Harvey Weinstein (Credit: AP/Arthur Mola)
While things are getting better in many ways around the issues of sexual abuse and harassment, sadly, in the wake of the multitude of accusations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, there are still many who still seek to reduce male culpability for men’s misbehavior — and oftentimes even to seek excuses to either blame women or at least disempower and marginalize women even further.
At the front of the pack is Weinstein himself, who, in an entirely predictable but still infuriating move, is reportedly going to a rehab center for “sex addiction.” Luckily this news was met with a spate of articles about how “sex addiction” isn’t a thing, but is instead a way for often powerful men to evade responsibility for the fact that they leveraged their power to mistreat people, particularly women. It’s an obvious effort to insinuate the problem is that women are just so damn irresistible, and to paint men as powerless over their own hormonal impulses.
To add to what many other people are saying about this, I’ll point out that the problem is clearly not that Weinstein was out of control. The problem is that he wanted to be in control and he enjoyed exploiting how much control he had. Weinstein wants you to imagine him as a hapless man inflicted with priapism, but there’s little evidence of that. His reported targets were all young women whose fledgling careers could be destroyed by him. But as Meryl Streep’s statement suggests, he left more established actresses alone.
The penis-made-me-do-it arguments don’t fly when considering other disturbing stories about Weinstein. Rebecca Traister claims he called her “cunt” and pushed her then-boyfriend Andrew Goldman down some stairs while yelling that he, Weinstein, was the …read more