Don't blame actresses for being victims of Harvey Weinstein - why didn't the men of Hollywood speak up?
"Complicit" is an adjective that is being used to describe every actress in Hollywood by people who cannot grasp how Harvey Weinstein could be such a pig.
These people are very, very lucky, and also very, very stupid.
They are lucky because presumably they are among that happy group of people never to have been sexually harassed, never to have been coerced, and never to have been a victim of abuse.
And they are stupid because despite not knowing a damned thing about it, they've decided women are to blame.
That they should have spoken out; that they should have not cared about their careers; that it was up to women to keep other women safe.
"Why didn't the women of Hollywood stop him?" ask the breast-beating headlines. " ;Why hasn't A Particular Starlet In This Photo condemned him yet? Were they so hungry for money it was a price worth paying?"
The women of Hollywood DID try to stop him. They reported him to the police, they went back into his lair wearing a wire, they told their agents, and when they were powerful enough they told him to stop.
When Weinstein told young actress Hayley Attwell she needed to diet because she looked "like a fat pig on screen" on the set of Brideshead Revisited in 2007, Emma Thompson - the leading lady, and only woman who had enough clout to do so - threatened to walk out.
And that was about whether he was pressuring someone into an eating disorder. Heaven knows what Emma would have done if it was sexual assault.
The men of Hollywood, however, stayed silent.
The actors DIDN'T step in when a fema le co-star was told to diet. The agents DIDN'T listen to their clients when they said Weinstein was out of line. The high-rollers DIDN'T freeze him out of the business.
George Clooney called the Weinstein allegations "indefensible" and said he'd heard rumours but "I've never seen any of this behaviour, ever".
"A good bunch of people that I know would say, âYeah, Harveyâs a dogâ or âHarveyâs chasing girls,â but again, this is a very different kind of thing," he told the Daily Beast. "I donât think that people were looking the other way; I think that people werenât looking, because in some ways, a lecherous guy with money picking up younger girls is unfortunately not a news story in our society."
The men of Hollywood saw an ugly, fat man, one who even before thes e allegations had a reputation as a bully, with a procession of beautiful, young women and thought "he's a dog".
They didn't stop to wonder how an obese man gets laid without any personal charm.
Actresses are by definition thin-skinned, image-obsessed, half-starved, insecure, and more emotionally vulnerable than the rest of us. The men of Hollywood knew this: they saw a rich pig playing with them and thought "he's a dog".
They should have said "he's a pig".
The same thing happens with every man who abuses a female. That this, somehow, is expected and normal and if she doesn't expect it she's complicit.
When Gwyneth Paltrow told then-boyfriend Brad Pitt that Weinstein had tried to massage her during a meeting, Pitt took him aside and told him to never touch her again. When he was later married to Angelina Jolie who had "a bad experience" with Weinstein in the 1990s, vowed never to work with him again and warned off others from doing so, he presumably heard a similar tale.
But Pitt didn't "speak out". He hasn't rushed to "condemn" him. Nor has Clooney - he said it's all of Hollywood's fault for not noticing. Nor have Matt Damon or Russell Crowe, who reportedly rang a female reporter who was investigating the claims.
In fact the only man who has spoken out is Terry Crews, a married black actor who says an unnamed studio executive - not Weinstein - grabbed his genitals.
He had the same reason as women for not reporting the assault. He didn't want to lose his career. He didn't hit him because he didn't want to go to jail. He thought no-one would believe him, even though his wife witnessed it.
Sexual attacks of any kind, from harassment all the way up to alleged rape, are not about desire. It's to do wit h power. Attackers get a kick not from orgasm but from the fear of their victims, and Weinstein was able to get that thrill from more than just the women he invited to rub him down.
He dominated the men who drove the tearful actresses home and wanted to keep their jobs. He controlled the industry big shots who wined and dined him despite his reputation. He terrified his alleged victims' husbands and boyfriends into not going to the police because of the damage he could do to all of their careers.
Despite his spectacular fall from grace Weinstein is still exerting control - he's got Clooney blaming Hollywood, journalists chasing Gwyneth and the public blaming every woman he ever stood next to for a picture. He's still controlling them, and all of us.
The implication in every photo is "Was she one of them? Did she know? She's smiling, she must have enjoyed it. Sisterhood, eh?"
It's sly, it's vicious, it's exactly what Weinstein and men like him WANT you to think. Yet there is no other crime on Earth that the victim is blamed for, and none where female victims are blamed but male victims aren't.
Just sex. Just Eve.
Weinstein has been pictured with every male star in Hollywood and London, as well as Gary Barlow. Yet no-one is asking the lead singer of Take That what he knew, why he didn't say or why he looks happy in the photos.
Men have more responsibility than women to speak out about this sort of piggery, and it's because they excuse it by saying "he's a dog".
It's because they say it's just rumours until it's their girlfriend or daughter in the room, and it's because most of them do not behave like pigs but admire, just a little bit, the men who do.
It's because 2,500 years after the first theatre, 357 years after women were allowed on the stage, and 90 years since the invention of the modern movie we still treat actresses like whores.
No-one blames a man who has not witnessed a crime for not talking about it. No-one blames a man for protecting his career. And no-one says a man slept his way to the top, that Terry Crews asked for it, or that he should explain himself.
Women are blamed so much they actually start blaming themselves and each other. They wonder how they let it happen. They attended Weinstein's parties because they convinced themselves they were wrong. They are hurt psychologically not just by the men who are pigs, but by the men who say a pig is actually just a dog.
But it was MEN who didn't believe the women's reports. It was MEN who decided an actress wearing a wire wasn't a "credible" witness. It was MEN who were the agents, who bankrolle d him, who excused, who said it was rumours, who even now say it's everyone's fault because that makes it not their own.
It is men who allowed Weinstein to be a pig. It is MEN who are complicit.
That word, incidentally, first appeared only in the 1940s, but its roots are in the mid 17th century from English, French and Latin words for 'associate', 'ally' and 'complicated'.
It's a shame all those blaming the women of Hollywood for letting this happen don't have a dictionary, because it might help.
It is Weinstein's 'associates' and his 'allies' who are complicit. And if you find that a little too 'complicated' to understand, then you're complicit too.Source: Google News