What’s Current: Harvey Weinstein accused of decades of sexual harassment & misconduct

What’s Current is Feminist Current’s daily news round-up.

  • A New York Times investigation into Harvey Weinstein, a man who “presents himself as a liberal lion, a champion of women,” has revealed decades of allegations of sexual harassment and unwanted physical contact. In an apology statement, Weinstein says, “I plan to take a leave of absence from my company and to deal with this issue head on.”
  • Brendt A. Christensen has been indicted for the murder of Yingying Zhang. Zhang went missing in June and her body has not yet been found. In July, police found evidence that Christensen had visited the “Abduction 101” forum of a fetish website. The new indictment:

“Accuses Christensen of first planning to, and then deliberately killing Zhang in the course of kidnapping her, and doing so “in an especially heinous, cruel or depraved manner” that involved ‘torture or serious physical abuse.'”

  • San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz wore a t-shirt emblazoned with the word “Nasty” to a press conference. Donald Trump recently used this word — evidently one of his favourites for women he disagrees with — to describe Cruz. Cruz continued her criticism of Trump’s response to the recent hurricane that has devastated the US territory, saying: “What is truly nasty is that anyone would turn their back on the Puerto Rican people.”
  • Charities that have historically distributed menstrual products and tampons in Kenya are being dispatched to respond to “period poverty” in the UK. The Guardian reports:

“Period poverty is in many ways the hidden side of British inequality: women and girls in one of the richest societies in history stuffing socks inside their underwear and being trapped in their homes each month.”

Lisa Steacy
Lisa Steacy

Lisa Steacy is an Assistant Editor at Feminist Current. She has a B.A. in Women & Gender Studies from the University of Toronto. However, the women she met in her five years as a frontline worker and collective member with Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter deserve almost all of the credit for her feminist education. She lives in Vancouver with her partner and their cats.

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  • I don’t know how anyone can be surprised about Weinstein, Polansky, LouisCK et al. Women are horribly objectified and sexualized in entertainment. Why wouldn’t the males in the industry be predatory in real life?

    • shy virago

      Absolutely.

  • Polly MacDavid

    We have period poverty in the USA. I remember it well. I was SO happy to get a hysterectomy & end all of that.

    • M. Zoidberg

      My mom refused to buy me napkins, deodorant or a bra (she was in denial or something.) It was bunched-up toilet paper, stinking, and wearing baggy shirts for me until I got a job and bought my own toiletries.

      • FierceMild

        Oh, my friend, I sometimes wish I could just hold us all and take away those memories.

        • M. Zoidberg

          Silver lining, it taught me the value of money. I wore men’s Speed Stick from the time I was 14 onward (men’s deodorant sticks being bigger and lasting longer.)

          I’m mostly upset that my mom never got help. Men fucked up her mind, and her relationship with her body. I can shove down the memories of the times I leaked through my toilet paper, or when boys and girls commented on my nipples poking through my shirt, but not the memories of how utterly miserable she was. I always see her in my mind, sulking and stinking while curled up in front of the tv, gorging on handfuls of rice cakes and multiple cans of diet coke.

          • FierceMild

            That’s just nauseating. Poor woman.

          • Maria Gatti

            The deodorant I use has no gendered perfume, aluminum or other nasty stuff. It is absurd for deodorant to be gendered.

          • Blazing Fire

            This is heart-rending.. I feel so sorry for what you (and your mom) had been through.. May God bless you with several times as much good as the pain you went through (and put up stoically, with a smile). Hugs.

    • Maria Gatti

      The only thing I ever shoplifted (here in Québec) was a box of tampons. I was a poor young artist with a VERY heavy flow who no longer wanted to take the Pill every month to moderate it, as I was becoming suspicious of the side effects.

      I presume the hysterectomy was for something else, as it is major surgery and the sudden hormonal loss can have severe side-effects in terms of health.

      • Blazing Fire

        I felt very sorry reading this… I hope your health is good now..
        I actually never knew that this happens in the first-world nations. This is just opening my eyes (well, quite a few scales fell off my eyes of late, but I still didn’t know this..). Take care. May God Bless you & all sisters.

  • fxduffy

    The Christensen kidnapping of Zhang or when lethal sexism, racism, and S-M sexuality (so often inseparable), combine in a heinous and tortuous murder. This time committed by a white male college instructor who pinpoints an Asian student in distress as the life to be sacrificed to his sexual pleasure. I wonder if his online buddies at the S-M site he visited regularly have any qualms about claiming his act.

    • Hekate Jayne

      I don’t even really want to talk about this, but I just cannot stop myself. I am so fucking enraged over the males that have violence at women shit on their computers, and yet, continually insist that it is just a fantasy.

      There is this doc on YouTube about the “cannibal cop”. He was a cop that joined some other dudes on the “dark web”, and their entire chat room, bonding experience was centered around raping and eating women. They went on and on about how they would cook women, what parts they would eat first, how “rapeable” they were. This cop used his police computer access to look up information on women, and he actually posted pictures and first names of women that he was planning to rape, murder and eat.

      So his wife finds all of this, and sees that she is also on the list. She takes her newborn daughter and leaves.

      But she’s a bitch. Because why do women demonize masculinity? It is just harmless fantasy. Why do women shame males about their sexuality? And on and on, how the problem here is all HER reaction. The problem is not that he posted pics of his wife and encouraged other males to rape her.

      Of course, he was found not guilty of everything, except for the misuse of his police computer. The male justice system and media made it all about THOUGHT POLICING. See, he was just thinking, and we can’t criminalize thinking! That he actually posted pics of women, women that he had known for years, including his wife, that doesn’t matter! Because thought crime!

