I am not shocked, you are not shocked, no one is shocked, stop pretending to be shocked

How can we claim to be shocked by a culture we all live in, participate in, and are complicit in?

Harvey Weinstein

By now, most of us have heard about the ongoing allegations against Harvey Weinstein, one of the biggest movie producers in history and predator of the moment. But as stories of harassment and sexual assault continue to pour in, and as more and more actors speak out, relaying their “disgust” and “horror,” what has shocked me most is not Weinstein’s abusive behaviour, but the shock itself.

I cannot remember the last time I was “shocked” to hear that a man beat his wife, raped a fan, or sexually harassed a co-worker. Grossed out? Sure. Angry? Definitely. But shocked? Nah. Men abuse women every day. “Nice guy” or not (and Weinstein was most certainly not), I am rather sad to admit that it’s almost expected at this point. Oh. A beloved progressive writer/actor/activist/radio host is actually an abusive creep? Natch. A high-powered CEO/producer/government official/president is a rapist? Of course. I mean, we’re talking about men, here. And men do these things. Like, all the fucking time.

While I don’t necessarily expect everyone to mimic my oh another one response, I don’t buy that anyone is shocked at these particular allegations. We are talking about a man like Weinstein, who has been in a position of power in an industry like Hollywood, where not only does this kind of thing go on all the time, but where people talk. At this point, the general public should be aware that men in positions of power often use that power to abuse women. That actresses are routinely sexually harassed and pressured to have sex with men who have the power to get them work in Hollywood is a running joke. Everyone knows this behaviour is far from abnormal. And in case you have been living under a rock, there are plenty of accounts to substantiate this.

According to Joan Collins, she didn’t get the lead role in Cleopatra because she wouldn’t sleep with the studio head. She said:

“I had tested for ‘Cleopatra’ twice and was the front-runner. He took me into his office and said, ‘You really want this part?’ And I said, ‘Yes. I really do.’ ‘Well,’ he said, ‘then all you have to do is be nice to me.’ It was a wonderful euphemism in the Sixties for you know what. But I couldn’t do that. In fact, I was rather wimpish, burst into tears and rushed out of his office.”

When Shirley Temple was 12 years old, an MGM producer said to have an “adventuresome casting couch” unzipped his pants and exposed himself to her during their first meeting. Judy Garland was allegedly groped and sexually harassed by studio executives at MGM, (including Louis B. Mayer, the head of the studio, who was supposedly one of the worst offenders) for years, as a teenager and young woman. This week, Tippi Hedren tweeted about the fact that Alfred Hitchcock sexually assaulted, harassed, and threatened her career when she was acting in his movies. “Everybody talks about it like it’s something new,” Hendren told The Daily Beast. “It isn’t.” And then there is, of course, the Roman Polanskis, the Woody Allens, the Casey Afflecks, the Bill Cosbys… The list goes on and on.

The reality of sexual abuse is that it happens because men are in a position of power in our society. They are socialized to believe they have the right to access women’s bodies and also know that their male friends will protect them and even joke with them about their predatory behaviour, and continue to bro down with them, regardless of how they treat women. There is a culture among men that encourages this behaviour — rites of passage like going to strip clubs, paying for sex, pressuring young women into performing various porny sex acts, then bragging about it or sharing photos, all exist to reinforce the idea that being a man is about objectifying women.

I find it incredibly hard to believe that in 2017, when the United States elected a misogynistic man who actually bragged about sexually assaulting women as president, when men like Hugh Hefner are heralded as revolutionaries, when thousands of girls are trafficked into the sex trade because johns want to abuse and exploit the most vulnerable people on the planet, and when stories have been coming out about sexual harassment and abuse in Hollywood since Hollywood existed, that anyone at all is shocked. In fact, I’m quite certain most people in the industry were well aware of Weinstein’s reputation.

Indeed, George Clooney told The Daily Beast:

“I’ve heard rumours, and the rumours in general started back in the 90s, and they were that certain actresses had slept with Harvey to get a role. It seemed like a way to smear the actresses and demean them by saying that they didn’t get the jobs based on their talent, so I took those rumors with a grain of salt.”

In The New Yorker, Ronan Farrow writes:

“This has been an open secret to many in Hollywood and beyond, but previous attempts by many publications, including The New Yorker, to investigate and publish the story over the years fell short of the demands of journalistic evidence. Too few people were willing to speak, much less allow a reporter to use their names, and Weinstein and his associates used nondisclosure agreements, monetary payoffs, and legal threats to suppress these myriad stories.”

Yesterday, Jane Fonda announced that she found out about Weinstein a year ago, when Rosana Arquette revealed her experience with Weinstein to Fonda. She also pointed out that this situation is far from “unique.” On CNN, Fonda told Christiane Amanpour:

“This goes on all the time — in Hollywood and everywhere… In bars, in restaurants, in stores… Women are assaulted, abused, harassed, and seen [as] sexual objects there for a man’s desire, instead of as whole human beings.”

But beyond the actors who knew or heard rumours — many of whom perhaps felt afraid to say something or that it wasn’t their place to speak about another woman’s experience, if she wasn’t planning to go public — are the executives and assistants at Weinstein’s companies who had full knowledge of his behaviour. Farrow reports that 16 of these people told him “that they witnessed or had knowledge of unwanted sexual advances and touching at events associated with Weinstein’s films and in the workplace.” Farrow writes:

“They and others describe a pattern of professional meetings that were little more than thin pretexts for sexual advances on young actresses and models. All sixteen said that the behavior was widely known within both Miramax and the Weinstein Company.”

