Think about this question: Which cultural institution most objectifies women?
Is it academia? Is it the press? Is it education? The philanthropic foundations?
No, it is none of those.
Without question, in my mind, it’s Hollywood.
Does anyone disagree?
Yet, everyone is shocked, shocked, I tell you, to find that one of the leading producers in Hollywood is a complete perv – a serial abuser of women, possibly even a rapist.
Dozens of women have come forward now to testify publicly about what he put them through. And I am sympathetic to their stories – despite how late many of them are.
But, it needs to be stated that most of these women, not all, chose to work in this industry – this moral cesspool. They experienced it themselves firsthand by one of the titans and didn’t report it out of fear of losing their place in the industry – one that preys on young women, that exploits them, that objectifies them as sexual playthings.
It’s akin to applying to be a Playboy Playmate and finding out that the late Hugh Hefner wanted to sleep with you as part of the screening process.
Again, I’m not blaming the women involved, but I am curious about why they wouldn’t file a lawsuit against him earlier. Just look at what was paid out to nail Bill O’Reilly, for heaven’s sake – $32 million! Harvey Weinstein had lots more money at stake than Bill O’Reilly.
These women are all being applauded for their courage now. And I applaud them for what they have done. But, let’s be honest. It doesn’t take courage to be the 16th or 17th or 18th or 19th or 30th to pile on. It takes courage to be one of the first.
Saying “me too” is not courageous when thousands are saying it. It’s being part of being in the in-crowd. It’s a popular thing to say. It’s great publicity, too, to condemn a fiend like Weinstein who will never be remembered for any films he made like he will be remembered for his lechery.
I thought I had said everything I needed to say about this Weinstein scandal. But I’ll say it again. As someone on the very periphery of the entertainment industry in Los Angeles in the 1980s and early 1990s, I’d heard about Weinstein’s moral lapses. I’d heard about it from dozens of people much closer to it than me.
So how is that so many were shocked to hear about all this in 2017?
I suspect we have still only seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of victimization.
I suspect there will be many lawsuits filed and adjudicated.
I suspect there were many women severely harmed physically and emotionally.
It’s a tragedy, indeed.
But it’s not a surprise.
Hollywood is not run by choirboys. If it were, it would not produce the filth we see on the Big Screen and, lately, on TV in prime time.
It’s not just hazardous for women. It’s hazardous for men, girls and boys, too.
While it’s hard for me to imagine anything more disgusting than watching Harvey Weinstein masturbate, we’ve all seen too many movies with gratuitous sex and nudity to think there’s not some kind of fixation on it at the very top of the food chain.
And it’s not that it sells. It doesn’t.
R-rated movies generally do worse at the box office than do PG and G-rated films. They always have.
It’s there because the people who make the movies like it.
It’s there because actors and actresses acquiesce to it.
It’s there because screenwriters fantasize about it.
When I hear about the objectification of women, the first cultural institution that comes to mind is Hollywood – one dominated by Democrats, liberals and those who say they abhor it.
How does that compute?