Lady Problems: Pray For The Young Women Of Hollywood, The Pussy Posse Has Returned

Plus: When it comes to sexual assault, the solution, now and always, is just believe women

Lady Problems is a weekly column that looks at how the entertainment industry — and its corresponding culture and constituents — is treating women in a given week. (Hint: It will almost always be “poorly.”) Every Thursday we’ll review the week's most significant woman-centric conflicts, then provide a brilliant solution to each problem that nobody in Hollywood will ever listen to or enforce.

The Lady Problem: There is an infinitesimally tiny silver lining re: the international crisis being slowly induced by the Orange Fanta monsoon currently “running” for “president” of the “United” States: We're beginning to have a nationwide discussion about sexual assault. Of course, seeing as how a massive portion of our nation is filled with monstrous rape apologists, most of the people “talking about sexual assault” are old white men on Fox News barking about women being too ugly to rape and defending every man's right to threaten sexual violence upon women in the privacy of their own sports-adjacent changing facility.

But elsewhere, women are beginning to come forward and tell their own stories about being raped or sexually violated. The downside of this is, as Slate's Michelle Goldberg writes, that Donald Trump has a “unique and sickening ability to resurface women's memories of abuse and trauma.” As a woman who started sobbing Good Will Hunting–style during the second presidential debate, I can safely say that this blows. The upside, though, is that more women than usual are seeking counsel and support. According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, the weekend after the release of the Trump “grab her by the pussy” tape saw a 33 percent increase in people turning to its National Sexual Assault Hotline for support (h/t Slate). Hopefully this means we'll see an uptick in women reporting their rapes as well, but probably not, because probably it will be the apocalypse very soon.

Unsurprisingly, women in Hollywood have been coming forward with their stories, as well; late last week, Rose McGowan posted a series of tweets with the hashtag #WhyWomenDontReport.

Again, it's fantastic that McGowan is speaking out, but, you know, she also had to (and still has to) deal with this fucking horror show, and she can't even publicly name her rapist for fear of retribution and blacklisting and vengeful lawsuits, because the burden of proof rests on the rape victim, and even if her rapist was named, even if he was accused by dozens of other women, he'd still have a long and successful career, because we live in Hades. (Google around a bit, though, and you'll figure out who McGowan is talking about. Then just hold your angry, sad feelings about it inside forever!)

A few days later, McGowan followed up her tweets with an open letter to Hollywood, beseeching her peers to come forward and stop the cycle of suppressed abuse. “Do not work with those you know to be offenders or you are no better than they,” she wrote. “How many more stories do you have to hear before you do the right thing and stop rewarding men that are predators? ... I know you have it in you to break free from the bonds of secrecy.”

The Solution: Believe women. Believe women. Believe women. Believe women. After that, as McGowan says, stop working or associating with the men who have assaulted these women. Encourage more women to speak up by taking action however you can. Repudiate rape culture by dismantling it wherever it lives. Systematically remove rapists from positions of power. Replace them with decent men or, better yet, women. If you yourself have no power to do any of this, just don't talk to these dudes. Ignore them and/or start singing the Sister, Sister theme song at them whenever they speak — it will make them crazy! You can pick which one, they all work equally well. I honestly think the last one is the best, though, because Tia and Tamara are featured singers. But really it's your call.

The Lady Problem: Tobey Maguire and his wife, Jennifer Meyer, are separating after nine years of marriage. This is sad for them and for their young progeny and the institution of marriage and Us Weekly, who rely heavily on couples like Tobey Maguire and Jennifer Meyer to provide them with “Stars: They're Just Like Us!” spreads. But the people who will truly suffer most in this divorce are the extremely young, extremely attractive women whom Tobey and his fellow old famous men embroiled in clichéd midlife crises are going to creep out for the next five to seven years. Staunch fans of the 1990s will instantly recognize that I'm talking about the return ... of the Pussy Posse.

Putting aside, for a moment, the 2016 implications of the word “pussy,” let's briefly recap the history of the Pussy Posse (recently rebranded [and defanged] as The Wolf Pack) for those unfamiliar. Back in 1998, Nancy Jo Sales wrote a profile of a 23-year-old Leonardo DiCaprio and his equally heathen brethren — Tobey, Harmony Korine, Lukas Haas, and David Blaine, among others — for NY Mag, in which she described the group's daily lives as a sort of figurative/literal orgy of model-fucking, drinking, club-hopping to places named “Moomba,” renting spontaneous planes to India yet being bizarrely cheap re: parking, setting off stink bombs at Sky Bar, not tipping French bartenders but still getting facetime with Julie Delpy, throwing grapes at paparazzi, suppressing one's own embarrassing indie films, insulting Sharon Stone's on-screen kissing skills, getting fucked up at the New York Public Library, terrorizing Elizabeth Berkley via voicemail, and punching people in the larynx.

Over the years, the Pussy Posse has mostly disbanded because they've grown up and/or gotten even more fuckboyish in their old age (minus Leo, the Pussy Posse nucleus, who will not stop mainlining models until he takes his very last breath, and getting away with it). Which is why it brings me great sorrow, both for Tobey and Sofia Richie, to read that Tobey has already resumed his Pussy Posse–ing ways with Sofia Richie. Like, is this not the bleakest concluding paragraph you've ever read outside of the Bible?

“He’s just going to clubs with Leo — that’s what’s happening,” a source tells The Daily Mail. WE ALL KNOW THAT'S NOT JUST WHAT'S HAPPENING, THE DAILY MAIL. THIS IS THE PUSSY POSSE: REDUX, THIS TIME WITH MORE SADNESS AND CONFUSION ON EVERYBODY'S PART BECAUSE AT LEAST ONE PERSON IS NOW REAL OLD AND A FATHER TO LITTLE KIDS AND THE OTHER PEOPLE ARE LIKE, WAIT, WHAT IS THE PUSSY POSSE, I WASN'T BORN WHEN IT HAPPENED LAST TIME.

Of course, there's nothing innately wrong with being a 41-year-old man partying with 18-year-olds if everybody involved is like, “Yes, I am into this party and enjoying myself and I don't feel exploited.” (See: this week's Lady Problem Item 1). I don't know everybody's life. But there is something profoundly tragic about being a 41-year-old man partying with 18-year-olds who've just concluded an Instagram relationship with Justin Bieber after leaving your wife of nine years when you have two children, age seven and nine, one of whom is named “Ruby Sweetheart,” and the women you are pursuing have no warning or context because they were your children's ages when you pulled this shit the first time. In 1998, the Pussy Posse was a Lady Irritation. In 2016, The Pussy Posse is a Lady Problem.

The Solution: Pray for Kendall and Kylie. Pray for Elle Fanning. Pray for Hailee Steinfeld. Pray for Hailey Baldwin. Pray for Gigi Hadid. Pray for Anna Kendrick (she looks young!). Pray that Tobey Maguire meets a nice, take-no-bullshit, age-appropriate woman, perhaps with children of her own, so that once again he retreats into a life of calm commitment and stops flying around Hollywood on David Blaine's back, terrorizing Hollywood's youth.