On Thursday, Rose McGowan tweeted that not only did Weinstein rape her, but that she repeatedly told an Amazon Studios executive, who did nothing.

We keep doing this thing where we “call out” men who we “discover” are abusive, announcing how “disturbed” we are, then focus on taking that man down. And of course I believe these men should be held accountable for their actions and that there should be consequences for abusive behaviour. But this is a cultural problem. It is what men masturbate to on their computers. It is what men do to women and girls when they pay for sex. It is what men do when a woman says “no” and he keeps pushing her and pestering her. This is what masculinity is: breaking boundaries, refusing to respect women’s words, and believing that sexual pleasure and sexual access is a right.

So spare me the “shock,” and start addressing the culture — the culture we all live in, participate in, and are truly not at all shocked by.

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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  • kfwkfw

    If you wanna nice dose of accounts of predatory old Hollywood, listen to “You Must Remember This” podcast. Judy garland recorded herself saying things about Hollywood…it was pretty chilling

  • fragglerock

    Our VIEW of women and girls is abusive. I think the pretend shock functions as a way to excuse people from being accountable for their complicity in the abuse. If they weren’t shocked, they might have to accept the fact that they knew about it and didn’t do anything–which I think is what most of society does.

    When people are “shocked” and “horrified” they can pay themselves on the backs for being decent people instead of complicit a**holes which is what they are. The women who call out abuse know the consequences for doing so; but so does everybody else, which is why they don’t do anything.

    • FierceMild

      I think this is so true. And even when we try to do something it is almost impossible. There is littlenir. I legal recourse for preventative measures.

  • Sara Kenny

    Excellent!

  • calabasa

    Fantastic article!

  • Trista

    spot on. thank you.

  • Maureen

    All of the language operates to obscure the reality of sexual abuse even in the moment one is forced to actually admit it. Including, “What if it was your girlfriend or daughter?” when WOMEN ARE MOST OFTEN ABUSED BY MEN THEY KNOW. (Also operating, of course, by appealing to men’s sense of property ownership to their sexual partners and children.)

    Always the propaganda of patriarchy asserts itself even when society superficially claims to be “acknowledging” some transgression on a case-by-case basis. Always. It’s incredible to watch the mechanisms of denial.

  • Swannie

    Why, did you leave Bill Clinton off your list?

    • Meghan Murphy

      Because he doesn’t work in Hollywood?

    • susannunes

      He was not a predator or a sexual harasser.

      • calabasa

        Yes, he was. He’s a serial rapist.

      • Cassandra

        Yes, he was.

    • Omzig Online

      If she included Bill Clinton, she would’ve had to include Trump, since Trump is a self-confessed sexual predator. But alas, in the interests of brevity and staying on topic, she had to leave male politicians out. For now.

      • Meghan Murphy

        There are also, like, literally a million dudes I left off this list…

  • FierceMild

    I have only ever had two jobs where I was never sexually harassed. I worked for a Buddhist priest who was a lesbian and was never harassed once. And I worked for a nurse’s union and that was AWESOME. I have had jobs in which I was never harassed by another employee/boss, but they were service jobs and the customers always make up for that. Nevertheless, those were the best jobs I’ve ever had in terms of mental and emotional well-being.

  • Omzig Online

    Oh, look! Another glaring example of bros protecting predators. Shockednotshocked.

    http://www.npr.org/2017/10/13/557585831/new-york-district-attorney-on-the-defense-over-handling-of-weinstein-allegations

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thanks Midori!

  • kfwkfw

    Sure! It’s a great one, really.

  • Matthew Downhour

    For me the most telling moment was in the audio recording – ‘don’t embarrass me in this hotel’. No one in that hotel really believed Weinstein was getting all those women into his room through good looks and charm. Not only was this behavior behavior people knew about – it was part of a reputation. And not a ‘hush hush’ reputation, one he sought to *uphold*.

    • M. Zoidberg

      Did you read Cara Delevingne’s account where she started to sing because he suggested she should make out with the only other woman in the hotel room.

      He’s a “broken / missing stair,” to those who know. To those who don’t, he’s a nosedive down the stairs.

      • Matthew Downhour

        I’d never seen that analogy before – it’s a good one for understanding what happened here.

  • Hekate Jayne

    But he is working so HARD, tho.

    • M. Zoidberg

      A tireless crusader for justice!

  • Cassandra

    Um, i don’t think you get it as much as you think you do.

  • Cassandra

    “Most men are dummies & have no idea what women have to put up with…”

    Oh, I think they do. They play dumb to our faces and then turn around and do awful things— ALL of them, in one way or another.

    • -Jane Don’t-

      I honestly think some are literally stupid and have no clue.

  • Bleeps3

    Men act shocked and disgusted as a way to convince others they’re not like that. It’s a defense strategy. When men come out and start talking about themselves and all the f-d up stuff they have done, continue to do, the way they think about women (honestly), all the stuff they’re content to ignore because it’s not happening right in front of them or to one of their women, then I will be shocked.

    • Hekate Jayne

      The only time that a male shocks me is when they act like a decent human being.

      And even then, they are usually just faking.

      • M. Zoidberg

        A 12 year old boy I once tutored called me a “fat whore” because I made him redo rushed, sub-par and barely comprehensible homework. All he had to do was run the waterworks in front of mommy, and he was out of trouble.

