologist Nancy Hopkins reported fleeing a conference room to avoid throwing up, after Larry Summers, then Harvard University’s president, suggested that the different distribution curves of the very highest level math skills among males and females may be part of the explanation for the lack of 50-50 sex parity in abstract STEM fields.)

The day after the NPR story, Saturday, September 21, was the dress rehearsal for Macbeth, which I attended. Domingo received warm applause on his first entrance from the Met Patrons in the audience, if not the defiant standing ovation he received after Verdi’s Luisa Miller in Salzburg in August—but admittedly the critical mass needed for such rapturous collective response was missing in the mostly empty Met hall. Domingo sang confidently and accurately, poignantly conveying Macbeth’s alternation between brutal ambition and gnawing remorse. His co-superstar, Russian soprano Anna Netrebko, had posted her support for Domingo on Instagram after the first AP story, pointedly saying how much she was looking forward to their Met engagement together. Netrebko was a blazing Lady Macbeth, ruthlessly egging on her partner to ever more bloody deeds, and her duets with Domingo were charged and headstrong.

The next Monday, September 23, two days before the opening, NPR published a follow-up story, based on four “long-time Metropolitan employees”—presumably the same four anonymous sources for NPR’s story three days earlier. They described a heated meeting between Met General Manager Peter Gelb and orchestra and chorus members after the Macbeth rehearsal, in which Gelb tried to explain to skeptical staffers why Domingo was still singing at the house. Women’s voices were not listened to, the staffers allegedly complained.


By the next day, on the eve of the Macbeth opening, Domingo was out. He and the Met issued dueling press releases in which each party claimed that it had made the withdrawal decision. Domingo thanked the Met’s leadership for “graciously granting” his request to withdraw from the production; the Met said that Domingo had “agreed to withdraw from all future performances . . . , effective immediately.” Lest there were any ambiguity about the scope of his withdrawal, Domingo’s press release said that he considered the Macbeth dress rehearsal his “last performance on the Met stage.”

A week later, Domingo’s entire U.S. career was over. He announced that he was resigning his directorship of LA Opera and pulling out of all future performances there. Even the tiny Chapman University south of Los Angeles, which enjoys a modestly conservative reputation, had pushed Domingo out of what would have been a PR windfall for its performing arts center: a concert performance in February starring Domingo in Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux. Domingo’s resignation letter graciously stated: “I hold Los Angeles Opera very dearly to my heart and count my work to create and build it as among my most important legacies.” But recent accusations against him in the press had created an atmosphere in which his ability to serve “this company that I so love,” he wrote, had been compromised. The company’s president, Christopher Koelsch, offered his “deep thanks” to Domingo, and noted that the institution was strong financially and “flourishing creatively.” But Koelsch also engaged in the by then de rigueur chest-beating about his employees’ feelings, which he implied the company had failed to protect: “I am committed to a vigorous process of reflection and reform. . . . We will fall short of our goals unless every member of our community feels heard, valued and respected. I am committed to ensuring that they do.”

Meanwhile, the story was shifting yet again. Just as it had become received wisdom, contrary to any reported facts, that Domingo retaliated against females who rebuffed him, it is now suggested that LA Opera failed to respond to harassment allegations, even though no one has reported making such allegations to management.

The gloating was immediate. Debra Katz, a high profile sex discrimination lawyer who represents Patricia Wulf, announced that Domingo’s resignation from LA Opera was “an important and welcome step in the effort to end sexual misconduct by powerful men in the opera industry.” Katz had failed to keep Brett Kavanaugh off the Supreme Court on behalf of another client, Christine Blasey Ford, so Domingo’s scalp must have been a welcome consolation prize. Katz had earlier lit into Peter Gelb for his failure to cave immediately to the pressure to eject Domingo from the Met stage. The “more than 20 women who were sexually harassed by Mr. Domingo” deserve the public and the arts world’s “respect and appreciation” for their “pain and indignity,” Katz told Gelb in a letter, not the “victim shaming” that Gelb had allegedly engaged in by stating that the allegations against Domingo were uncorroborated. Patricia Wulf presented herself as a heroic whistleblower: “I feel at peace knowing that speaking publicly is leading to changes that will hopefully protect the next generation of women in the industry.”

