What’s Current: Salma Hayek says, for years, Harvey Weinstein was her ‘monster’

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

  • Salma Hayek speaks out about Harvey Weinstein’s “Machiavellian rage” after she resisted sexual abuse.
  • Sexual assault charges against Mustafa Ururyar, the man accused of raping Mandi Gray, were dropped today, after he agreed to sign a peace bond, which bars him from contacting Gray for a year but does not involve an admission of guilt.
  • A domestic violence shelter in Juneau, Alaska, has decided to open its doors to “to people of all gender identities,” including men, in January.
  • Tanzanian officials release and pardon two child rapists while calling instead for “pregnant school girls” to be arrested.
  • The City of Halifax admits that female firefighters have faced systemic discrimination at work in a settlement. For years, women like Lianne Tessier have complained about demeaning and abusive behaviour from their male co-workers and superiors.
Jess Martin
Jess Martin

Jess Martin is a public relations professional, an aspiring writer, and an assistant editor at Feminist Current. She prefers to write about feminist topics, disability, or environmental issues, but could be persuaded to broaden her horizons in exchange for payment and/or food. In her spare time Jess can be found knitting, gardening, or lying in the fetal position, mulling over political theory that no one in their right mind cares about.

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  • Juneau’s domestic violence shelter reps were certainly vague and opaque in this interview. In the current political climate, which places gender affirmation so far above women’s safety, that’s a concern.

    • Amy

      I’m frightened these women are running this shelter, the board should remove them before the place is sued by female victims (and there will be some for sure)

    • Amy

      I’m frightened these women are running this shelter, the board should remove them before the place is sued by female victims (and there will be some for sure)

  • Meghan Murphy

    Yes, this story made me SO ragey.

  • FierceMild

    The Salma Hayek story made me queasy with rage. And to think that our pig-in-a-wig in the whitehouse dared to equate Mexican with rapist. I am so angry and grieved for her.

    • BornACrone

      Same. That’s rape. I don’t care if he wasn’t even in the room — being forced to perform sex acts or else your life’s work will be destroyed is RAPE. And despite this, with that kind of opposition, she still manages to be one of the most original, talented, and incisive actors and producers in the business.

      I don’t want to hear about a man’s “genius” ever again. How many other geniuses with tits did he destroy to feed off their corpses like a carrion-eater and claim their genius as his own? These men aren’t rainmakers or geniuses. They are nothing but parasites who sense genius in others and attach onto them like life-sucking leeches. If they are high performers, it’s only because they hold everyone else around them down. They aren’t even close to geniuses. They are tapeworms.

      And the next time I hear some asshole tell me about how it’s prudish to be “threatened” by a naked woman on screen “choosing to displaying her sexuality,” I’m going to print Salma’s article, wrap it around a baseball bat, and pound it into their skull. Choice, my bald dago ass. We prudish, “anti-sex” feminists are the ones who see this stuff for what it really is: a woman forced to turn her sacred act of creativity and fertility into degradation while it eats away at her soul. Anyone who CAN’T tell when that’s happening, or worse, who can sense it and doesn’t give a shit or even likes it, is a soulless monster.

      • Omzig Online

        You are totally correct about the definition of rape.

        In my area, rape is defined as “knowingly or intentionally causing the sexual organ of another person, without that person’s consent, to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person,” which may or may not include the perpetrator.

        Two people being forced to have sex for the sexual gratification of a third onlooker is absolutely rape, legally speaking.

  • Wren

    It is so upsetting, especially since it is one of my favorite movies. To think that I’m watching a woman be tormented into doing something she didn’t want is infuriating.

    • BornACrone

      I hope that they make a cut of the film without that scene in it so that we can watch and enjoy it as Salma envisioned it and before he smeared his filthy destructive pollution all over it.

  • Blazing Fire

    Yesss! and Yessss!

  • shy virago

    This story made my skin crawl.

    What I keep thinking about is how many men I interact
    w/ everyday who may sexually assault, rape or harass women. Especially
    progressive men, ‘fighting’ for peace.

  • BornACrone

    It explained to me in one fell swoop why I don’t watch movies anymore and haven’t in literally decades. Why I don’t own a TV. Why I stopped reading fiction entirely. Of COURSE I hate this crap and feel insulted by it and never see anything remotely like my own life or anyone I know reflected in it. THEY’RE ALL CREATED, CONTROLLED, AND STRUCTURED BY RAPISTS. Duh.

    In a way, it also intersects with this “I just feeeeeeel like a woman va-va-voom” horsecrap espoused by these guys who think that porno heels and lipgloss make them “real women.” They have been poisoned, like most of the world, by images created by woman-hating pornsick rapists, and they think that shit is real. They seriously think that’s what we are. They have read so many shitty novels written by losers who write crap like, “She was acutely aware of her firm yet large breasts straining against her bra as she” like drank a fucking cup of morning coffee or picked her nose or some shit. And they think this crap is real!

