Two podcasts specifically sparked my interest recently. One surrounding the #MeToo movement, and one about surviving the “media apocalypse” which is inevitably coming for us. I’ve decided to write a blog post on both of them.
The media apocalypse is described as an over-saturation of content on the internet that is not original or unique. For example, how every site posts nearly identical listicles that are fueled by clickbait. Companies nowadays are more focused on the amount of clicks rather than the quality of their content. We are seeing many quickly written short articles posted for the sake of grabbing viewers’ attention. This is where facts are often incorrect. For example, if a website is following an ongoing story, they will race to put out content the fastest rather than providing the most accurate information.
The hosts mention that the internet is mostly free of charge and consumers will not pay for something that they can get elsewhere for free. I agree with this, and this is the reason we see people pirating music, streaming it for free on sites like spotify, watching content for free on sites like Youtube, or illegally downloading movies and tv shows on their computers. People have the option to not spend money, so that’s exactly what they will do. People will not pay for something non-original that they can get elsewhere, and that is why many companies are downsizing their staff.
The podcast also talks about AI functions such as Alexa, Google Home, etc. that don’t necessarily make tasks go faster for us. The host details how asking Alexa to turn on a light for him can actually be more complicated than reaching his arm out and turning a switch. The other host says that it depends on the situation, for example if he is driving home, he can just say “Google, order me a pizza” instead of picking up a phone and dialing while driving. Then he could have a pizza at his door by the time he gets home.
Secondly, I was really interested in the podcast “Why Now?” questioning why so many women were coming forward to report sexual harassment and assault, and why people are believing them after they’ve been swept under the rug for decades. So, why now?
The podcast details women’s accounts with a famous elderly playwright who was married with children. Each woman had the same story that he would gain their trust, make them feel special, then isolate them and force himself onto them. Each woman said the same thing, that he suddenly stuck his tongue down their throat and grabbed their breasts, as if he was entitled to their body; that the woman’s body did not belong to them, but to him. The podcast includes a woman who was repeatedly pressured into having sex for an entire summer while she interned at a theater. Another woman interviewed explained that she had known the man since she was 11 years old and they had a great relationship. When she was in her twenties he came onto her and confessed that he was in love with her and made her say ‘I love you’ back. These women were pressured to stay silent for years of ongoing abuse. This woman actually complained to the theater about his unacceptable behavior, but her abuse was noted and systematically ignored. Women were threatened that they would be labeled “hard to work with” and basically blacklisted from the industry if they came forward with their stories because this man was such an established and beloved playwright. The terrible thing is that this man never thought that he did anything wrong, or that he hurt anyone. It is common that abusers are not aware that they have been abusive until the victim speaks up. That is why it was so problematic for these women to remain silent for all these years.
The podcast concludes that women are coming forward now specifically because they are fed up, broken, and ready to prevent this from happening to the next generation. The podcast identifies Donald Trump’s election as the trigger. The world was beside itself when a known abuser was elected president of the United States. It is so insulting for any survivor of sexual abuse to watch this happen. The women previously interviewed recount how the infamous Access Hollywood “grab her by the pussy” tape made them feel. Donald Trump is the ultimate untouched abuser who is rewarded despite his accusers stepping forward. For decades, no one listened. Donald Trump is the embodiment of everything wrong with American society and if the leader of the free world can get away with abusing women, it will continue to get worse. This is the reason women are speaking out in masses. This is no longer acceptable. Men are being exposed for their toxic behavior that has been ongoing for many years behind closed doors. Women are now being commended rather than condemned because their accounts are overwhelmingly true, as people realize just how often this happens in every industry. Once one women comes forward with their encounters with a powerful man, other women realize that their experience is strikingly similar. If no one speaks up, the abuse against women will continue. The abuse must be stopped, and now is the time to stop it.