Why Weinstein matters
Unless you have just returned from a vacation in Antarctica you have heard of the fall of film maker Harvey Weinstein. Joss Whedon must be breathing a sigh of relief.
Whedon not long ago was accused of being a flagrant serial adulterer by his ex-wife. The accusations against Weinstein go way beyond that.
Weintein stands accused by an ever-growing list of actresses, former actresses, and staff of sexual harassment, stalking, groping, obtaining sexual favors by bribery and threats, and outright unequivocal rape by four alleged victims as of the time of writing.
This was an open secret for more than 30 years.
Weinstein's brother says he was aware Harvey was a serial cheater but didn't realize the extent of his depravity. The circumstances of their business relationship make this somewhat credible.
Actors who have worked with Weinstein such as George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Matt Damon, and Russel Crowe say they are shocked and appalled and had no idea.
Hillary Clinton issued a belated and rather tepid condemnation. Poor lady was in a bit of a bind. On the one hand she had to condemn to maintain her feminist creds. On the other hand Bill.
The fact that Tinseltown is a hotbed of corruption is not exactly news to us. The earliest use of the term 'casting couch' dates back to the 1930s.
So why do we care and why isn't this scandal dying out as fast as any other tabloid fodder?
I can think of some reasons. One is we delight in the exposure of hypocrisy. Weinstein has virtue-signaled his championship of every fashionable cause on the left, including feminism. He has made a feeble bid at redemption by vowing to 'fight the NRA.'
Furthermore, women who have come forward with tales of harassment – and worse, are often stridently feminist themselves. Many have been loud in their condemnation of the 'Republican War on Women' and the alleged sexual assaulter in the White House.
Ashley Judd of the pink knit hat comes to mind. And some gut-wrenching photos emerged of tiny Emma Watson being manhandled into a limo by the huge physically powerful Weinstein. The terrified look on her face strikes like an ice dagger in the heart of every man who loves his daughter. Yet in her feminist screeds not a word of criticism for her own industry.
We love comeuppance. Hollyweird has touted the moral superiority of the progressive left, their disdain for 'flyover country,' and their contempt for people who cling to quaint old-fashioned notions of family, faith, and love of country. And here is proof they are no better than we are, and probably much worse.
We love to see the mighty brought low. Though it's not an admirable sentiment, we can't help a sense of satisfaction at seeing his so-called friends desert him and his wife, whose clothing design business he promoted by coercing stars to wear her products on the red carpet, has dropped him like a hot rock.
But here is the real significance I think. Weinstein, like Hugh Hefner, could have had all the willing playmates he wanted. And according to the testimony of reporter Jade Budowski, who once worked as a waitress at a restaurant Weinstein used for assignations with aspiring starlets, he did.
Weinstein's disgusting behavior demonstrates not mere lust, but a delight in humiliating women and assaulting men, arrogantly confident in his power to silence critics.
Weinstein's double life as champion of the progressive left and abuser of power is a stark example of the great political divide today.
On the one side the 'progressive' view that all of society's ills will yield to the use of unchecked power in the right hands once we have discarded the outdated superstitions of the Founders.
On the other the view that there are no safe hands. That power is dangerous and men corruptible. That problems are best addressed by free men in voluntary association in almost all cases.
What both sides see plainly, the former with increasing dread the latter with a somber sense of recognition, is confirmation that this is the reality of power.
This column appears in the collection “The View From Flyover Country: A Rural Columnist Looks at Life in the 21st Century” available at Amazon.