There are three possible justifications for Domingo’s scourging, each more unpersuasive than the last. The first is to punish his past behavior. But his alleged infractions occurred decades ago, making punishment too belated to be just or meaningful. None of his accusers brought their objections to anyone in authority. If they wanted to punish him, that would have been the time to do so. Now, the overwhelmingly anonymous nature of the accusations and the passage of time prevent Domingo from mounting a defense. Some of the alleged incidents were undoubtedly more ambiguous than the accusers are disclosing. But without a known accuser, Domingo cannot establish the facts of these incidents, even if he could remember what may have been a fleeting and misunderstood gesture.

The second justification is a symbolic one: to demonstrate feminist solidarity. According to the New York Times, the Metropolitan Opera needed to show its “commitment” to “protecting women and rooting out sexual harassment” by ejecting Domingo. But such expressions of piety should not take precedence over getting the facts right, and none of the institutions that pushed Domingo out the door established any factual record.


The third justification is the most frequently invoked: safety. Domingo’s mere presence in an opera house or concert hall allegedly puts the safety of that venue’s female employees at risk. The threat extends beyond the stage. It sinks into the orchestra pit like a miasma. It overflows into the audience and the surrounding community. You can be in the top tier of the Philadelphia’s Kimmel Hall or miles out on the Main Line, and still at risk of the toxic effects of Domingo’s masculinity, according to the Philadelphia Orchestra. The threat extends across the entire music world. In August, the American Guild of Musical Artists, the union representing opera soloists, choristers and ballet dancers, announced it would “closely monitor the situation,” and was “making the safety of our members our first priority.”

This idea that Domingo poses a current risk to females even in his immediate orbit is pure hysteria. Domingo is a near-octogenarian. The most recent allegations against him, even if they constituted an actual danger at the time, date from over 15 years ago. After those allegations belatedly surfaced, his every movement would have been under a microscope. Were Domingo still inclined at his age to make advances, it would have taken a suicidal recklessness to engage in any behavior that could be massaged into a harassment incident. But, for the sake of argument, let us assume that he let slip, even now, an appreciative glance or ambiguous compliment. Are we supposed to believe, in this era of “strong women,” that a female chorister is so vulnerable and weak that, faced with someone who is operating under a potential death sentence, she can’t simply rebuff an advance? Domingo’s 20 accusers somehow survived the trauma of being propositioned by one of the opera world’s most charismatic stars. Why would the trauma today be so much more lethal to require proleptically snuffing out a still fertile career?

Here is the reality of Domingo’s world: It is shot through with sexual energy and tension. Performers and staff work long hours in an enterprise requiring the passion and willpower to conquer some of the most challenging works in the musical repertoire. Put males and females in any high-pressure, close-contact situation, and Eros will make an immediate appearance—just ask the spouses of lawyers in white shoe law firms or of soldiers in gender-integrated Army barracks. In the performing arts, filled with oversized personalities and appetites, the erotic currents are particularly headstrong. Females threw themselves at Domingo. Young fans pled with his assistants to get their phone numbers into his hands. Wealthy socialites tried to arrange affairs. Singers sought out liaisons. Many of their advances were unwelcome. Does that make his suitors harassers? This kind of female behavior is routinely excised from the #MeToo narrative that presents a world apparently composed exclusively of male rapists and female victims, and which declines to acknowledge the billions of dollars that women invest annually in make-up and clothes they hope will make them more desirable to the opposite sex.

