The Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct and assault revelations perfectly reflect the troubling narrative advocates for sexual assault victims and women have spent decades discussing. Originating out of Hollywood, instead of Washington, and revolving around a “liberal lion,” instead of political Conservatives like Roger Ailes, the Weinstein story cannot simply be written off as a political attack. There is no easy way for Weinstein and his allies to distract the public from his wrongs. A rich man was using the promise of fame and lucrative work to coerce women into sex. Like the Stuart Hall and Jimmy Savile scandals in Great Britain, the Weinstein revelations have exposed the secrets of an industry corrupted by sexual predators.
The Weinstein revelations are, however, only a cover story for a much broader set of issues. Weinstein is a man who abused his position as a studio executive, and gatekeeper to an exclusive industry, to proposition women for sexual liaisons and silence those who might speak about his overt attempts to manipulate victims into sexual encounters. Long ago, the US decided that no one should have to trade sex for a work. Not only has Weinstein showed complete contempt for the US legal system and common decency, he has demonstrated his and his industry’s abusive nature. Based on the accusations, Harvey Weinstein is a pervert and sexual predator, but he is also the product of an industry that caters to the abusive whims of the rich and influential.
To men like Weinstein, they are simply offering someone a chance to become successful in exchange for unquestioned loyalty and pleasure. Some might speculate Weinstein is a sex addict, because he may have an insatiable sexual appetite, but he is also a sexual predatory due to the manner in which he manipulates situations and victims to coerce unwilling women. To the Weinsteins of the world, “no” is not an option. It is the only answer. To the Weinsteins of the world, business meetings with women in hotels and other private settings, as well as other situations where sexual intent is implied, are routine, because they expect others to cater to their desires. Being told “no” is unexpected and unacceptable. It is because they are abusive people empowered by their wealth, positions of influence, and the Hollywood culture.
Furthermore, sexual pleasure is not the only dimension to the actions of men like Harvey Weinstein. In Japan, for example, samurai masters would often use sodomy to mentally break young students and rebuild them with an unbreakable loyalty. They would sexually molest children to alienate them and gain total control over their lives. Sex is sex, which impacts different people in many different ways, but it is also a way of exerting control over someone else. In Hollywood, men are demeaned and emasculated via degrading roles and /or the abuse of ever-demanding executives and directors. Women experience the same, but they must also more often contend with the psychosexual attacks of powerful figures who expect all to submit to them and show their undying loyalty. The same, of course, also happens in professions like business and politics.
Those willing to endure, reinforce and help propagate the abusive practices of powerful individuals. Those who do not face crushing pressure from their contemporaries and eventual shunning, i.e. the end of their careers. The sexual predators of Hollywood, business, and politics consider themselves kings. They are to be treated as unquestioned rulers, because they control the money, power, and success. They are kings whose will is law and whose actions have full immunity. There is no right or wrong when it comes to what they want. Their victims should feel grateful for the experience of their victimization. After all, they usually benefit from a career boost or large pay off. The power of powerful abusers is not, however, a power they simply grant themselves. It is a power their associates and victims allow them to have.
Not only does the complacent Hollywood culture shield prominent figures from the consequences of their actions, it fosters an inner-circle mentality that favors personal connections above professional merit and, therefore, loyalty above professional ethics. By providing immunity to the kings of Hollywood, the only thing regulating their behavior is their character, which is a situation that cultivates predatory behavior in individuals with weak characters. Young actors and addresses are so driven by their dreams they will do almost anything for an opportunity, yet few will take the risk of derailing their career by questioning the will of key executives. Many are even willing to trade sex for fame. Men like Weinstein simply have to keep trying until they find willing victims, which also helps them develop a loyal following they can trust not to snitch.
The advocates of victims like to talk about the power imbalance between studio executives and young actresses, powerful men and vulnerable newcomers. The truth is that none of this matters. Women are just as capable of sexual assault and harassment as men. Who is the boss, who has the power, does not matter as long as there is a lack of consequences for the boss. Meanwhile, rich and famous actresses can still be pressured, even though they now have the collective power to control the industry. All sexual predators instill a sense of helplessness in their victims by utilizing their insecurities and shortcomings, but it is an illusion. In Hollywood, power does not actually came from executives. It comes from the appeal and fan base of the stars, which is why the power of executives is steadily being eroded by the internet and social media. In truth, the Weinsteins of the world are easily destroyed by public backlash when their stories reach the light of day, which is why they pressure victims and witnesses to remain silence.
Read old posts