It seems that the culture in our country has reached a tipping point with regard to sexual harassment and assault. Many would claim that Harvey Weinstein moved the needle into the red, but I would argue that it started with Bill Cosby. Weinstein was a reviled figure in his own circles, more feared than respected. But Cosby was mostly beloved by the public at large for many decades. I also sense an irony in the election of Trump. Many victims of assault probably cried, enough! We’ve had it with people getting away with it!
I’ve always said that sexual transgressions are non-partisan. Republicans do it. Democrats do it. It is a sad flaw of humanity that certain men exercise their power by trying to coerce women into sexual submission. When Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly fell, the left rubbed their hands with glee. But now, you have Mark Halperin, who suddenly finds himself without a job or a book deal.
I have a glimmer of understanding as to why women who are fodder for these predators don’t want to go public. I’ve known far too many women who are victims of sexual abuse not to know the pattern. If they go public, they may be believed, or they may not. But certainly, a crowd will form around the man who is accused who will defend him to their last breath, no matter what evidence emerges that may damn him. Trump’s “locker room talk” tape is exhibit A in this regard. It is far easier for the victim just to shut up and carry it than to wage a public battle that she may or may not win. My heart goes out to these wounded ladies. I’ve held too many of them as they cried over their pain not to be a little biased in their favor.
But it’s not just the predators whom I despise. A predator is usually surrounded and supported by a network of active or passive enablers. Receptionists and secretaries, for example, or other office staff. Spouses, parents, relatives or close friends. These are people who either have firsthand knowledge of the predator’s bad behavior, or who at the very least have heard whispers of it in the office or on the street. These are the people who ignore it, or help cover it up for personal or professional gain. Hillary Clinton is exhibit A.
Damn these people to hell! They are almost as bad as those who violate women. And many of them are the same self-righteous, sanctimonious Hollywood crowd who have lectured Middle America for years about our evil, backward, redneck ways. Harvey Weinstein was an open secret. So, apparently, was Kevin Spacey. How many people just clucked their tongues and moved on, or blamed the victim? Hell, how many of them gave Harvey or Kevin a friendly nudge and a wink and said, “Watch yourself, bbucko.”
A lot of these predators think they’ve gotten away with it. They go home and mix a cocktail and congratulate themselves on slipping out of the noose of a public hanging. But their time is coming. The glut of Hollywood outings has only just started. That place has been a festering cesspool for decades and Weinstein and Spacey are merely the tip of the iceberg that may just sink the Titanic.
Now, it’s our turn to cry, enough! It’s time for Hollywood to put up or shut up. If Ashley Judd wants to shake her finger at me, let her name names and support other women who take a public stand. Moreover, let all women who proclaim to be feminists shame those who falsely accuse men. There is nothing to be gained by slander against the innocent. And finally, let those who find the strength to name their abusers find solace in their loved ones.
Yes, it’s been almost three months since my last post. I’m in Omaha now. I took a new job… It’s a long story that I’ll go into when I have more strength after that last rant.