As the object of so much sexual attention, Domingo could have been forgiven for thinking that his own advances were part of the mix. He clearly belongs to the “Latin Lover” prototype, a good-natured, charming seducer from the old Hollywood era. Learning to deal with such types used to be part of a woman’s skill set. The instigator of a sexual advance does not know beforehand whether it will be wanted or not; he (or she) is taking a chance. It is up to the target of that advance to signal how it has been received. If the would-be seducer does not back off, the seducee needs to escalate to whatever level of explicitness is required, however uncomfortable it may be to elevate what is unspoken and ambiguous into the realm of language and clarity. Rebuffing an advance from a superior is particularly difficult. But, as noted, Domingo appears to have dropped his petitions when told to do so and did not exert quid pro quo pressure. If all else fails, avoidance is the fallback strategy: turning one’s head to avoid a kiss, or staying far enough away to avoid charged interaction.

An unwanted advance is not sexual assault, despite the fashionable conflation of the two. If persistent enough, such advances feel and may become harassing. But an alternative regime that puts the burden on the sexual petitioner to proceed only when certain of a positive reception would result in no sexual overtures at all, since such advances are, by definition, uncertain. It is doubtful that the average female would want to live in a world where males remain chastely aloof until overtly invited to engage.

It is a grotesque inversion of the proper hierarchy between public accomplishment and private sexual behavior to sacrifice an artist of Domingo’s stature for the sake of 20 disgruntled bit players, laboriously harvested from thousands of professional interactions characterized by graciousness and consideration. Put simply, the discomfort of these belated accusers decades ago is not worth Domingo’s head. Civilization rests on the realm of public achievement in ideas, politics, and art. The private realm of Eros should be subordinate to the public realm; how someone behaves in or getting to the bedroom is irrelevant to his achievements in the public square, absent criminality. If we discovered that James Madison, say, was a skirt-chaser, that fact should have no bearing on his achievements as a political theorist and statesman.


It is part of the messiness of human existence that the public and erotic realms are not wholly distinct, and they have become even less so with the sexual integration of the workplace. The same drive for mastery that propels feats of public glory animates much sexual conquest as well.

But the brittle rigidity of contemporary feminism does not recognize nuance or shades of fault and responsibility. It has no tolerance for human diversity. Drunk on its own power, it is turning its massive armamentarium of narcissistic grievance on male success with an ever more neurotic standard of transgression. Italian tenor Vittorio Grigolo has been suspended from future performances at the Metropolitan Opera and Britain’s Royal Opera for allegedly sexually assaulting a ballet dancer in full view of the audience during a curtain call in Japan on September 18 of this year. Grigolo had just finished a performance in the title role of Gounod’s Faust, whose staging in the touring Royal Opera production called for a pregnant woman to offer Faust her belly to touch. During the curtain call, Grigolo light-heartedly patted that same dancer’s prosthetic paunch. The dancer protested. Grigolo told her to “frig off,” by his own admission. The tenor says that he was offered no opportunity to apologize, but was “put on a plane and sent . . . home like a killer.” If such adrenalin-fueled post-performance hijinks now constitutes sexual assault, the show may no longer go on.

Federal appellate judge Alex Kozinski was destroyed by a handful of former female clerks, including Slate columnist Dahlia Lithwick, for his juvenile sense of sexual humor. He is now a pariah throughout the legal world. “It’s a tragedy,” his fellow Ninth Circuit Appeals Court Judge Stephen Reinhardt (for whom I clerked) told me shortly before he died. “Alex was so smart, so decent.” Reinhardt was a crusading left-winger but he regarded the libertarian Kozinski as “one of the best judges we had.”

Michael Steinhardt, pioneering Wall Street entrepreneur and now full-time philanthropist, was denounced on the front page of the New York Times for his patently unserious sexual banter, banter that reflected his obsession with maintaining the world’s Jewish population. His public appeal for forgiveness—”In my nearly 80 years on earth, I have never tried to touch any woman or man inappropriately. [Provocative comments] were part of my schtick since before I had a penny to my name, and I unequivocally meant them in jest. I fully understand why they were inappropriate. I am sorry”—was unavailing. A frenzy broke out, with Jewish foundations and religious leaders bemoaning the “harrowing . . . degradation” which female grant-seekers allegedly had to endure from this open-hearted benefactor.