    Seriously, do YOU think about your underwear crawling up your ass while you’re stuck in traffic? But they read and view this shit and think, “Ooooh, that’s a WOMAN’S Secret Inner Thoughts! I want to be constantly aware of my firm breasts while I’m flossing, too!” and ta-da, they throw on some eyeliner and get a Twitter account and whammo, they’re “trans.”

    • Marian

      I’m now waiting for the big Oscar-bait rush of trans-are-people-too films to come out of Hollywood and the Indie circuit in the coming years. I’m also wondering if a trans character or two will be injected into the next Star Wars pre/se/equal or Marvel Man franchise or perhaps some other trans-saves-the-world scenario.

  • Kelan Fox

    I think it’s a mix of not wanting to be a victim, but also lack of government support. I’ve read of more than one men’s shelter shutting it’s doors due to lack of government funding and/or a lack of public donations.

    This is probably because only the most vulnerable of men (boys, old men, disabled men, gay men) tend to be in need of such a space. This means 90% of men don’t feel a reason to care and therefore these spaces don’t get funded. Which leads to men invading women’s spaces because male entitlement. So, once again, men lacking empathy for those less privileged is causing problems for women (as usual). We live in a disturbing world.

    • Missy

      Exactly. Like you’ve said, most males who need these shelters are young, elderly, disabled, or a victim of domestic violence from their male partner, and I’m willing to bet that even if it were more common for men to experience abuse or any kind of violence from women, whether a partner, a family member, or otherwise, it wouldn’t make much of a difference when it comes to aiding the victims. I mean, look at the MRA male supremacist group for instance. They only care about rape and other violence against men if it’s a woman who committed the acts, yet they never offer a solution like funding for shelters and other services to help abused men, or even possess any actual empathy for male victims. When it’s another man harming another man, which is the case the majority of the time, they couldn’t care less since it doesn’t suit their agenda of claiming that women are just as violent and terrible as men no matter how reality proves them wrong.

      This is not to say or minimize the fact that there are men who do experience abuse from their female spouses/partners. I have an uncle who is very dear to me who has a wife that is mentally incompetent and should really be in a mental institution, but her parents won’t allow it, and they constantly threaten my uncle, telling him if he tries to leave her they’ll take him for all he’s worth plus smear his name. They could even have him incarcerated with telling lies that he was the abusive one all because his wife is mentally not all there. She has extreme control issues, always telling him where he can go, what he can say, etc… (she does this to other people who are around too, but unlike my uncle, they can leave). But the worst is her violent outbursts when she’ll hit him, and she even has tried to stab him. When I heard about that, I was infuriated and wanted my uncle out of that situation immediately, but of course because of her parents and because of the law system that refuses to pay any attention to real male victims, he was stuck. I know if there was a men’s shelter, he could have gone there and would be granted the protection he deserves, plus my mental aunt and her parents wouldn’t easily be able to get to him.

      I know cases like my uncle’s are rare, but they do happen, and there’s no place for male victims to run to thanks partly to the government, but also male supremacist groups who don’t actually give a damn about male victims unless it suits their narrative against women. Violence and abuse against men is, of course, nothing compared to what women experience, but rare or not, actual male victims like my uncle deserve the same rights and protections as any abuse victim does. Ironically it’s the patriarchy, a system created to benefit males, that prevents these vulnerable men from getting the help and support they need. They’re just suppose to “have the balls” and “act like a man” and “take it like a man.” In order for the patriarchy to ever be dismantled, toxic masculinity has to dismantled first which requires putting a stop to all men promoting and maintaining it such as most men in power, and male supremacist and fundamental religious groups. The fact is that in order to successfully enact a change, all these toxic men need to have the tables turned on them, to become the oppressed instead of the oppressor. It’s the only effective way to put an end to their reign of tyranny. They need to be silenced, met with contempt, shamed, laughed at, driven to isolation, basically every tactic they are currently using against women and men who refuse to condone and conform.

      Societies around the world will continue to be violent, intolerable, uncivilized cesspools until these types of dominant, sadistic, overly-masculine sociopaths are removed and forbidden from having any power and influence ever again. It really is the only solution to the world’s worst problems, not to mention the only way our species will make it to the next century.

      • Kelan Fox

        I have to be honest. I’m a male victim of abuse and when I hear stories about male victims, it still doesn’t upset me the way female victims do. Maybe because I was the exception and not the rule, whereas the opposite is true for women. Maybe because I was socialized to view men as strong and unable to be harmed by such traumas, I’m not sure. I just struggle to see men as victims. Maybe I’ve spent so much time reading radfem literature, that I struggle to feel bad for men. I’m not sure, however this attitude seems pretty common among men and I don’t know how to go about changing it.

        • Missy

          The only real way to go about changing these attitudes and to stop violence against both women and vulnerable men is dismantling the patriarchy. There isn’t much one person can do by themselves other than educating others, but as radical feminism grows into a stronger movement and more women and non-conforming men become aware and enlightened by the truth of it, there will be change. It may be slow, but it will come.