        Yup, it would shock me too if they acted right for a change.

        • Hekate Jayne

          Well, they certainly learn our place when they are young.

          You are certainly not a fat whore. That boy needs a swift kick.

      • kfwkfw

        Last sentence… So true!

  • FierceMild

    But most men certainly know about it and do nothing to intervene.

  • susannunes

    With Clinton they were bought and paid for by Richard Mellon Scaife through various third parties in order to destabilize his presidency. The vast majority of the allegations were all bullshit. Lewinsky was known to pursue and bag married men–she was no “victim.” She was and is a disgusting human being who continues to capitalize on her dubious notoriety.

    I wish this nonsense would stop about Bill Clinton. He was not a predator or a sexual harasser.

    • calabasa

      Bill Clinton began raping women when he was 19 at Oxford. There is a police report with Scotland Yard. There are reports against him for groping and harassing female students when he was a law professor at the University of Arkansas. Are you saying these records were also planted when he became a candidate?

    • acommentator

      “Lewinsky was known to pursue and bag married men–she was no “victim.”

      Even if she was no “victim” respecting the sex part, what do you have to say about the initial approach taken by the Administration: that she was a nut who made it all up? They walked that back quick when they realized that she had some Presidential dna in her possession. It seems to me that was the worst part of the whole thing, that they were ready to throw her under the bus rather than admit that he was fooling around in the Oval Office. And she was not trying to go public, she was put in a position where she had to tell the truth.

    • Cassandra

      Wow, you really have an obsession with painting Monica Lewinsky as the one at fault.

      She was 22. Our judgment centers are not fully developed until we are about 25. That is why it’s heinous that men in power prey on young girls, whether in prostitution, pornography, the modeling business, Hollywood, and even in regular everyday jobs — that’s the entire fucking point.

      He was what, 48? 49?

      It is entirely his fault.
      He was the President.
      He was a PREDATOR.

      Stop this bullshit in a feminist space. It’s very offensive.

  • Jack Sprat

    I did not mean to say that this is the ONLY reason this kind of thing happens, nor did I mean that it’s the only way to fix the situation. It was late when I posted and I could write a book in an hour if I don’t put the brakes on it fairly quick.
    My point was a part of the whole, and I agree that it’s a MALE point of view to put girls/women in the subservient/damsel role. I also understand that there are places where, as Jani pointed out, that women literally have to fight day after day just to survive as a person. I guess another part of my point is that society has taught men that women are “prey” and women are often taught that they have to be “saved” or just deal with what happens. And I mean “society” as in tv/movies/media and not actual “experience” as, again, Jani pointed out.
    I do actually have a pretty good grip on a lot of this subject, not because I have or understand the women’s perspective but because I was raised to be the predator. I’ve been trying for many years to “unlearn” what I know about things, I read this and a few other blogs to learn more about things I still don’t understand and I speak from my own perspective. If anyone were to ever ask me what it’s like to be “the guy” I can definitely tell you. Not with pride or even happiness but with quite a bit of shame.
    No, I do not want to sit and “mansplain” life to anyone, nor do I think I’m smarter than anyone else. Especially not women about women. When it comes to women’s lives I can only speak on what I’ve observed from my single mother and 3 older sisters, female friends and coworkers, a loving 24 year relationship/marriage, and seeing life in general. Not by having lived what you’ve lived.
    Again, I’m trying here. Trying to learn, trying to unlearn, and trying to accept the fact that I’ll always be a man in this world so there are some things I’ll never truly know. And yes, I understand the anger and bitterness that is easily directed at a man who tries to talk about this subject with women. Hell, I feel it towards myself quite often these days. Thank you.

    • calabasa

      I always freeze. ALWAYS. This goes back to when I was a child. It’s called peritraumatic dissociation, and it’s very common.

      Think about it this way: when someone makes a mean comment, it’s often only later you think of a good comeback. It’s so startling in the moment it’s not just hard to think of what to say, it’s hard to speak. You become “tongue-tied.” Later you think, “Oh, if only I had said X to him, that would’ve shown him!” Only it’s much, much worse when you’re beating yourself up for not fighting back during a sexual attack. In fact, peritraumatic dissociation during a rape is a greater predictor of developing PTSD than any other single factor.

      The guy I had the misfortune to date a year and a half ago and to whom I opened up about my history of sexual trauma knew full well that women who have been victimized, especially at a young age, will often freeze. He pushed my boundaries to test this hypothesis; meanwhile, I was so used to being sexually mistreated I failed to take the proper perspective on his escalating behavior. He used the fact of my freezing to his advantage when he raped me after we broke up (though he also restrained me to ensure I couldn’t just roll away–but if he hadn’t? Would that make it any less rape?) My shock and dissociation during this event precipitated a severe post traumatic stress reaction the fallout of which I am still dealing with.

      Training girls early to loudly and continuously yell no and then fight back certainly would be helpful. At this point it’s extremely hard for me to recondition myself out of the freeze response (I have tried martial arts to no avail); early training might have made my life turn out very differently.

      W/r/t being saved, I don’t know about that. I was a wild, naughty kid who was forcibly feminized. I was taught that my natural aggression and disobedience were bad–I was bad, and therefore deserving of punishment–and I should be passive and seek to please if I wanted to be a “good girl,” particularly toward men.

      This got me preyed on early, and often. I thought I deserved it, and it was what I was made for. I didn’t think of myself as a person, at least not in the way other people were people; it mattered what happened to other people, but not to me. I was not socialized to be a damsel, I was socialized to be self-hating prey.