The feminist nostrum that “the personal is political” was false from its inception. It has now become a warhead aimed at the edifice of a civilization deemed too male. Institutions like the Metropolitan Opera, LA Opera, or the Philadelphia Orchestra should be the prime defenders of that civilization. When, instead, they surrender to furious irrationality and sacrifice our greatest artists to avoid a wholly imaginary threat, they betray their most fundamental mission. I am cutting off my support for the Metropolitan Opera; other donors who care about our musical inheritance should do the same.

At least cowardice in the face of feminist grievance appears to be predominantly an Anglo-American affliction. So far, Domingo’s future engagements in Moscow, Vienna, Hamburg, Valencia, Milan, Cologne, Krakow, Berlin, Madrid, and Munich have not been cancelled. The director of the Vienna State Opera, Dominique Meyer, said over the summer that Vienna would honor its contracts with Domingo, who is “valued both artistically and as a human being by all in this house.”


I will remember Domingo for his stage descent from the Met’s empyrean rafters as a silver-spangled Neptune, surrounded in a sea of cerulean blue by undulating mermaids and glittering sea creatures in The Enchanted Island, as the triumphant crescendo of Handel’s Zadok the Priest reaches its glorious peak. Domingo’s English in this Baroque pastiche was still, after all these years, hilariously accented, but his suave shaping of the vocal line pulsed with an inner rhythm. Domingo brought beauty into the world. He inspired and helped thousands of female singers and instrumentalists. His demise won’t placate the resentment brigades; it will only embolden them for the next hit.



Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith fellow at the Manhattan Institute and the author of The Diversity Delusion. You can follow her on Twitter @HMDatMI

Belle
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Re: Debunking Domingo

Post by Belle » Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:37 pm

Females threw themselves at Domingo. Young fans pled with his assistants to get their phone numbers into his hands. Wealthy socialites tried to arrange affairs. Singers sought out liaisons. Many of their advances were unwelcome. Does that make his suitors harassers? This kind of female behavior is routinely excised from the #MeToo narrative that presents a world apparently composed exclusively of male rapists and female victims, and which declines to acknowledge the billions of dollars that women invest annually in make-up and clothes they hope will make them more desirable to the opposite sex.

This has long been my argument and partly my own experience in television; women would fall over themselves to find favour with a director they saw as important and who could help them. There used to be an old saying: "power is an aphrodisiac". And yet another, "if it's working for you, keep doing it".

I read "Quillette" all the time; it's an excellent online journal.

Kleiber would have been in the same world of trouble because assuredly he was 'worse' than Domingo in the 'womanizing' stakes. "Do you have to go home tonight?", Domingo asked. With Kleiber - he was so attractive he didn't need to ask!!!!!!! When he visited Franco Zeffirelli's home he used to take a 'little angel' with him as a human shield.

Placido Domingo is a superannuated tenor and bringing all this up right now, at the very end of his career, makes me suspicious that a lot of it is about money. There are sure to be avaricious lawyers lurking not very far in the background. Douglas Murray, in his new book "The Madness of Crowds", writes about the wars arising from identity politics; women pitted against men, LGBTQ against heterosexuals and race against race. I haven't read the book yet, but merely refer to a couple of long interviews with Murray where he discusses the themes of his book and his reasoning.

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Re: Debunking Domingo

Post by Lance » Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:35 pm

That is QUITE an article! We get to see/understand both sides, and, perhaps, the women are guilty of much more than is known. Heather MacDonald sure knows how to put her thoughts into words words. Given what's happened with the great men of music in our world, all recently, men will surely have to become colder of heart, and totally dismiss the antics of women who want to gain a great reputation in the musical world with their women counterparts. If encounters don't particularly work "their way," they can begin to throw darts and destroy the careers of others. I am not stating that Domingo is not guilty of anything, but, indeed, with only two people out of a possible 20 who have come forward, it doesn't seem enough "proof" to destroy this great singer's career, especially, as noted, as he approaches his eightieth year. Like Levine and others, all the good he has done may be forgotten with the man only remembered for this last part of his career. Again, I do not condone any of this type shenanigans in any field of endeavor. But there has to be more proof, much more, before we can actually make any judgements on these situations. Just imagine, telling a lovely-looking woman what beautiful eyes she has - and she reports it as sexual harassment. I've seen this happen! So, perhaps, the best thing is to always keep one's mouth shut.
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david johnson
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Re: Debunking Domingo

