The news isn’t getting any nicer, especially that about Harvey Weinstein, and sometimes it gets a bit much, hearing about assault after assault, and then hearing the long list of people he’s assaulted. It’s hard and it can trigger the memory of bad experiences and bad people, like a sinking ship that gets another hole ripped into it with every new story.
Harvey Weinstein is a cruel man that abused his position of power to commit horrendous crimes against women. He chose to do so out of his own free will because he wanted to and he thought he could get away with it. And when the news broke, an avalanche of women came forward and said, “me too”, while the public placed the blame on every new name popping up on the list. Weinstein’s behavior was also blamed on Hillary Clinton, the hunger for success of his victims, Mercury being in retrograde, literally everything other than his own two hands and puny brain. Take the name “Harvey Weinstein” out of the above and this is nearly every single abuse and/or assault case ever, especially in Hollywood.
I’m not going to sit here and say that Weinstein’s crimes are incomprehensible. Because they are comprehensible. They’ve happened to a lot of women, myself included. While many men have stood aghast at the news, so many women, too many women, have been nodding, thinking of the people in their lives that have done the same thing. The people that abused their position of power to get what they want; to feel powerful. To feel like someone fears them.
The peculiar thing about Weinstein’s case is that it’s public and the survivors are speaking up. A lot of the time, this doesn’t happen. Cases of assault are swept under the rug, voices are silenced and the fear of not being believed is like a noose that tightens every time another assault is thrown into the news, another hole that gets blown into the ship. It’s hard to speak up when too often it feels like it’s not worth it. It’s even harder to speak up when you’re a newbie in the office and the boss is abusing you. And as soon as you do speak up, hoards of people blame it on your skirt, your lack of strength, your presumed fragility. Then, the apology the abuser makes, if they make one, is about how they got caught, not about what they did. It’s hard, trying not to let the water into the ship and just let it sink.
The saddest thing is that I and many others heard about it and thought, “oh, another one.” How have we got to the point where the gaping wound that hatred leaves feels like a paper cut? These days, everything in the news seems a little less real than it did the day before, and the day before that, and the day before that. Less real not because I don’t believe it, but because I really do. As I said earlier, it’s entirely conceivable that a man could abuse his way to the top and then abuse everyone else further down than him.