Women will tell you they don’t know precisely when, or how, they become aware that a man is a sexual predator. To never stay late or go to drinks or email in a manner that could be taken the wrong way.
Someone — almost always another woman — usually tells us, in ways explicit and implicit, to be careful around a man. These “whisper networks,” as they’re often called, are what women use to keep each other safe when normal routes of protection — HR complaints, direct confrontation, the police — simply won’t work, either because of a man’s power or because the burden of proof, when it comes to sexual harassment, is so heavy, and the price of becoming an accuser is so steep.
And when the gossip is authenticated in the press, it just confirms the sad truth we’ve gradually come to understand, from years of gossip and personal experience: that all types of men, in all types of positions and political persuasions, develop and maintain power by exploiting women’s lack of it.
Whether it’s Donald Trump or Roger Ailes, Harvey Weinstein or the myriad “devils in pussy hats,” the message remains: We trust men at our own peril.
Unlike Wayans' blaxploitation parody I'm Gonna Get You Sucka, A Low Down Dirty Shame sticks more closely to genre conventions, lightening the action with wisecracks and standard comic interludes.
This sounds dire, but it’s difficult, given the evidence, to argue otherwise.
Of course not all men are harassers and abusers; there are, of course, good men. But there are enough men like Weinstein and Ailes, young and old, liberal and conservative, ones who make us feel like objects, or dirty and out of control in our workplace or classrooms, ones who can and will ruin our lives — that we’ve become dependent on unofficial modes of communication to protect ourselves.
Writer-director Keenan Ivory Wayans also stars as Los Angeles private eye Arthur Shame, a former cop whose troubled past resurfaces when a one-time colleague asks for help in a narcotic case.
During the course of his investigation, he encounters various old connections, ultimately confronting the criminal responsible for Shame's expulsion from the force.