I have no doubt that movie producer turned inmate Harvey Weinstein is a hedge hog who has had his hands on more women than on film products (and he has produced scores of films).
I also believe if he looked like Tom Cruise instead of Quasimodo there would be few sexual complaints against him, but that’s another matter.
I am slowly wading into deep water here because some are going to take this as me blaming the victim. To an extent, I guess I am.
As a general principle, if a woman waits 20 years to claim she was raped, did not report it to police at the time, and has had sex with the man after the rape or maintained a cordial relationship with him after the alleged rape, the seriousness of the damage to her is open to question. You can’t send him emails saying you miss him. You just can’t.
Many of Weinstein’s accusers fall into one or more of these categories. Does that mean they’re lying? No. But it means women have to be schooled in what to do when a man comes on too strong.
In the Old Days, say “Mad Men” days, if a gent made an ugly remark or gesture, a woman would slap his face. Loudly and publicly.
We don’t know if any women did that to Weinstein, but I haven’t heard of any who did.
A few admitted they gave in to his insistent demands for sex.
Why didn’t they kick him in the balls? I ask myself.
As he forced his face between their thighs, why didn’t they stick a fingernail in his eye?
Did they fear he would beat them?
Did they fear they would never work in Hollywood again?
How many felt the sting of humiliation only after a job he promised them did not come through?
In a slight segue, on “Saturday Night Live,” Kate McKinnon’s character of cigarette-smoking actress Debette Goldry, representing Old Hollywood, is one of the more courageous things on TV. Usually seated at a panel of #MeToo woke actresses, Goldry casually recounts lurid tales of the casting couch and — with a shrug — the routine sexual abuse many actresses had to endure.
That Goldry shrugs it off, and that McKinnon is not roasted alive on Twitter, is testament to the actress’ skill, or perhaps she gets a pass because she’s a lesbian.
In any event, her character sets the table with the reality of the way things once were, and probably still are, to some degree in Hollyweird.
There are a million Hollywood stories that illustrate that powerful men, long before Weinstein, got their way. There was the studio head who summoned the pre-star Marilyn Monroe to his office to service him under his massive desk as he made deals on the telephone. That ignited her drive to stardom, she told a biographer, so that she could never be used like that again.
Monroe and her sisters never called the cops, never complained. It was all part of the game.
The game has changed. Powerful men — Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Bill Cosby, R. Kelly, Placido Domingo, Cuba Gooding Jr. and many more — have been accused of sexual misconduct, along with many politicians. That’s good, up to a point.
#MeToo has made an unreasonable demand — that all victims (although we are no longer allowed to use that word, they are all now “survivors”) must be believed. There is even a hashtag: #BelieveTheWomen.
No. They must be treated with respect and sympathy, but they must produce evidence in order to be believed. Why? Because some women alleging sexual misconduct lie. It may be rare, but it happens.
Justice wears a blindfold for a reason — to not see gender or race or religion, or anything other than the facts.
We have to delineate between forcible rape, threats, intimidation, begging and seduction.
As for women, they must fight back, physically and legally, and come forward immediately to secure the support of those who need facts to underscore belief.