Harvey Weinstein case

Harvey Weinstein has been found guilty of two counts of rape and sexual harassment, the more serious one carrying a minimum of five years in prison, and a maximum of twenty or twenty-five years. I don’t know if we can discuss this here. One of the unallowed topics is sexuality. I take that to mean LGBT or gender issues, not sexual harassment or rape. However, Weinstein’s case is sure to provoke controversy. Anyway, I’m going to post this, and if the mods believe it violates the new forum rules, I’m sure I will find out soon enough.

Weinstein’s case raises several issues we previously discussed here in connection with Antonio Brown, the former and still wannabe NFL player. Like Brown, Weinstein has used or abused his wealth and power to gain sexual favors from women, several of whom have accused him of sexual harassment or rape. Weinstein’s abuse is arguably worse, though, because while Brown’s attraction to women has largely been his wealth, Weinstein also has wielded considerable power—the ability to make and perhaps break (I want to discuss the latter later here) the careers of aspiring actresses.

While at least half a dozen or more women have filed complaints against Weinstein, only two were allowed to testify as directly relevant to the charges, though another’s testimony was admitted as possibly supporting that of these two. What Weinstein did is not much in doubt, but like Brown, he has claimed that the relationships were consensual. The strongest evidence for this is that both of these women, following the alleged rape or harassment, continued to maintain an apparently friendly relationship with Weinstein. Texts and emails testify to this, as well as evidence that they continued to see him.

This is where it gets complicated, at least to me. As we’ve discussed with respect to Brown, there are many reasons why a woman would choose not to report rape or sexual harassmen t to the police. Most of these factors are well known, such as the expense of pursuing a legal case, women not wanting to have their private lives made public, and being afraid their credibility will be attacked. But perhaps the most serious obstacle, according to a recent Atlantic article (to which I can’t find the link now) is that if the woman makes any false statement—not simply about something of crucial importance to the case, such as what the man did or didn’t do, but even of a potentially minor matter, such as when and where they first met--she can be subjected to prosecution.

So a woman’s silence following rape is understandable. However, it’s one thing for a woman to avoid reporting a rape to the police, and another to continue the relationship with the man. The two women who testified against Weinstein, have claimed they felt that if they hadn’t maintained friendly terms with him, he would ruin their careers. The question in my mind, though, is would he have simply refused to help them advance, or would he have actively worked against them? In the first case, all the women were risking is returning to the situation that existed before they met Weinstein. Only in the second case, were they risking ending up worse than when they met him. Is there in fact any evidence from other women for the latter? AFAIK, this question was never addressed at the trial. I think it definitely should have been.

Weinstein’s lawyer, a woman, makes an obvious but cogent point. Weinstein is old, overweight and ugly. Women are not physically attracted to him. These two women clearly got involved because they wanted something—IOW, if he was using them, they were also using him. That doesn’t make what he did right or legal, but if all they had to lose was not getting a benefit that they otherwise wouldn’t have gotten, anyway, why maintain a charade, if that’s what it was, of a friendly relationship? The women didn’t have to report his behavior, but they could have stopped seeing him. They could have stopped responding to his texts and emails, or simply said they weren’t interested in pursuing the relationship any more.

The fact that they didn’t is critical, it seems to me. And before people start flaming me, arguing that as a man I don't understand let me point out that one friend or now former friend of one of the testifying women, a woman herself, ended up testifying for the defense, because she felt so certain from her former friend’s behavior that she was willingly maintaining the relationship, rather than continuing it because of fear of repercussions. She simply did not buy her former friend’s claim that she was in fear of her career’s being ruined.

I don’t have a problem with Weinstein being convicted of a crime. He clearly subjected women to something they found exceedingly unpleasant, but I wish there were more discussion of what women who consider themselves victims should do in this situation. It’s one thing when a secretary to a powerful executive, for example, tolerates harassment because she’s afraid of losing her job--something she qualified for before the harassment took place. It’s quite another when a woman tolerates rape or harassment because she wants something that she couldn’t get otherwise.
 
It’s one thing when a secretary to a powerful executive, for example, tolerates harassment because she’s afraid of losing her job--something she qualified for before the harassment took place. It’s quite another when a woman tolerates rape or harassment because she wants something that she couldn’t get otherwise.
not sure we'll ever know if they "couldn't get otherwise". Who's to say that if the industry didn't have the likes of Weinsten (as he's hardly going to be the only one) and the general infamous "casting couch", that these women wouldn't have had a fairer go at gaining success? ie; they didn't feel that there was a need to have become involved with Weinsten in the first place...
 
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not sure we'll ever know if they "couldn't get otherwise".
OK, here's an article that does provide evidence of Weinstein destroying or at least derailing careers of women who wouldn't go along with him:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/hey-hollywood-hire-the-women-whose-careers-were-destroyed-by-harvey-weinstein

I wish some of these stories had come out in the form of testimony at the trial. Peter Jackson of Lord of the Rings now says that Weinstein warned him off Mira Sorvino and Ashley Judd. He did not know at the time of Weinstein's relationships with them, and conversely, they apparently did not know that Weinstein called Jackson. Salma Hayek has detailed how Weinstein treated her after she refused his advances, but again, no testimony about this at the trial. This would have been very powerful evidence justifying the women's behavior towards Weinstein after the first incident of rape. It would have gotten out in the public record, instead of existing as gossip, rumors or hearsay.
 
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The verdict took so long that I thought he was going to walk or get a lesser charge. But it seems he will get at least 10 years I would think. Worst case scenario over 20. Seems the jury had some technical issues with the main charge. Geoffrey Rush and Spacey seem to have escaped but they haven't worked for a long time and their careers are obviously done. Rush was accused by one woman although a few people had things to say off the record about his familiar habits with his hands. MeToo must be breathing a sigh of relief over the Weinstein verdict as it was always going to be a landmark case.
 
OK, here's an article that does provide evidence of Weinstein destroying or at least derailing careers of women who wouldn't go along with him:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/hey-hollywood-hire-the-women-whose-careers-were-destroyed-by-harvey-weinstein

I wish some of these stories had come out in the form of testimony at the trial. Peter Jackson of Lord of the Rings now says that Weinstein warned him off Mira Sorvino and Ashley Judd. He did not know at the time of Weinstein's relationships with them, and conversely, they apparently did not know that Weinstein called Jackson. Salma Hayek has detailed how Weinstein treated her after she refused his advances, but again, no testimony about this at the trial. This would have been very powerful evidence justifying the women's behavior towards Weinstein after the first incident of rape. It would have gotten out in the public record, instead of existing as gossip, rumors or hearsay.
I was under the impression that you were reasoning that these women got/stayed involved with him because they didn't think they could make it in Hollywood without getting involved with him... "because she wants something that she couldn’t get otherwise", as opposed to the outright blackmail from him of "stick with me or I'll destroy you"
 

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