Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood mogul who has recently been outed as a chronic sexual predator and all-around dirtbag, is, unfortunately, not at all a surprise.
That is, if you’ve been paying attention.
Unfortunately, he is not just a Hollywood problem. He is not a 2017 problem. He is the new face of a rampant virus that has lived within humanity since…the beginning of humanity: The entitlement of men to the bodies of women.
The pervasive assumption that simply because you have money, or success, or power, or even a larger physical stature (in his case, much larger…), that you can do whatever you want with women. It’s the same mindset that makes you think you can just… ‘grab them by the pussy.’
For far too long, men have been silent on these issues. Perhaps they don’t think it is their problem. Perhaps they are in denial that it’s such a rampant issue. Perhaps they don’t want to lose their ‘man-card’ by telling another man that his actions are unacceptable.
No more, gentlemen.
For years, I have been saying that more men need to stand with women, and it is more glaring now than ever before. These tragedies are finally coming to light and hopefully slapping men in the face in a way they are unable to ignore.
These are your girlfriends, sisters, mothers, wives, daughters – FRIENDS. These are women you love. Women you are in relationships with. Women you raise. Women you chat up at the coffee shop. Women that walk around as if nothing is wrong. This affects nearly everyone – though many have remained silent about their experiences.
And if that doesn’t make you fucking furious, I don’t know what will.
Almost nothing else enrages me to my very core like the thought of a woman I care about being violated or abused, whether it be emotionally or physically. There is absolutely no excuse for taking advantage of another human being for your own personal gain or desire. There is zero justification whatsoever for dehumanizing someone to the point where they simply serve as an object to fulfill a fantasy.
Here’s the part that’s going to piss people off: Women can’t stop it.
On a mass scale, as an epidemic, women themselves cannot stop the tidal wave of men who operate this way on a daily basis. If they could have, they already would have.
It is men who need to stand up and stop the ‘locker room talk,’ because when we can joke about sexual harassment, it’s a way of allowing it. It’s a way of giving our fellow men permission to ‘go ahead, because she won’t really mind.’
We need to hold each other accountable. It makes me sad and exhausted to have to write this statement yet again, and as I keep reading about more stories arising, I start to throw my hands up and wonder if this fight can ever be won.
But, then, I realize that if those on the good side stop fighting, those on the bad side will have free reign to do whatever they want. If the Hero quits, the Villain wins.
And, we just can’t have that.
What can you do to help? Stop laughing at jokes about sexual harassment. Tell people it’s not cool. Give the women in your life the freedom to speak to you about whatever they need to, free of judgment. Stand behind them as you support their fight.
Do not take over the fight for them, because they don’t need (nor want) you to – but be their ally. Be a force in the world that stands against injustice. Injustice is not something only to be felt when it affects you directly, if you call yourself a good human being, then you feel it when it’s aimed in someone else’s direction.
It’s time for more men to stand up, not only for women, but for what’s right.
Harvey Weinstein may be the newest face of this problem, but the truth is that he is a single tree in and endless forest.
Time to burn that shit down, gentlemen.