Sexual harassment is, obviously, no joke. But sometimes, to make a point completely clear, you just have to boil down a point and inject a little humor—which is exactly what Black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross did Tuesday night when she guest-hosted Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Ross opened the show with a serious message: “As a woman with a big platform like this, there is something I wanted to talk about tonight, and that’s the Hollywood sexual harassment scandal.” She added, “Let’s start with the fact that it isn’t a sex scandal. It isn’t a Hollywood scandal. It isn’t even a scandal. It is a systemic problem about the abuse of power that takes place across all industries and has enabled a culture of inequity to persist for far too long.”
The actress admitted she wasn’t surprised by the countless sexual-harassment-related stories that emerged over the past few months, but she added it seems as though quite a few men have been shocked with each successive instance: “Treating another human being with respect isn’t complicated, but it seems a bit confusing for a lot of men out there.”
“So Handsy Man, if you’re still confused whether your behavior will be excused, I’ll say it clearly, nice and slow, if she doesn’t consent, the answer is no.” —Tracee Ellis Ross, reading from The Handsy Man
To help, she wrote a book, the aptly titled The Handsy Man, which is “like a children’s book…for men,” she said.
Ross read the hilarious, rhyming book aloud, and it was both absolutely accurate and, sadly, felt like a necessary addition to the contemporary literary canon.
“Even if you’re stoned or drunk, do not expose me to your junk,” the book reads, clearly taking somewhat subtle aim at some specific recent allegations against the likes of Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose, and Matt Lauer. “And if I am your employee, don’t rest your hand upon my knee. No, I won’t sit on your lap. I shouldn’t have to say this crap.”
If your brother, father, boss, co-worker, nephew, friend, or neighbors still aren’t clear, send them straight to the last page of The Handsy Man, which oh-so-succinctly sums it all up: “So Handsy Man, if you’re still confused whether your behavior will be excused, I’ll say it clearly, nice and slow: If she doesn’t consent, the answer is no.”
Sounds like a New York Times best-seller to me.