Post by david johnson » Tue Oct 22, 2019 2:38 am

Well...someone has finally spoken truth!

Beckmesser
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Re: Debunking Domingo

Post by Beckmesser » Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:04 am

I wonder if Ms. MacDonald would come to Levine's defense. Probably can't do that on a conservative website.

maestrob
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Re: Debunking Domingo

Post by maestrob » Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:53 am

It is a grotesque inversion of the proper hierarchy between public accomplishment and private sexual behavior to sacrifice an artist of Domingo’s stature for the sake of 20 disgruntled bit players,...
Hmmmm.......

So, just because they are "bit players," certain women are not entitled to respect? Are they then not entitled to a safe working environment because of their status? Give me a very large break! So, it's OK to harass young women who are vulnerable, but by extension it's not OK to harass women of some status who can fight back?

What's grotesque here is the above quote. :evil:

Belle
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Re: Debunking Domingo

Post by Belle » Tue Oct 22, 2019 3:10 pm

I've been thinking about this a bit more overnight. Of course it's NOT acceptable to harass people in the workplace or anywhere else - and that includes bullying. My argument is that women went along with male overtures (shall we say) from powerful men for the longest time, mostly in silence. At some point a glass wall went down and women decided it was no longer acceptable; trouble is, most of the people who engaged in that behaviour themselves didn't 'see' the wall and didn't know about the new ground rules. This ought never be confused with sexual assault which involves unwanted kissing, touching and sexual activity. To link the article and its arguments with the pedophilia and predation of James Levine is disingenuous and a distraction from her arguments. She is not defending pedophilia or the behaviour of a person who uses sex with very young people as a weapon for career advancement - more typical of Hollywood and, it now appears, the musical world. The corporate world got onto this bandwagon early, as represented in the films "The Best of Everything" and "The Apartment" - just to name two. The curious thing about the latter film is the number of willing females!! And how many countless other films have had as their subjects the relationships between males and females in the workplace? Think, "1,2,3" from Billy Wilder.

It's the problem of definition which has arisen in a febrile political environment - the contest about who gets the power and the spoils. What is bullying? What is 'harassment' these day? Suggesting somebody comes up to your room to look at your etchings? Asking if you 'have to go straight home tonight'? Repeated attempts to garner the interest of somebody? Commenting on their clothing and appearance? These are the standard tropes of seduction and the very moment these are weaponized we know there's a war being waged by women against men - who've all become proxies for Donald Trump. That's my beef as the mother of 3 adult sons and the wife of one man for 46 years. Women went along with it for the longest time and now that there's a war they've decided they're going to use sex as a weapon against men (which is an ironic projection). It's not a matter of lumping all men and all behaviours regarding their interest in the opposite sex as some kind of crime against women. If it is a war and nothing can be done to deter male attention then we would expect to see women wearing the garb of certain middle eastern countries where women are behind shrouds and men are having sex with boys.

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Re: Debunking Domingo

Post by barney » Tue Oct 22, 2019 4:17 pm

That's the point, isn't it. The "game" is played by both sexes, usually innocently. Where there is a power imbalance there is grounds for concern, but human nature and the sex drive means people will still get together, in short or long-term relations, or marriage.
I was reminded of an incident at work in the 80s, when a friend of mine, a courtly Englishman, held the door open for a female journalist, who rounded on him saying he was a sexist pig and she could open her own door. But of course most women - and men - who receive this courtesy smile their thanks.

maestrob
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Re: Debunking Domingo

Post by maestrob » Sat Oct 26, 2019 11:38 am

IMHO this is a human problem, not a political one. I find it interesting that a conservative woman is standing up for Domingo, but her politics are irrelevant to the issue. What this IS about, is the current transformation of relations between men and women, where Domingo's "old school" macho behavior is no longer tolerated. Women are finally roaring their discomfort with predatory behavior, behavior which perceives young women (or men) as objects of desire, rather than partners.

