Richard Dreyfuss is the latest Hollywood mogul to be accused of sexual harassment. The details aren't important — so many of these allegations post-Weinstein don't reach nearly the same level of transgression — but Dreyfuss's response represents the typical politically-correct garbage we've come to expect from Hollywood.
He begins by denying the accusations of his accuser, Jessica Teich, but then concedes that during the 1980s, he was an "asshole — the kind of performative masculine man my father had modeled for me to be."
What is this fatal masculine flaw Dreyfuss used to have? Get ready — it's a big one.
He was a relentless flirt.
I flirted with all women, be they actresses, producers, or 80-year-old grandmothers. I even flirted with those who were out of bounds, like the wives of some of my best friends, which especially revolts me. I disrespected myself, and I disrespected them, and ignored my own ethics, which I regret more deeply than I can express. During those years I was swept up in a world of celebrity and drugs – which are not excuses, just truths. Since then I have had to redefine what it means to be a man, and an ethical man. I think every man on Earth has or will have to grapple with this question. But I am not an assaulter.
Dreyfuss then goes on to make a broader statement about what's happening in Hollywood today.
There is a sea-change happening right now, which we can look upon as a problem or an opportunity. We all of us are awakening to the reality that how men have behaved toward women for eons is not OK. The rules are changing invisibly underneath our feet. I am playing catch up. Maybe we all are. I hope people can join me in honestly looking at our behavior and trying to make it right. We have to relearn every rule we thought we knew about how men and women interact, because after all getting together is the most fundamental human compulsion. And if we don’t succeed in that, what do we have? I hope this is the beginning of a larger conversation we can have as a culture.
In typical left-wing fashion, Dreyfuss takes a deeply-rooted problem within a specific industry and rather than own it, blames society instead. He's effectively saying, "All men must examine their behavior toward women. All women are blameless, and all men are perpetrators. All men, deep down, are pigs and must change their ways."
The idea that "ethical" men could in fact be the norm in America, or that most men (and women) know how to flirt properly and within bounds — in part because they're not "swept up in a world of celebrity and drugs" — is too much for this group. Because if that were true, Dreyfuss & Co. would have to dig deeper. They would have to face their own demons — ones in which they use Hollywood, the land of pretend, to cope.
As I wrote here, masculinity isn't the problem. Power is. Power and corruption within a very specific trade. Those of us who don't live in La La Land live more simple and yes, even clean lives. Not perfect lives, but certainly cleaner than those in Hollywood. You couldn't pay me, and you couldn't pay most people I imagine, to be part of such a debased world.
So, nice try, Mr. Dreyfuss. Rather than point the finger at America's men who you believe must "wake up to the reality" of how dysfunctional they are at their core, stay focused on your own little corrupt corner of the world.
And leave the rest of us out of it.
Suzanne Venker (@SuzanneVenker) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog. She is an author, Fox News contributor, and trustee of Leading Women for Shared Parenting. Her fifth book, "The Alpha Female’s Guide to Men & Marriage: HOW LOVE WORKS," was published in February.
If you would like to write an op-ed for the Washington Examiner, please read our guidelines on submissions here.