The #metoo hash tag has made big waves on social media. What happened with that hash tag is turning into maybe the biggest series of confessions of abuse and sexual harassment in recent history. This is just a little unusual though because talking about an unpleasant or downright horrible thing that happened to you can be a funny thing – you don’t normally talk about it. Instead, you might shut it out, brush it off and try to forget the incident altogether. These days, the whole attitude around that is changing. The internet and social media has given us the perfect platform to talk about sexual harassment and to even name our abusers. And the man behind this modern revolution? Why, no other than the now infamous Harvey Weinstein. If it wasn’t for someone of Harvey Weinstein’s status getting called out and shamed for what he has done in the past few decades to women, the #metoo hashtag wouldn’t have been born. Many of us would have continued as our mums and grandmothers did – in silence. This #metoo movement gave many the strength and many a voice, and made many finally see the extent of sexual harassment around them, opening people’s eyes.
What is this man, this all-rich and all-powerful, no holds barred man, thinking right now? I’m trying to imagine myself inside Harvey Weinstein’s dishonourable head. Is he angry that he’s being treated like the only monster in Hollywood, when by far, he’s only one among many? Is Harvey Weinstein confused about when he crossed a line? After all, he’s been getting away with his behaviour for decades. You’re not the only one, dear Harvey. I’m sure you can name many Hollywood men behaving just the same way, maybe not jacking off into plants, but more or less behaving just like you. But you’re the one everyone is keen to make an example of. And by god, when you think about it, don’t you deserve it?
If anything, the “me too” hashtag that encouraged women all over the world to share their harassment experiences only shows that Harvey-like creatures are more the rule than the exception. Where do we begin to dig to find the beginning of this problem? Was it when women were merely bargaining chips to be married off, weren’t they being objectified then? Does it begin when we’re children, when our parents make a point of saying “you are beautiful” to girls, while little boys are praised for being smart? Did it begin in our media culture, where fashion magazines put the emphasis on the appearance, and the new ‘selfie’ culture of Instagram fuels women’s desire to get their faces surgically altered to adhere to some Kardashian-set beauty standard? No, there isn’t one clear reason why the world has found itself dragging up the skeletons in the closet, hidden from sight all this time. Of course it’s high time we addressed our culture’s shocking attitude toward women, not just in hollywood but across all industries – but it’s even more so high time we address the fact that many women accept this attitude without questioning it.
Harvey Weinstein is, if not a disgusting animal, the product of his surroundings. He’s the result of people letting him get away with what he did. As mental as it sounds, there was a time when Harvey Weinstein wasn’t so bad. I imagine there were some among Harvey Weinstein’s peers who were secretly jealous of not having the same carte blanche after every sexual assault, wishing they too could walk away without consequences. There is thick irony in that, but the people that let him get away with it were men and women alike. I don’t mean his victims that didn’t speak up sooner. I mean those people who assisted Harvey Weinstein, those who arranged for the girls to be booked in for the meeting at his hotel rooms, his assistants, his managers, his secretaries, all those that shrugged off the “open secret”. Harvey Weinstein is the kind of person that without even knowing you will grab you between the legs, touching your buttocks and crotch, and even if you tell someone they will just say it’s a “rite of passage” in the entertainment business. Well when #metoo is all said and done, we need the result to be a very big change that won’t allow these things to happen. And when it’s all said and done, we need Harvey Weinstein to get his just deserts.
Take care, and don’t be afraid to shout out your anger, you have every right.