In this transformed society, women will still be seduced, but only if they are willing participants. Every object of desire, whether male or female, should have the right to say no in the moment without fearing repercussions. Hopefully, we'll get there someday soon.

absinthe
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Re: Debunking Domingo

Post by absinthe » Sat Oct 26, 2019 11:52 am

barney wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 4:17 pm

I was reminded of an incident at work in the 80s, when a friend of mine, a courtly Englishman, held the door open for a female journalist, who rounded on him saying he was a sexist pig and she could open her own door. But of course most women - and men - who receive this courtesy smile their thanks.
I've had this experience except for the word 'pig'.
.
These woman have driven a wedge between the genders and made conventional dialogue impossible. I should think many men are struck with unease even speaking to a woman these days. It won't be long before women realise they're being avoided, given that the convention is still that any kind of propositioning is initiated by men. Assertive women are no help. Men still suspect there's a trap up their sleeve(s). (But it would be dead funny to see a man accuse a woman of sexual harassment.)
.
One can't help noticing these things - parties, the pub....
.
For that matter, the conduct of utterly drunken young females of a weekend night is appalling. Drunken men fall for them and those not suffering brewers' droop wake up in the morning to face a charge of rape. (Not that I'm involved in that melee but I do get around town at night after rehearsals).
Oh dear me....

barney
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Re: Debunking Domingo

Post by barney » Sat Oct 26, 2019 1:49 pm

As Brian says, we are trying to work out the new normal. But, human psychology being what it is, people will always make and receive sexual propositions that are unwelcome.

Most of us have received some sort of rebuff in our lives from someone to whom we were attracted, though I can say I never made a crude sexual proposition. But I certainly had been attracted to women who were not attracted to me, before I hooked up with my wife at 21 and went off the market.I feel compassion for single people who don't want to be single - and apparently there are many - because relationships are a minefield without adding new complications. And this applies to both sexes.

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Re: Debunking Domingo

Post by Belle » Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:00 pm

maestrob wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 11:38 am
IMHO this is a human problem, not a political one. I find it interesting that a conservative woman is standing up for Domingo, but her politics are irrelevant to the issue. What this IS about, is the current transformation of relations between men and women, where Domingo's "old school" macho behavior is no longer tolerated. Women are finally roaring their discomfort with predatory behavior, behavior which perceives young women (or men) as objects of desire, rather than partners.

In this transformed society, women will still be seduced, but only if they are willing participants. Every object of desire, whether male or female, should have the right to say no in the moment without fearing repercussions. Hopefully, we'll get there someday soon.
Much of this is due to the culture wars; the recent war between men and women and it's always always about power and less so about choices - because women have more choices at this time than they ever had before in human history. As I've said before, "old school macho behaviour" has been kept alive in the past because it takes two. The ground rules have changed and women now need to behave with far more virtue if they're to be taken seriously. They need to demonstrably show they are better behaved than men. I said years ago to a now-deceased friend, "women started taking the Pill and wanted the right to behave as badly as men; equal opportunity for sex without relationships. Who is at the vanguard of morality if women no longer want to be?" I stand by that unanswered question.

And Absinthe is completely right about females falling down dead drunk after an evening out on the plonk (and drugs) and going home with a drunken male. When my boys were in their teen years (over 20 years ago) they used to say that 'slappers' were a dime a dozen, thick on the ground. Are we now seriously suggesting that women are better behaved than men? That assertion is completely risible and for that we can 'thank' the hippy era (free love) and the pill. The generation we're talking about now are the descendants of those same people. Perhaps they don't like it; they don't like the attention, etc. But it will take time for this Queen Mary to be turned around if that is really 'what women want' - rather than just a culture war about power.