      Thinking it’s no big deal? Yeah. I brushed off and blanked out my sexual assaults for years.

      Finally realizing that I am a person and it was a big deal only made it that much more painful, especially when it happened again.

      • kfwkfw

        You are strong. <3

      • will

        “I always freeze. ALWAYS. This goes back to when I was a child.”

        Me too. For years I thought it was because I was dumb and slow-witted. I never got “fight/flight” because neither of those things ever happen to me. Only recently have I begun to hear about the “freeze” response, to my immense relief.

        It’s so easy for us to feel that we are alone and broken…

      • Wren

        The hardest thing I’ve had to deal with is dissociation. It is a miracle when you’re going through trauma, and it helped me function for years and years, but once you want to actually heal, it’s tough to undo. Personally, thawing out happened more with doing yoga at home (classes stressed me out), learning to take care of my body by being alone a lot and learning how to listen to myself, and immersing myself in experiences that give me feeling, etc. I had to make some major life changes, including abandoning many friendships that weren’t in my best interest. I used to focus on feeling my feelings around the trauma itself through therapy, etc., but that just didn’t work for me. As I’ve learned to feel anything and everything, some of those feelings have just naturally resolved.

        Anyway, I don’t know if I could “unfreeze” from martial arts. Although I think every woman should learn how to fight, I think curing the freeze response is about thawing out in general. This is just my experience, but I was the freaking master of dissociation, lol. If you haven’t read him yet, I suggest some of Bessel Van der Kolk’s work on dissociation. It helped me a lot.

        • calabasa

          Thanks for this, Wren. I have to agree.

          I think with the ubiquity of dehumanization and abuse under patriarchy ALL of us women are dissociated to some degree. It’s true that it saves you at the time (being raped/abused is a nightmare), and it’s true it allows you to function (albeit suboptimally) for years. And yes, admitting to it–FEELING it–is incredibly painful (I’m going through this right now) but also necessary for resolution. I agree with you also about just talk therapy not being enough. So much of this is PHYSICAL.

          I want to start getting into yoga, too. I think a mutual massage group for women survivors might be nice. Focusing on the body and getting back into the body. The body is ground zero in the battle against women, but it’s also the site of the SELF, and too often in Western culture we forget that. Our bodies are our selves.

          I think you’re right, when you’re dissociated from yourself for so long and seem to exist in a space outside the self, watching everything from the outside, then freezing when grabbed or otherwise importuned and then going on about your day without saying a word is the most normal thing in the world. Living in your body and feeling your own worth would unfreeze that response (on the other hand, training yourself to fight back might result in self-worth and better skills of self-protection in a “fake it till you make it” approach).

          Thanks for the advice. I am glad it’s helping you! I am working on reconnecting with my body right now.

  • Jack Sprat

    You are right, especially your last sentence. That was a part of my point, along with the rest about how society (and yes, I know it’s male-dominated) has created this. But a part of my point that I didn’t make clear is that I’m not victim-blaming, and I’m not trying to put any of the overall burden of the situation on “the women who didn’t learn enough.” My point about my granddaughters is that I’m teaching them NOW and hoping that the world as a whole changes with them as more men like Weinstein and the list above are brought to light. I also know that a lot more has to change for every woman to be safe and how hard it is for people to even understand the problem. I’ve written a longer reply to my original comment. Thanks.

    • Hekate Jayne

      If you really want to protect the women in your family from other males, then tell them to stay away from males as much as possible.

      Encourage them to live with other women. To never marry, and to never, ever depend on a male for anything.

      Encourage them to not have children, because they will never be able to get away from the male that impregnates them. To remember that he can always walk away to freedom and leave her with the responsibility.

      Distance from males is the only safe way, since males insure that proximity to males is proximity to violence, and male systems protect and encourage that violence.

      If I had daughters, that is the beginning of what I would teach them. Additionally, I would tell her that if she absolutely wanted to have children, to do it on her own, and not share her pregnancy with the sperm donor. I would also encourage her to abort the fetus if it were male, because we don’t need to risk bringing yet more violence into the world for women to live with.

      The advice is harsh, but the reality of systemic male violence has put us here. It is what males have created. And they don’t want to change it.

    • calabasa

      It’s true. Child abuse is common, and in any case once they start developing they will be seen as fair game for anyone from boys in their class to old men on the bus. And they will hide it from you out of shame, and a desire to “forget” (in scare quotes because you don’t).

      The best thing you can do is tell them men are violent and predatory, enroll them in Krav Maga, teach them to yell “no!”, teach them what sex and relationships should be, teach them that their self-worth should not be tied to their relationships with men, and get them involved in sports, both solo and organized. That might help empower them and protect them from the worst of female-sacrificial porn culture.

  • May Z

    One advice I would love to give to women in Hollywood and beyond is to stop seeking validation from brogressive celebrities. They need to speak up for themselves because Hollywood dudes don’t care and prefer their own egos over the lives of women.

  • shy virago

    Thanks for the great post, Meghan!
    How could anyone be shocked?
    You don’t even need to go online to hear what men do – just listen to women.

    Women’s bodies are something that men think they have a right to.

  • Mmmeee

    Mr. Weinstein finally lost the game but there are surely many others, he’s only the tree which hides the forest…

    • etoffe

      He’s a token sacrifice. It enables people to posture while the behaviour continues unchecked all around us. Everyone knows that. The bullshit and hypocritical rhetoric surrounding such “shocking” revelations is a sad joke.