          There’s strength and numbers, and the goal is to outnumber and overpower patriarchal men and strip them of their unjust dominance and privileges. Their downfall will be our uprising, and with it violence and power imbalances will diminish greatly. Of course these things will always exist, there will always be evil people preying on the vulnerable, but keeping these kind of people out of power will ensure that there will be proper punishments for these crimes, and all abusive and narcissistic behaviors will be discouraged and shamed instead of praised and supported like they are now within the patriarchy, and the psychotic male supremacists running and ruining everything.

  • Rachel

    Also I would add, very rarely would you see a man fearing for his life whilst in a relationship with a woman, or whilst leaving (which is the time when women are most at risk of being killed by an abusive partner). The men who do fear for their lives would either be a) the victim of a psychopathic serial killer woman (very rare for this, and very rare for serial killers to be even be women unless acting with a man), or b) the victim of male on male domestic violence.

  • Rachel

    Yes exactly. I’ll never understand this finding someone attractive = objectifying them. It’s so lame and shallow and strange to me. I mean, I do get it – it’s been created to put women back in the box that society feels they belong in… But it’s just so ridiculous.

  • Rachel

    Exactly. And the worst thing is – they are super proud of it… And feel the need to tell everyone about their raging boner when they see someone they think is attractive. So simple minded.

    • Kris

      Because it’s less about their personal horniness and more of a male bonding ritual to gawk at those beneath them. Also why catcallers tend to be in groups.

  • calabasa

    That’s definitely a part of it. However, I also think that the *pattern* of male violence which necessitates DV shelters for women is distinctly male. There are some cases of women manipulating and breaking down their partners, and consistently physically abusing them in escalating fashion, and stalking and killing them when they leave out of the belief their partner belongs to them, but this *pattern* is distinctly male, I think (particularly the idea of ownership seems to come from a male sensibility). I’d like to see studies done around this (of how men who report domestic violence describe the behavior of their female partners). In the one problematic (in the real sense of the term) study in which it seemed there was near-parity, the study counted a slap as the same as a punch, or a thrown spoon as the same as strangulation (it did not differentiate between acts of violence); it also did not ask about *pattern* of violence, or whether it went along with emotional violence and controlling behavior (not just telling a person what to do but telling them they can’t go out, making their schedule, jealously reading their text messages and email, etc). I don’t think it even distinguished between acts of retaliation or self-defense and acts of provocation or attack.

    I would bet women lose their tempers and commit small acts of violence against their partner, that might be a pattern of losing their tempers but are not part of an orchestrated campaign to control nearly so often. That doesn’t excuse their behavior, but it also makes sense why men wouldn’t need a DV shelter as much as women (less likely to be stalked and killed by their former partners).

    Also, men don’t generally rely on their female partners for income, and they have all the economic privilege that comes with being male, so the need would be less in that regard, too.

    Even when it comes to looking at homicide rates, women who kill their partners often do so because they’re being battered, either in self-defense one day, or when the abuser’s guard is down, because it’s how they feel they can “get away” (battered women’s syndrome, which I think is likely Stockholm syndrome, C-PTSD, and a serious ingrained fear of the abuser that makes it difficult for them to get away). How often do women kill their partners as opposed to vice versa, and how often is that in a case where a clear pattern of violence against the woman has been established? The disparity is huge, and this disparity in who kills whom and why I think shows just how great the difference is in both the quantity and the quality of domestic violence from men to women vs. from women to men (women do it less often, and more out of anger and impulse control issues than an orchestrated campaign of dominance).

    I’m sure there are people out there researching this issue. That’s just my hunch. My mom worked in a DV shelter; two of the women she helped were later tracked down and murdered by their former partners, even after leaving the state and changing their names. I’ve been abused, and though I was lucky not to have them obsessively stalk me, there was always some sort of continuing abuse afterward, including unannounced visits in the middle of the night (just walking into my apartment after driving twelve hours from another state and then immediately hunting around in a frenzy looking for the new sexual partner he assumed I was hiding), displays of extreme jealousy, or, most recently, a campaign to block me out of the community and/or force a confrontation (which was designed to make me cave and come back, or else have to leave town to get away from his sphere of influence, up to stalking and befriending my old friends and acquaintances).

    Do women do these kinds of things as often? And are men as financially vulnerable? I think these are two big reasons men’s DV shelters are not as in need as women’s.

    Abusers DO love to claim they’re the victim, though. When my mom worked in a shelter, they had advocates meet the victim at a neutral location, to make sure it was not a trap set by an abuser; then they’d make sure they weren’t followed when taking her to the shelter. They went to great lengths to keep the location of the safehouse (not the public side of their services) secret and to keep it secret that a particular woman was staying there.

    This just seems insane to me. Just as of course sexually deviant men will put on wigs and dresses to gain access to women’s most vulnerable and intimate spaces, of course abusers are going to claim to be abused to gain access to their victims…even if they are not allowed because their identity is known, it would be easy enough for them to get a buddy in there just to scout out and find out if their victim is in fact at the shelter…just LETTING men in there, considering also how many abusive men claim to be the abused, it seems, well, insanely risky to me.