I want to talk about Harvey Weinstein and the sexual harassment tornado that is swirling around him. I want to get the dirty details because I am a gossip hound, and in the blogging world—at least, in the entertainment blogging world—dirty details are good for business.
And as much as I may want to write about the dirty details, the “what” of the details are just not the problem. They are the problem initially because he sexually harassed what will probably amount to hundreds of women over three decades. The bigger problem is that it was hidden for three decades is in Hollywood.
We live in a culture that objectifies women. That is not news. In fact, many times and in many situations that objectification is not only allowed by women but is condoned by them too. Just look at the number of women shedding tears over Hugh Hefner, who undoubtedly lived a life BASED on the objectification of women; no matter how much he tried to disguise it as “feminism” and “female empowerment”.
The Hollywood machine practically invented objectification, and there are a lot of moving parts that keep that machine well-oiled, including women (please note: there will be ZERO victim-blaming here, so stay with me).
Women contributed oil to the machine by choosing their careers. Choosing to pursue their dreams in spite of a vomit-inducing, lecherous POS. I know, right? How dare they want to make a living doing what they love.
Men contributed to the machine by keeping silent and looking the other way, and not stepping in or up when they “heard rumors” or witnessed an incident. Why, men, why?? Oh, because you also wanted to pursue your dreams, and seriously, boys will be boys, right? Wrong.
This is called an imbalance of power. Harvey Weinstein didn’t sexually abuse women because he has a sex problem any more than I write because I have a paper problem.
Harvey Weinstein sexually abused women because he held all the cards, and he knew it. The sexual abuse was just a showing of those cards; throwing them on the table and going all-in on the flop, because he knows the other player will fold in the face of losing their livelihood. That might not be why he thinks he masturbated into a potted plant in front of an actress, but it is: he did it because he could, without consequence.
That is the very definition of an imbalance of power. And make no mistake: all of the men right now, who are saying they “didn’t know”, “had no idea”, or “heard rumors” are lying.
Everyone knew. You know how I know that? Because it takes a LOT of moving parts to keep something so scandalous a secret in Hollywood. I have written in the past about the hypocrisy of Hollywood, and I spend a lot of time trying to figure out which side of their mouths the many actors, actresses, producers, et. al. are talking out of.
Take, for example, Kate Winslet (don’t get mad at me, I love her too!!). In an article in the LA Times on October 14, 2017, she talks about not thanking Harvey Weinstein in her Oscar speech (she won for The Reader in 2009) because of his disgusting behaviour. Later that same night, at the New York Film Festival she introduced the screening of her new movie Wonder Wheel, directed by……Woody Allen. For me, this is problematic; you will vilify one but revere the other? That being said, Hollywood is not real life (as you and I live it), and it seems they abide by a very different set of standards.
Is Woody Allen a fair, side-by-side comparison? Maybe not. Is Hollywood complicit in allowing sexual predators to continue working not only unpunished, but completely forgiven? Absolutely. What about Roman Polanski? Sure, he fled the country to avoid prosecution for raping a 13-year old, but all of these people still think he’s the cat’s ass (surprise, surprise, Woody Allen comes up third).
Of course, when asked by the BBC about the Weinstein scandal, Woody had this to say: “You also don’t want it to lead to a witch hunt atmosphere, a Salem atmosphere, where every guy in an office who winks at a woman is suddenly having to call a lawyer to defend himself.”
The absurdity of this statement is the crux of the power problem everywhere, not just Hollywood. People in positions or power should not be winking at men or women in offices if they are not married to them or dating them because it can absolutely be considered unwanted sexual harassment. Period. If it could make someone of the opposite sex uncomfortable, that is sexual harassment.
I can’t say it enough: sexual harassment is not a sex problem, it is a power problem. It is a thumbing down of people in lower positions because the people in positions of power believe they hold all the cards, and they often do. The hands of victims are tied by the bills that need paying, the children that need feeding, and the dreams that need to be pursued.
The uprising of women against this mentality is incredible. The push back against this imbalance is everywhere; in the #metoo social media campaigns and the voices that were once small are now mighty, damn loud, and amplified by the thousands of people supporting them.
I hope that this will be the beginning of change. It is my fervent wish to raise my daughter in a society that values her boundaries as much as I am teaching her to, and that will respect her as a person and not an object. I hope parents everywhere teach their children about equality and boundaries and the power of NO. Because in that one word is their own power: the power to push back and stand up and scream it loudly and not be forced to endure terrible things because they have no choice.
We need to affect this change together, as one loud, moving beast; many hands can move mountains, and the mountain that has been built on sexual harassment (not just in Hollywood) needs to be blown to smithereens.