  • Wren

    “The ironic thing about this society is that girls and women often protect their male relatives (you know, the good men) from the reality of our lives. We continually protect your innocence and delicate sensibilities.”

    Yes! I’ve never been able to fully discuss my past with any boyfriend, even loving ones. My longest boyfriend, who was a good man and who cared deeply about me, couldn’t physically tolerate it when I tried to tell him things about abuse and prostitution. His knees would start to shake and he would look so disturbed that I would stop for his sake. When I’ve confided in other men, it usually ends the relationship because they are so shocked and horrified and I have to comfort THEM, which is just totally unattractive. Or the other common reaction is they get sullen and depressed and start to have a strange yet unwelcome admiration for me and put me on some weird pedestal because I’ve suffered more than them, which I find stupid and uncomfortable. Sigh.

    (Btw, how do you do the italics again? I’ve tried to google it and nothing worked, lol. I swear if someone tells me again, I will take notes!!)

    • calabasa

      I’m sorry for what you’ve been through, Wren.

      I have had a boyfriend who’s sexually abused me and raped me after I told him, I’ve had male friends who have been compassionate for all of 2 seconds before going back to talking about their crippling anxiety about manufactured problems, I’ve had a boyfriend who, when I tried to tell him after we’d been together over a year, told me he thought I was bragging…I’ve had a few male friends get creepy and take advantage of me when I opened up to them (when I was younger)…after what happened to me last year I honestly don’t know if I could ever tell a man again.

      That’s not even getting into the “slut,” “damaged goods,” “false rape accuser,” “you must be asking for it” attitude many guys would have if you revealed you have been raped multiple times.

      I also don’t tell my family, to shield them, but also because I’m afraid they’d blame me. Our society really doesn’t understand and doesn’t want to understand revictimization.

      • -Jane Don’t-

        Ugh. I had a male “friend” tell me he always hoped I would be “drunk or lonely enough” so he could hookup with me. I don’t have contact with him any more.

        • Wren

          YUCK.

      • Wren

        “I’ve had male friends who have been compassionate for all of 2 seconds before going back to talking about their crippling anxiety about manufactured problems”

        OMG this!!
        It so irritating when you confide in them and they give you attention for a nanosecond and then it’s POOF!! They’re back to talking about their writer’s block or how their dad should have been more successful. Like, get some fucking perspective dudes.

        And this..”I’ve had a boyfriend who, when I tried to tell him after we’d been together over a year, told me he thought I was bragging..”

        WTF?? It’s true, though!! These are the men who’ve never really suffered, who romanticize suffering, who think it’s a portal to artistic greatness or something. It’s not. This shit just sucks and I hate that guy for saying that to you. What an asshole.

    • FierceMild

      That’s exactly the type of thing I mean. Your situation is more intense then that of many women. But we all have to protect and defend and keep upsetting realities from the poor, sensitive men in our lives. They just can’t handle the reality that we live.

      Okay here we go. Italics are made with the letter I, bold is a b, you can do both at once:
      To begin
      To end

      • Wren

        I don’t know if my history is more intense. I mean, yes, I’ve had certain specific experiences, but I’ve not had others that I would probably consider more horrific, namely incest or being brutally beaten. But it doesn’t matter because many men I’ve dated have told me about all the women they’ve previously dated who had been raped by family members, violently assaulted, and on and on, and yet they still somehow made it all about them! The bigger issue around commercial sexual exploitation is that it is not necessarily seen as abuse, and many men may find it titillating (Rachel Moran wrote about this) so the reactions I wrote about above were with men that I thought would be sympathetic after much dating and screening, and they were sympathetic, but they were just weak. Whoops.

        • FierceMild

          I just get so tired sometimes. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a place, anyplace, on the whole damn planet where women could rest?

  • Hekate Jayne

    Yep.

    We also don’t tell males in our families because they may blame us. Or want to take vengeance.

    Also, it is just fucking embarrassing. I know when I was that young, I just wanted to move on and forget those incidents.

    Even now. I don’t want to talk about it. Not with any male, anyway.

  • kfwkfw

    Tabloids & magazines disparage female celebrities in horrific ways & have forever & people get such joy out of it. Sensitive subjects for these women just splashed across their front pages for the world to see. Imagine the shame & embarrassment they must feel is part of their job, almost.

    The real shame & embarrassment should lie solely with men doing depraved shit on the daily, but media won’t touch it. It shows this is all truly a power structure. You fuck with the top, you go down. It’s gross as fuck, it needs to stop. MEDIA WAKE THE FUCK UP. Media is powerful and it’s operating irresponsibly because it’s in incestuous.

  • GS1

    I can’t understand these comments saying that women should speak up. They do! In Weinstein’s case, one even called the police, another told other authorities — no one thought it would be a good idea to go against Weinstein because his wealth can buy the best crooked lawyers and newspapers to completely ruin your reputation and your career — even your life. Shortly after one model reported it to the police, her name was in the tabloids with allegations of a sordid sexual past. That’s how everything works in the world — in every field. All political leaders with good ideas start bombing countries or doing things they would normally not do, because they are blackmailed or threatened with the death of their children or other things. Heads of the UN and World Bank, scientists and doctors are harassed and threatened with death if they don’t shut up about anything that goes against the status quo. When Madonna in the beginning of her career, would not sign some huge contract with a studio, photos of her as a nude model came out of nowhere and were sold to playboy. The whole world is one big mafia operation. As George Carlin said, they’ve got you by the balls.

