In light of recent events with comedian John Crist joining a growing list of high profile male celebrities who have acted violently toward women, I think it’s time to address something that many people don’t think of until it’s too late: The dangers of a starstruck mentality.
When John Crist was ousted this past week by Charisma News, with stories of his victims and people he’d manipulated coming to light, I felt, in a deep sense, that I should say something regarding this.
I am the oldest brother of three beautiful little sisters. So when this news broke — as has been the case when other similar stories broke — I felt responsible to do the best I could to help keep women out there from experiencing situations of manipulation such as those which have so often been coming to light in the #MeToo era.
The only way I can really do that is by sharing my heart and soul here.
Before I get into this, I want to make clear that in NO CIRCUMSTANCE should a woman EVER be blamed for what happens to her. Victim blaming is a sad thing that has no place on this website. My aim is only to provide some insight to those out there who may one day encounter a dangerous scenario. If we learn from this, future outcomes may play out better.
So from the heart of a big brother, here goes.
Examples of John Crist’s behavior matched what we have been hearing throughout the #MeToo era: One of his common tactics was that he would offer tickets to women in exchange for late-night visits with him in his hotel. He would push for those late-night visits with a manipulative fervor — you accepted the ticket; now you gotta come up to the room.
“He would talk with women online on Twitter, Snapchat, whatever,” Jeremiah Warren, a filmmaker and photographer, says. “[He gives] them a free ticket to the city [where] they live that he’s coming to for a show. Then he will invite them to a hotel room for unspecified reasons. When they turn him down, then he holds the ticket over them and says ‘Why have you been talking to me? Obviously this is what you wanted.’ This is a very gross simplification and paraphrase, but he’s basically shaming them for taking this free ticket and trying to neg them into going to him in the hotel room.”
Other examples of his behavior include sexting with multiple women at the same time and going after women in committed relationships. But the following statement from one of the women who came forward sums up what I think many women who have suffered through abusive scenarios have in common:
“I was truly blinded by his celebrity status.”
From Harvey Weinstein to Bill Cosby to John Crist, that is a common theme. The women were starstruck.
In many of the stories we’ve heard since the beginning of the #MeToo movement, the women who’ve found themselves in these scenarios have often stated that in the lead-up, they felt something was off, or weird; their intuition was telling them something was wrong.
So there are two major lessons to be learned here: 1. Trust your gut. 2. Don’t allow yourself to ever become starstruck for anyone.
Trust Your Gut
This applies as an all-around rule of thumb in every aspect of life as it pertains to safety and looking out for yourself and others: trust your gut. Us humans are animals with instincts that allow us to survive. We have intuition that signals when something is odd or out of place.
We have to trust this instinct above anything else. We have to prioritize it in our minds.
There is an amazing article by Psychology Today that details how our instincts work. (Find the link to the entire article here.)
The following is an excerpt:
“Intuition makes our job easier by providing us, in the midst of a million different stimuli we could focus on, the relevant cues — particular features that we ought to pay close attention to.”
When something feels wrong, pay close attention to that. I don’t care how well you think you know a person. (Most sexual violence occurs from people familiar to the victim.) And I don’t care how well known the person is or what he claims his beliefs are (celebrity/Christian) — it doesn’t matter. If you feel that something is out of place — if you feel uncomfortable, remove yourself from the situation as soon as possible.
Trust your inner voice. You have survivalist instincts; use them. Trust yourself.
That said, what is causing so many women to forego this instinct in favor of hoping for the best? The excitement of being able to hang out with a celebrity one on one.
That excitement alone causes many victims to forego their intuition right off the bat. Oftentimes, the proposal (e.g. meeting the celebrity alone in their hotel late at night) has shadiness written all over it from the start. If something feels off — no matter who it is — trust your gut feeling about the situation.
Don’t be starstruck — by anyone
The feeling of being starstruck is a sad phenomenon because, truly, no human being deserves that level of attention. I have always felt distraught as I have seen over the years how some young women worship singers, athletes, musicians, and actors.
These entertainers are just people at the end of the day. They are no more important than anyone. The person in front of the camera would be nobody were it not for the guy behind the camera, holding cables.
The difference is the actor gets visibility.
In life, there will always be those people who are more visible or more well known than the next guy. But the women and men who sit behind the computer as the space shuttle launches into orbit are just as important as the astronauts.
It breaks my heart when I hear of scenarios where women joined a celebrity for a party and then ended up getting taken advantage of by that celebrity. Who knows whether Conor McGregor did what his accuser said. Who knows whether Cristiano Ronaldo did as well. But scenarios like this are far too common.
Ladies, most men are very sick in the brain. Do not trust someone just because they are a celebrity. I plan to do another article about this soon, but many guys are dogs. They do not treat women with respect. They want to see what they can get away with.
So be wise. You have so much value. Don’t let any man, regardless of how many Instagram followers he has, treat you as anything less than royalty.
Bottom line: Don’t allow the feeling of being starstruck to override these two things: your own self-worth and your intuition.
With time, celebrity status fades
Celebrities age. They have their time of fame, and then they get older, and then they die. Celebrity status is a fart in the wind. It’s gone before you know it. I beg you not to make it out to be bigger than it is.
Trust your gut and don’t be blinded by a starstruck mentality. You deserve the best; don’t settle for anything less. That is my heart on this matter.