Trump, Weinstein, and the Rest

No discussion of all this can begin with anything other than an unambiguous proclamation of revulsion as the details of Harvey Weinstein’s conduct emerge. If only a fraction of the most serious charges are true, he’s committed crimes, potentially including felonies, whether or not he remains vulnerable to prosecution under various statutes of limitation. And he has subjected how many young people, their careers in his hands, to degrading experiences that have stayed with them for years or decades?

Trump loyalists have pointed to the conspiracy of silence on the Left that shielded Weinstein for decades as proof of a double standard — their man Trump is pilloried; Weinstein is protected. Apart from the breathtaking inaccuracy of this propaganda — both men were given passes forever, then their passes were revoked (but was Trump’s revoked?) when evidence became public — it leads to what conclusion? Weinstein was given a pass, so Trump should be given a pass? Hardly. Trump should be subjected to exactly the same scrutiny that Weinstein is receiving, and the appropriate consequences should follow. All the more so, given that Weinstein, after all, is a private citizen, and Trump is the President of the United States.

All of that said, let me observe that in my 67 revolutions about the sun, I’ve known very, very few men who have spoken of women as these men have, and none that I can remember who have treated women as these men have. Granted, I haven’t seen what happens behind closed doors, and I’m prepared to concede that some fraction of the Dr. Jekylls also were Mr. Hydes.

I’m prepared to accept that my experience has been atypical and that males as a gender are nearly universally awful, but what I think is that we have a culture, including men and women, that has allowed a subset of our gender — typically powerful men who think the rules don’t apply to them — to get away with terrible things. And that has to stop. And I think we’re now on the way to stopping it.