    • Tinfoil the Hat

      What “balls”? I hate that expression. It shows how freaking acceptable it is to just erase women.

      • danna touma

        Balls are the reason women are in this mess. I think I speak for most women when I say I’m proud I don’t have any.

  • kfwkfw

    “We continually protect your innocence and delicate sensibilities.”
    “We continually protect your innocence and delicate sensibilities.”
    “We continually protect your innocence and delicate sensibilities.”
    “We continually protect your innocence and delicate sensibilities.”
    “We continually protect your innocence and delicate sensibilities.”

    YES.

    Men and boys never learned that it’s extremely important to avoid stepping on toes and to care about others’ thoughts, feelings, space, and time more than their own. They tend to lack respect. If they don’t behave somewhat rudely, then they’re labeled effeminate, gay, nerdy, unattractive to women, not a ladies’ men, etc. They’re told to step on all the toes they like, or else be labeled as non-manly or some shit. Boys and men are celebrated for being bullies…why the hell is that the case? Is it cuz men get thrills out of doing bad shit, and they control everything? It’s almost as if none of them ever grew up. Punks.

  • Omzig Online

    So glad we’ve got some decent comedians these days. I’m really beginning to like this woman a lot.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=x8sFfsIiU2s

    • Wren

      Thank you Samantha Bee!!!

  • Tinfoil the Hat

    Tell him the truth: most men DO behave this way.

  • Tinfoil the Hat

    I share your doubt, because it’s dudes who ARE the problem. So why the outrage? They’re full of shit.

  • Tinfoil the Hat

    No, you’ve got that all wrong, missy! Priests molest little boys. Little girls seduce priests/are provocative/know what they are doing.

    • FierceMild

      Mea culpa!

      • Tinfoil the Hat

        I see what you did there!

  • Gundog

    It really isn’t men playing dumb, we just don’t see it. I was discussing the “Me too” facebook campaign with my wife last night and she said she has never been harassed on the job. She has been catcalled once or twice, but never anything worse than that.

    In all my years of office work, I have never seen anything raise my eyebrows (and I have worked in many offices with lots of male higher ups and female staff – ripe for harassment). Granted I am not on the lookout, but I am pretty situationally aware in general. I fully believe it happens, but if most dudes out there are like me, they just are not seeing it to say anything.

    • Hekate Jayne

      I am sure that there are women that have never been sexually harassed. I have never met one. But there are lots of dudes on the internet that claim that they know women who have never had an issue.

      So a few women escape harassment, assault, rape, etc. I wish that I were so lucky. But that doesn’t change the fact that male entitlement and disgusting behavior is widespread or prevalent.

      I totally believe you when you say that you don’t see it. Why would you? It makes me think about the times that I have been groped while in a crowded bar. I would feel a large hand on my ass, only to turn around to 3 or 5 dudes standing there, acting innocent. If I dared to say anything, the males closest to me feigned ignorance and called me a crazy bitch, and loudly inquired why I thought so highly of myself. Why would any male want to grab my slutty, fat ass any way?

      And their yelling at me would draw the attention of the rest of the dudes in their group, the ones on the end. While I was walking away, the ass grabby dude(s) would be explaining to the clueless dudes that they didn’t miss anything, except just some crazy bitch that thought too much of herself.

      The clueless dudes would insist that they didn’t see anything. And that would be the truth.

      But those same dudes are so ignorant that they will believe that a random woman would just start yelling at males for absolutely no reason. Because bitches just be so crazy. And women confronting males is always so safe. It is so safe, that we say that we are pawed at/groped/harassed just so we can bother males. Because you believe what males tell you.

      But those dudes didn’t see anything. And they certainly don’t hear when hoards of women bring attention to it. But they always hear the males, who say that they never do anything and that women lie.

      So really. How can you possibly know? Especially when males generally don’t want to know.

      So what are you going to do? Now that you know?

      • Gundog

        Sorry in advance for the lack of coherency in my reply.

        I am going to continue to try to be aware and say something if I see something. Also, if I ever advance to a position where I do have to oversee people, I will take any allegations seriously. I’m really not sure what else can I do.

        I notice that many of these stories happen in bars, clubs, parties, etc., i.e. where booze are. Booze and boys are a terrible combination. It’s just sooo bad.

        Also, I think some of the problem is that guys like me don’t associate with slimy dudes. If I don’t get the sense that I can trust a person, I don’t hang around them, especially in social settings. That makes it hard to police our own.

        I actually had your example happen to me at a party in college. I usually went to one sport’s house because I knew the team, but would spend my time upstairs hanging out instead of in the loud dance pit of booze soaked hormones. I was walking downstairs through the crowd to go use the bathroom and some girl turned around and started yelling that I had grabbed her friends butt. I hadn’t, but she got in my face and would not accept my shocked face denial. I eventually just walked away.

        I don’t doubt that somebody had, but I didn’t see it and nobody in the crowd said anything. What the hell do you do in that situation?

        • FierceMild

          “I am going to continue to try to be aware and say something if I see something. Also, if I ever advance to a position where I do have to oversee people, I will take any allegations seriously. I’m really not sure what else can I do.“
          You can call out rape culture every time you hear it by refusing to give the jokes and the innuendo a pass. You can call adult females women instead of girls (you may already). You can publicly acknowledge the expertise, ideas and contributions of women around you. All small things, all helpful things.

