I’m sure we’ve all heard enough about politics to last us the rest of several lifetimes. My opinions aren’t going to change yours, and vice versa. I hate talking about politics, which is why you’ll never see me do it. Just bad blood all around… differing opinions cause people to lose friends, family… not worth it. Instead, I’d like to talk about something else today, the Harvey Weinstein case.
As I type this, live results are coming in. So far, two guilty verdicts- criminal sexual act in the first degree and rape in the third degree. He was acquitted of predatory sexual assault. Here’s my thing though… if you rape someone who is a subordinate, who is young and impressionable, and who feels that she’ll be blacklisted from the industry if she fights you, why isn’t that predatory? Why isn’t that sexual assault? I don’t understand why this isn’t guilty across the board.
He took advantage of young, hopeful women who were terrified of saying ‘no’ for fear that he’d cast them out of the world they’d dreamed of. By any measures, that’s despicable, that is predatory, that is something we shouldn’t have allowed to happen. Now that it’s come to light, we should, as a nation, condone it with the highest penalties possible to prevent others from continuing to do it, those that haven’t been brought to light yet.
As with the case against R. Kelly, these things are well known in their circles, but no one comes forward to make actual charges happen. Rumors have swirled for decades about the casting couch culture, Weinstein in particular. Lawyers tried to paint the encounters as consensual, but when you hold their careers over their heads as leverage, can any consent truly be considered valid? It’s a clever predator who can find such a loophole, to protect his own ass by ensuring his victims won’t speak out for fear of losing everything.
We need to do better. As a nation, as humans, as women. When things are an ‘open’ secret, we need t stand up and protect our own. We need to recognize the signs that something isn’t right, and learn to actually do something about it. And this isn’t just for women, either. The casting couch can be just as dangerous for men. No matter what, we have to remember- no one, man or woman, is too big to fall. We just need to be strong enough to kick the golden blocks out from under their feet. Alone? Maybe we aren’t. Together? We are an army, and people like Weinstein should not get away with decades of abuse any longer.
This is a shining moment to show that powerful people can and should be held accountable for sexual harassment in the workplace and the world. We just need to use this momentum to move forward, to do better, to try these people for the full accounting of their crimes- not just the easiest ones to convict on.