October 09, 2017

Dark Hollywood: How to Solve a Problem like Harvey Weinstein?

harvery weinstein

It’s not just Harvey Weinstein who is the problem. Or Donald Trump. Or Anthony Weiner. Or Bill Cosby. These men are manifestations of a deeper problem that pervades every aspect in society.

As Hollywood deals with the dark secret that is Harvey, we also have to deal with how this is not just a problem far from us. It starts with the words we exchange with one another, how we raise our kids, how we treat men differently from women as they grow up. Last week, we just talked about rape culture. Look at how we are staring at it to the backdrop of all our favorite movies.

You can’t name a movie without Weinstein being involved in it. From Chicago to Shakespeare In Love, from Pulp Fiction to Silver Linings Playbook. In the same way, you can’t name how many times we’ve looked past a man’s sexual transgressions just because he’s associated with great works. Look at Casey Affleck. Think of Woody Allen. Remember Brock Turner. That’s the painful truth to all of this: We’ve let this culture flourish in the guise of art and achievement, of things we have touted greater than ourselves.

This is why we’re scrambling to protect it. Or to believe it’s not just quite true. Over the weekend, Rose McGowan had to confront the people who were attacking her for not speaking up earlier. Rose’s rebuttal reflected the politics and power struggle every other woman has to face at least once in her life.

From the cat-calls we receive from strangers to the inappropriate advances we get from elderly men, it’s clear that we grew up having no choice but to condone this behavior. It’s something if even Donald Trump said he’s not surprised by the Weinstein allegations.

The situation may be the norm currently. But just because it happens between actresses and Hollywood executives behind fancy hotel room doors, it doesn’t become acceptable. Furthermore, the change doesn’t start with just sacking Weinstein from the company.

The change doesn’t also begin with teaching our women to speak up. First of all, we shouldn’t let it get to a point that something happens to the women. The change needs to come from the men we interact with and the boys we are raising. It’s time for men to also rise up and say this is not right. This is not who they are raised to be like, this is not the way to success.

Variety puts it succinctly, “You either improve environments in which the less powerful—most of them women—are demeaned, derided, harassed, assaulted, and attacked, or you allow the toxicity to spread and grow.” Women are ready to fight and take the system down. But it would be incomplete and useless if men don’t confront the toxic masculinity that has produced their favorite flicks.


Art by Lara Intong

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Related stories:
How Rape Culture Starts with Simple Words
Rape Has Nothing to Do With Desire But Everything to Do With Power
Why I Teach My Daughters How to Be ‘Sexually Smart’
How to Win a Sexual Harassment Case in this Misogynistic Culture?

Filed Under:

culture, Donald Trump, feminism, Harvey Weinstein, hollywood, rape culture, sexual abuse, sexual assault

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