          As for not associating with creeps; it should be borne im mind that if other men get the impression you don’t do the things they do, they’ll hide it from you. So it’s not just you avoiding slime-balls, they’re also steering clear of you and disguising their behavior and attitudes around you.

        • calabasa

          Okay, Gundog. I have to say something.

          Vis a vis your wife never being harassed: I REALLY wonder about this. I have been sexually assaulted so many times I don’t know how many times. If you take away bars, clubs, parties, walking at night, traveling alone, and relationships, I can count the number of times (at work, on the street, on public transport). Even with a SEVERELY circumscribed life I would have still been groped, followed and menaced. Every woman I know has had these experiences. Most have been raped, either in party situations or by boyfriends; they have all been harassed and groped in daily life as well.

          So, question: is your wife lying, or in denial? (Many women lie or deny this reality). If not, has she been EXTREMELY CAREFUL and circumscribed her life to avoid this? (Like going to extreme precautionary lengths, such as even not taking certain jobs, like serving, and never going anywhere in public alone? As well as of course avoiding all the other things I mentioned?) If the answer to these questions is “no,” then she must just have incredible luck.

          As to booze: first off, quit victim-blaming. Second, read the piece again. Booze is one risk factor. Others include, as I said, going out at night, walking anywhere, being alone in public, using public transport, traveling alone, having hetero relationships, having male friends, working, or having hobbies that involve both male and female people. Basically existing.

          You DO know men like this. “I don’t hang around sleazy men,” implying that we do. Again, stop victim-blaming. Many do not out themselves as sleazy or slimy. Pay attention to male friends’ patterns with women as well as their seemingly off-handed comments or comments that contradict their image as nice guys and you’ll get the bigger picture.

          As for your anecdote: what was the purpose in telling it? What is the purpose of any of your comments? To show that 1)you don’t believe it’s happening because your wife says it’s not commensurate with her experience, 2)you want to victim blame women and tell them not to go places with alcohol, and 3) there’s literally nothing you can do and it’s not your fault?

          What do you expect our response to be? What are you hoping to achieve with such comments?

          Meghan made a list of things men can do to help. Would you like me to reiterate for you how you are complicit in this, how you benefit from other men’s violence, and give some concrete plans to address the issue in your own life?

    • FierceMild

      Yeah. I would’ve said exactly the same thing as your wife a few years ago. That was before I realized that harassment and sexism alon the job actually includes the nonstop sexual innuendo, the expectations that I will do things like take the notes, order the coffee, and make sure there’s a cake on Jim from Billings Birthday. The sexist jokes, the comments on appearance and on and on and on. I used to think if it wasn’t Anita Hill levels of misery, it wasn’t harassment. That’s not true.

  • -Jane Don’t-

    I’m sorry you had to have those experiences.

  • Safa

    No, it isn’t shocking that Harvey Weinstein raped and harassed women. What I find surprising is that he allowed his crimes to become public knowledge. Weinstein and other wealthy, famous men are usually pretty successful at keeping their criminal activity under wraps. I am sure that Weinstein has threatened and paid off his victims over the years in order to keep them silent. I am also surprised that another Hollywood rapist, Bill Cosby, wasn’t outed when he was at the height of his popularity and The Cosby Show was still on the air. How would it have looked for TV’s most lovable dad to be accused of drugging and raping women? Sponsors would have been pulling their advertising in droves and the show would have been cancelled. So, why now are these secrets coming out into the light of day? Is it because it isn’t enough that Weinstein is a rich and successful film producer, but that he must also add attacking and oppressing women to his legacy?

    I think men’s view of masculinity is only getting more violent and depraved. The media attention to Weinstein’s crimes is serving as a reminder to women that our bodies are constantly under the threat of attack. I’m not sure what women can do. I fear what the future holds for us.

  • FierceMild

    And another thing. Why are you commenting here, under this article and starting out with: “don’t shoot me just because I’m a guy.”? It is MEN who prey on women because we are women and not the other way around. We are the ones victimized because of our sex not you. You should acknowledge that fact rather then acting as if you are somehow the victim.

  • la scapigliata

    All the way to royal family and the rest of the psychopathic cabal on top of the food chain, whose power dates to Norman conquest. Norman surnames dating to division of land and William the Conquerer are awfully closely correlated still with significant land ownership and power. I see these people as the occupying force in the British society, they have no allegiance with the people, they are here to rape and pillage and it’s how it’s been for at least 10 centuries.

    British institutions and especially politics, media and judiciary are riddled with sexual predators because these men are easy to control. In exchange for access to victims and protection from punishment, they’ll gaslight the population and bring about all kinds of treasonous decisions and laws. This is how our environment, society, economy etc are getting obliterated despite evidence urging us to do better. This is how trans perverts are able to command the obedience of the entire Westminster, and usher these disgraceful removals of female autonomy and privacy, with virtually no opposition form any party or MP. Women in Westminster are usually handmaidens who get the privilege to be the public face of most appaling initiatives (for example Brexit, when boys ran away and installed Theresa May as “interim PM” so she can take all the hate) and as we saw on the gender self-ID example, these women cannot be relied upon to do any better than their male colleagues, regardless where on the left to right spectrum their ideology lies.

    But despite all that, most Brits are happy to wave their little paper Union Jacks and melt into a puddle at a mention of Wills and Kate. It’s mental.

  • Wren

    JFC that’s really awful about your dad. I mean really awful.

    My heart is hurting so much today for everyone.