      The women that he had known for years, since college, that found out about this when he went to trial. Can you imagine? And now, I wonder, what male is sitting around, sharing pics of me? Talking about how rapeable I am? About how he laughs when he thinks about me, how I have no idea what is coming, and he cannot wait to impale me, and cook me over a fire on a spit.

      Or are they talking about you? Or any of us? Because this cop, just like the guy with the submarine that killed the journalist, and this college ass, they all will smile right in our fucking faces, and put on a facade of being non murderous.

      It is fucking frightening. And the male manipulation that serves to cover it all up, so that males can continue their violence just makes it that much worse.

      • melissa

        I feel exactly the same. I try not to think too much about it because its so upsetting. But its hard not to, specially when stories like this come out.

        Btw are you familiar with this story FC covered this years ago?…

        “Photos of a member of the RCMP, Cpl. Jim Brown, engaged in BDSM scenes were discovered online recently. The scenes were violent, degrading, according to many news reports, “reminiscent of [serial killer Robert Pickton’s] crimes.”

        The fact that Brown played a role in the Pickton murder investigation was particularly upsetting to the public.

        How could a man who so clearly enjoys degrading women fairly assess a case that is explicitly about violence against women, about dehumanizing women, and that played out as it did (in that the disappearances of women from the Downtown Eastside were ignored by the police for years) because the women who were going missing were viewed as worthless?

        The photos discovered of Brown on fetlife.com included, for example, images of him holding a knife to a woman’s throat, another where he is binding a woman’s hands and feet, another where his boot is placed on the back of a woman who was wrapped in saran wrap. The photos posted by news sources online are much more tame, the reports say, than others they saw that were deemed too violent to be made available to the public.”

        http://www.feministcurrent.com/2012/07/07/private-fantasy-public-reality-the-rcmp-bdsm-and-violence-against-women/

        I also remember one self proclaimed “S&M feminist”(forget the name.) interviewed a man that worked in a women’s DV shelter, who just happened to love wanking to the idea of backhanding and abusing women. And how the poor thing mistakenly thought he was a monster before he came across the BDSM community. Its stomach turning that so many normal seeming men around us are not only loving the real abuse and dehumanization of women and girls everywhere, but now coddled, encouraged and catered to by our culture. I still find it hard to believe that we see nothing wrong with this.

  • FierceMild

    My first boss (I was 13 years old) kept porn magazines in the kitchen where I worked with my little sister. Being together is what saved us. She would throw his magazines away, the brave soul, and we would stand together and mock him or tell his wife.

  • FierceMild

    So in a twist of irony gone wildly awry, I’ve been cleaning my house into the night while listening to ’A Room of One’s Own,’ in audiobook form. The history that Virginia Woolf uncovered is stunning in its revelation of the anger and fear of men towards women.

  • Wren

    You and I both know they aren’t confused, but sometimes I tell myself that so that I don’t go out and vomit my rage on them. I guess it’s my way of being kind.

  • Blazing Fire

    “the male system not only does not care about male violence against us, but the males work to keep it going.
    There is no other explanation.

    If males wanted the violence to stop, they would stop it. Instead, they
    stand around, saying stupid shit to each other, and agree with each
    other..”

    So perfectly stated. And I’m horrified by the nypd cannibal cop story (who wouldn’t be – I mean, which woman wouldn’t be) you mentioned in your original comment. Never knew it…. Shuddering…

    • Hekate Jayne

      Yep. We have the male class jerking their erections to violent porn, and talking about how porn is so feminist. And then they say how male violence against us is horrible.

      Which is it? Is it feminist, choosey choice, empowering? Or is it abhorrent?

      But this is males. They hold opposite positions simultaneously. It is how they protect male supremacy.

      I had never heard of that cop, either. I am a documentary person, and YouTube has tons. And so many of them about male violence against us.

      That cop is interesting. His mother was heavily featured in it, which was also………..interesting. It is worth a watch, if for no other reason, it serves as a reminder that ALL systems are MALE systems, and they are not there to protect women. Those systems work exactly as they are designed. They protect abusers, rapists, murders, etc. They protect MALES.

  • shy virago

    ‘I don’t know why any of us tries to reason with them at all’ says it all.

  • Anian

    By the way, what do actors (MEN) say about Weinstein case? Nothing

  • OldPolarBear

    For everyone wondering why Hollywood men will not say anything, well, it turns out that they are the real victims. According to Yahoo anyway, it is a nightmare for the poor things. Ben and Matt are apparently truly suffering.

    /snark

  • Omzig Online

    I especially object to men serving on juries in sexual assault cases. They quite literally benefit from a male perpetrator getting off the hook. This glaring conflict of interest should be enough to disqualify them from serving as jurors. I wish more attorneys representing rape victims would rule out males during the jury selection process based on their widespread bias toward hurting women for pleasure, as evidenced by their porn consumption.

  • Alienigena

    I remember a female producer mentioning in her book “They can kill you but they can’t eat you: Lessons from the front”, that Arnold Schwarzenegger was a groper and grinder. I mentioned this before on this site. You wonder how many people in Hollywood are part of the problem. Everyone knows this kind of thing goes on and it just doesn’t come from the execs, sometimes male actors are the perps as in the case of Schwarzenegger and they have also assaulted (or attempted to) female execs.

    http://www.feministcurrent.com/2015/07/15/on-jackie-fuchs-rape-and-the-bystander-effect/