Harvey Weinstein Is My Monster Too by Salma Hayek, December 12, 2017, The New York Times
Read entire piece or click on headline image above
In reality, I was trying to save myself the challenge of explaining several things to my loved ones: Why, when I had casually mentioned that I had been bullied like many others by Harvey, I had excluded a couple of details. And why, for so many years, we have been cordial to a man who hurt me so deeply. I had been proud of my capacity for forgiveness, but the mere fact that I was ashamed to describe the details of what I had forgiven made me wonder if that chapter of my life had really been resolved.
When so many women came forward to describe what Harvey had done to them, I had to confront my cowardice and humbly accept that my story, as important as it was to me, was nothing but a drop in an ocean of sorrow and confusion. I felt that by now nobody would care about my pain — maybe this was an effect of the many times I was told, especially by Harvey, that I was nobody.
We are finally becoming conscious of a vice that has been socially accepted and has insulted and humiliated millions of girls like me, for in every woman there is a girl. I am inspired by those who had the courage to speak out, especially in a society that elected a president who has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by more than a dozen women and whom we have all heard make a statement about how a man in power can do anything he wants to women.
Well, not anymore.
And for the first and last time in my career, I had a nervous breakdown: My body began to shake uncontrollably, my breath was short and I began to cry and cry, unable to stop, as if I were throwing up tears.
Since those around me had no knowledge of my history of Harvey, they were very surprised by my struggle that morning. It was not because I would be naked with another woman. It was because I would be naked with her for Harvey Weinstein. But I could not tell them then.
Until there is equality in our industry, with men and women having the same value in every aspect of it, our community will continue to be a fertile ground for predators.
I am grateful for everyone who is listening to our experiences. I hope that adding my voice to the chorus of those who are finally speaking out will shed light on why it is so difficult, and why so many of us have waited so long. Men sexually harassed because they could. Women are talking today because, in this new era, we finally can. [Emphasis added]
[Refer also to:
But I didn’t call the cops, knowing it would come to nothing. Nor did I tell our mutual employer, the City College of the City University of New York. I had no doubt about which one of us our male bosses would believe.
…. in the 1980s and later, Toback routinely focused his attacks on very young women, some of them teenagers, using promises of film stardom (sound familiar?) to lure them into encounters that left them sodden with shame. He is now in his seventies and, although women have reported his predation several times in major magazines, he was still on the prowl last month and had never before been called to account for his actions.
What could be more despicable than this: that for more than four decades, while he and his kind were allowed to practice undeterred, he only got better at his game of assaulting women.
… But they would be much the same as those we read almost every day now as women go public with their own stories of sexual harassment and worse at the hands of powerful men in the film industry, major media outlets, Silicon Valley, and Congress, among other places. In response, almost every day come new denials, excuses, or half-baked apologies.
… And who hasn’t thought again about Clarence Thomas? He was elevated to the Supreme Court by an all-white male Congressional committee despite the thoroughly credible testimony of harassed law professor Anita Hill and the accounts of many other women, similarly violated and ready to testify against Thomas, but never called. Given his long misogynistic history on the court, isn’t it time to look at his testimony again? Did he commit perjury to gain his seat? And if so, what’s to be done about his consistent judicial record inimical to the common interests of women?
It’s Not Just Sex
Little or none of male harassment and predation is truly about sex, except insofar as men weaponize their sad libidos to pin women to the floor. Monstrous men commit what’s called sexual harassment and sexual assault not because women are irresistible but because they can’t resist the rush of power that rises from using, dominating, degrading, humiliating, shaming, and in some cases even murdering another (lesser) human being. (Sexist, not sexual, may be a more accurate adjective.)
Often — especially when the woman is better looking and more talented or qualified than her assailant — he gets an additional powerful kick from having “taught the bitch a lesson.” A smug sense of power (“When you’re a star… you can do anything”) colors the phony apologies of accused predators. (“It was never my intention to leave the impression I was making an inappropriate advance on anyone.”) Though a man may be truly sorry to be found out, it’s next to impossible for him, after that blast of solid-gold supremacy, to pretend to even a particle of remorse.
… By now, we — both women and men — should have heard enough to never again ask: “Why didn’t she come forward?” Let this be our own “open secret.” We all know now that a man who assaults a woman does so because he can, while a woman who comes forward, even with our support, is likely to be violated and shamed again [Nasty example, read Canada’s Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin’s horrific statements in October 2017 to Criminal Lawyers Association!] — as were the women who came forward to accuse presidential candidate Donald J. Trump.
… We worked for change. And now only 40 or so years later, here it seems to be. Los Angeles Times reporter Glenn Whipp broke the story of James Toback’s predation based on the complaints of 38 women. Within days that number had grown to 200. By the time I emailed him my story, the number reporting Toback assaults had hit 310. In a follow-up article, Whipp mentioned that the Manhattan District Attorney’s Sex Crimes Unit wanted to hear from women Toback had attacked in their jurisdiction. I called and left a message, making good my threat to bring in the law after only about 45 years.
… So where do we go from here? This train has left the station and rolls on. In some photos of those smart young relentless women journalists at the Times, I’ve noticed that their footwear tends not to stilettos, but to boots, which as every woman knows, are good for marching and for kicking ass. That’s promising. [Emphasis added]
2017 12 14: Unprecedented yet far too late: 7 police agencies in Canada will let experts in sexual violence study uncensored case files on unfounded or inactive sexual assault investigations, “Right now, there is a bit of crisis across the country concerning victims’ confidence in the criminal justice system.” Surely they jest! “Justice” System? What “Justice?” There’s no confidence in Canada’s civil legal system either! Who’s going to investigate that?
2017 10 29: Weinstein scandal puts nondisclosure agreements in spotlight, sparks criticism that such gags allow powerful companies and individuals to stave off scrutiny to continue abusive practices “down the street” as AER’s outside counsel Glenn Solomon so aptly puts it
Are all powerful men dirtbags?
How many ordinary fathers, grandfathers, great grandfathers, uncles are dirtbags too?
2017 10 31: Enabling sexual predators? Enabling Canadian judges revictimizing sexual assault victims? Enabling Canada’s demented abusive legal system? Threatening sexual assault victims to keep silent? Galling, throw-women-back-into-the-cave statements to Criminal Lawyers’ Association by Canada’s Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin
Read Andrew Nikiforuk’s Slick Water to read more about abuse of power relating to hydraulic fracturing and raping drinking water aquifers, notably by Alberta Energy Regulator and Alberta Environment, including bully lawyer Rick McKee.
This post is dedicated to HSB.