  • crydiego

    It is fair to say that everyone knew. This is the part that everyone should think about, — Everyone knew! We all have done this in some way when we run into evil. We make it through, or we pay a price, – and then we go silent. Everyone knew, the men,the women, the self righteous, the feminists, the religious, and the sinners, they – all – knew; we all know.

    • Omzig Online

      Everyone knew, but your comment sounds a little like you’re attempting diffusion of responsibility. I sure hope you’re not trying to dilute the problem by saying that women and feminists are partially to blame for this. The only people who need to shoulder 100% of the blame are the MEN who commit these behaviors, and the MEN who use their status to exploit women. Maybe I misunderstood your comment??

      • calabasa

        No, he’s an MRA. A really weird one.

      • crydiego

        This is my 2nd response to you comment because you’re somewhat right about the “diffusion” but the article is really about secrets that really aren’t secrets. We tend to deny evil within our groups when it fits into our own self interests. We tend to steer contempt toward others if it is easy and convenient. Yet in it all, we are all aware of the animals just under our skin and all too aware of history’s lessons in human failings.
        This article is correct and these sort of things are not secrets, they are well known but somehow ignored. The authors last paragraph says it all. Maybe it is time to tear down all the secrets about men, — and women.

        • Omzig Online

          Nope. Again, you’re attempting to diffuse responsibility and steer the blame away from men by suggesting that women are partially to blame for our own oppression. Not gonna work.

          You mentioned “the animals just under our skin.” I do not have a rapist under my skin. I have lived in this world for nearly four decades, and I have never once felt an urge to rape or sexually abuse another human being.

          For future reference, you’re probably not going to find too many people on this website that will be sympathetic to your MRA talking points. It might be time to move along.

  • Wren

    “How is it, Wren, that you have such an open and empathetic heart? I am amazed at your capacity for kindness, openess, and strength.”

    That is a very sweet thing to say, but you don’t know me that well!! Some days I’m just a monster, although I usually don’t take it out on anyone but myself. Still, I have spent most of my life vacillating between hopeful obliviousness sustained through significant amounts of repression and dissociation and suicidal despair. I’ve got fucking stories, that’s for sure. It’s only recently that I’ve begun to feel like a “normie” and that’s only really 30% of the time. I struggle with so many problems from PTSD and anxiety and fear of other people. Maybe I’m nicer on the internet?? lol. Also, as I’ve said many a times, finding FC and other radical feminist sites has really helped me. I don’t feel quite so alone.

    Regarding the grizzly man: I actually dated a man who was a ranger in another national park around the same time that he was killed. All the rangers talk about what’s going on in other parks, and word was that the guy was a HUGE pain in the ass, and a total asshole who didn’t really understand what he was doing, obviously. It’s his arrogance and stupidity that led to his poor girlfriends death as well. Men. Personally, I think grizzlies are safer.

  • rud

    Don’t believe any man that says he doesn’t know about this. Its what they are taught and raised as. They know this is what masculinity is.

  • Penniless Sitar Player

    Funny how we’re all so focused on Harvey Weinstein while there are many others of his kind in media & politics right now that people don’t speak out about. This is not news to anybody, it’s just people switching sides to either protect their name or to get press.

    • Deb Thompson

      And Yet here you are commenting on news that that is not news to anybody, oh the blinded hilarity of you go away idiot.

  • FierceMild

    Rather a parking lot where Love is then a palace…

  • calabasa

    I’m not implying she’s remembering wrong, I’m stating she may be in denial or possibly not telling you the truth to shield your feelings.

    Is your wife very tall and strong? Does she carry a gun?

    You ARE complicit. Do you watch porn? Do you support misogynist entertainers? Do you like “Game of Thrones?”

    You benefit via the protection racket. I don’t get catcalled or harassed when I am with men. I got a boyfriend once to avoid a crazed stalker. We lower our standards because “not abusive creep” is a prince among men. All men benefit from other men’s violence.

    I will return with suggestions later. I am exhausted right now.

  • skilletblonde

    It is safe to say I’m not a fan of the Hollywood Institution. I have never in my entire life watched the Academy Awards. You don’t want to know what I think of Hollywood actors. For the most part Hollywood is just a massive propaganda machine of American imperialism. It panders and propagates the unquestionable power of white men. The CEOs and/or chairs running the studios are 100% male and 94% white. Therefore, it’s products reflects its rule. Misogynistic, racist, and sadomasochist.

    I would like to think that Weinstein Scandal may finally expose Hollywood for the sordid place it is. But, I don’t think so. The American mainstream media controlled by 6 corporations, that include Hollywood, are going to minimize the damage of this scandal. They are going to point to the few bad apples like Cosby and Weinstein. But, the entire structure of Hollywood with its 100 years of abusing women and children will not be examine. As a matter of fact, a year from now expect Weinstein to show up on a set like nothing ever happened. After all, Woody Allen raping his own daughter, Roman Polanski rape of a 13 year-old, Charlie Sheen’s multiple acts of domestic violence, exposing partners to HIV, Jack Nicholson viciously beating 2 women in his home, and Ben and Casey Affleck’s sexual harassment of women– never stopped Hollywood from showering them with awards.

    If you want to send Hollywood an additional message, stop giving them your money. Also, there is a documentary directed by Amy Berg about the sexual abuse of children in Hollywood. Though Berg is an Academy Award nominated documentarian, the movie was quashed. It’s titled An Open Secret. It is online for free.

  • Omzig Online

    Google it.

    • crydiego

      OK