This story about relations between the sexes isn't merely an 'either/or' one; it is complex and based upon well-understood behaviours, time-honoured tropes and signals. Show me, don't tell me - as I used to say when teaching writing in high school. I believe I am in a somewhat unique position based upon being the parent of 4, sometimes 5 - two of whom are girls - and a teacher. Two of my sons were and are hugely respectful of women and never did or said anything to the contrary; one of them is now being flailed by the family court as an abusive male.

Whilst I agree with Maestrob about the right of women to resist sexual overtures without their being consequences (not sure which these might be), it has to said that many women have used sex to get what they want. And also it is necessary for the workplace to be free of sexual innuendo, comments and gags - which is sadly how it used to be in the office when my husband worked in one, up until 1980. (IMO, this becomes a management issue.) I must say I seldom had that done or said to me and and, on the odd occasion when it was tried on, laughter was the best deterrent. There were idiot 'bogans', as we call them in Australia, but everybody knew who they were and they were mostly avoided (another cause for laughter). Usually they were sad people with limited social skills. In the case of Domingo, if all these claims are actually true, there's something tragic and sad about a person this desperate for sex and attention!!

This is how to deal with a sexual predator - in this case a man who has boasted of having sex with over 1,000 women. Gene Simmons of Kiss:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-oA4ldcDOo

Today I watched the film "The Trials of Oscar Wilde" with Peter Finch and it left me moved and angry. Wilde was subjected to the worst kind of witch-hunts and punishment for 'crimes' that no longer appear on the statute books. The people of the Victorian era joyfully witnessed his downfall and, of course, their behaviour was hypocritical and anything but exemplary. It makes me seethe just thinking about it!!

barney
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Re: Debunking Domingo

Post by barney » Sun Oct 27, 2019 4:21 pm

Couldn't be bothered finishing that clip. Two graceless, charmless people, though both quick-witted. Got two thirds through.

You are right about hypocrisy. But we have to remember that it's universal and always upsetting, except when it's ourselves.

Belle
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Re: Debunking Domingo

Post by Belle » Sun Oct 27, 2019 4:52 pm

barney wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 4:21 pm
Couldn't be bothered finishing that clip. Two graceless, charmless people, though both quick-witted. Got two thirds through.

You are right about hypocrisy. But we have to remember that it's universal and always upsetting, except when it's ourselves.
I laughed at Chelsea Handler's way of ridiculing Gene Simmons. "Oh my God; I'm so bored". This is absolutely the right response to a grievance junkie.

Actually, Simmons is very intelligent; you'd just never think so with his behaviour. I heard him on a radio interview several years ago and I admired his intelligence and knowledge over and above things to do with popular music. He's a deeply flawed individual with a fraught family history of holocaust survival. Heaven only knows why he was in Kiss, but even Prof. Brian Cox - a Particle Physicist and documentary presenter I hugely admire - belonged in a rock band D:Ream!!

barney
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Re: Debunking Domingo

Post by barney » Mon Oct 28, 2019 4:28 pm

Fair enough. I don't know her, though obviously she has a following, but I found her every bit as "look at me, look at me" as he was. But they were both pretty quick on the banter.

Belle
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Re: Debunking Domingo

Post by Belle » Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:20 pm

barney wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 4:28 pm
Fair enough. I don't know her, though obviously she has a following, but I found her every bit as "look at me, look at me" as he was. But they were both pretty quick on the banter.
I thought Gene took Chelsea's ridicule really well; it was really out there!!

barney
Posts: 3545
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:12 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Debunking Domingo

Post by barney » Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:55 am

Yes, he has clearly learned that lesson - he'd only make himself ridiculous by reacting badly. You have to smile, even through gritted teeth, and pretend to take the criticism seriously.
I say pretend, because I'm pretty sure that's what he was doing. :)

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