Weinstein & Women: who’s to blame?

After being outed as a serial predator of multitudes of women through his long career as a Hollywood studio executive and producer, Harvey Weinstein has had to step down from his roles at his company, retreat from public eye, and issue an apology.

But that’s OK. Because it’s not really his fault. Right?

According to Sebastian Gorka, it’s the social rules we haven’t yet implemented. If only all these men operated with the same social conduct as Vice President Mike Pence, who doesn’t meet one-on-one with any woman who is not his wife:

And when it’s not society’s fault, it’s the women themselves. How they dress, how they supposedly flirt, how they smile, how they look at you… it seems everything a woman does is seduction, as if they’re asking for it, coyly.

And let’s not forget the biggest crook in all of this: Hillary Rotten Clinton.

If nothing else, this saga has demonstrated that Clinton would have been vilified in the press for some story, regardless of the emails.

Conservative media have taken a key focus on Clinton for not condemning Weinstein sooner. First, she was silent for too long. Then she didn’t do enough and wasn’t sincere enough in her statements. Similarly to the Kaepernick kneeling argument, this political commentary is being used to distract away from the important issue: another rich and powerful man has been able to use his position and reduce women to sexual objects for his own pleasure.

Men are never really at fault for these allegations

It’s just part of the industry/culture/masculinity. You’re a man, so you can feel your way through women (and other men) to get what you want. You’re a big wig and they’re not. And that’s cool because it’s all just locker room talk if they get outed anyway.

Harassment against women goes on in every industry, every work space, around the world. The common trait, other than the perpetrators being men, is that the victim is often at fault. Specifically those with the female body parts. The story of Apple and Eve continues on.; women are the seducers, the sinners.

This is prudent in Clinton’s case. First it was her fault because she didn’t denounce quickly enough, then it was her fault because she should have known more, done more, said more, and groveled at America’s feet for not stopping these atrocities.

And it’s not just Clinton. While many women are bravely stepping forward to testify, others are being pointed at for not speaking up as fast, or accused of falsifying their stories to gain some public attention for themselves.

A man can be protected from facing his crimes.

History is littered with examples of men receiving dispensation for their abuses, receiving large compensation to walk away from organizations quietly, or having their accusers be completely ignored. When the Access Hollywood tapes of Donald Trump admitting he sexually harassed women were revealed last year he received a scolding in the press for a few days. And now inexplicably he is the president. While men are forgiven their crimes, women are lambasted for either speaking out in the first place “without proof”, or for not speaking out at all.

Western cultures enjoy looking toward the Middle East where women can be charged with adultery after being raped, and looking down at those ‘backward’ nations. Those are nothing more than anecdotal excuses for racism and xenophobia. The wonderful west is little better. Men of privilege have abused and raped women on college campuses, in work places, at bars, in their own homes, and were found to be not-guilty by courts, never charged, or quite often given minimal sentences; community service and probation being a favored outcome. But the women? They are haunted by the experience, suffering from an abuse which doesn’t end once the man walks away. They can be chastised by peers, and forced out of work by gossip.

Every day since The New York Times published the story on Weinstein, women have spoken of their disgust, or shared their own experiences with the accused. Yet if women speaking out was all it took then predators everywhere would be too scared to commit their crimes. Men need to step up. While many have – such as Terry Crews who revealed he has also been a victim of sexual assault – too many have immediately dived into mansplaining away their disgust:

As a father of daughters…

As a son of a mother…

…brother of a sister…

…husband of a wife…

Men insist they are not sexist or predators the same way white people protest racism because they have a black friend.

Having a woman in the family does not excuse men from their societal obligations. Men everywhere should be disgusted at the actions by so many senior executives, and countless lower level positions, who abuse women just because they can. Instead they remain silent, avoiding the story and the subsequent storm.

As is typically the case, the pressure falls on women to speak out in the hope something will finally be done to end the criminal misconduct of rich and powerful men.

Perhaps Gorka is right. Perhaps women shouldn’t be forced to interact with men one-on-one without his wife present. Not only would it lessen sexual violence caused by men who can’t seem to keep their hands to themselves, but women would be forced back into the homes, into the kitchens, as procreation vessels for children. Out of sight and out of mind.

While the Weinsteins and Trumps of the world won’t get their rocks off, it’ll certainly keep the Pences and Gorkas happy.


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