Tuesday, 17 October 2017

How to deal with a Harvey Weinstein.

Two words.
Harvey Weinstein.

A further two words.
Sexual harassment.

That's the topic flowing through Hollywood right now and seeping into the rest-of-the-world territory.

And quite frankly this makes me p****d off! (And also hungry since it's 11am and I haven't eaten my usual breakfast of custard flavored yogurt smothered in muesli, bananas, almonds and honey but mostly...I'm angry.)

This story awakens a sad sense in every man and woman to just how prevalent sexual harassment is by people of power. And the cherry on top of the breakfast is...these sexual offenders almost always get away with it!

Anyway, if you haven't read what's going on with this creepy dude...let me sum it for you.

Meet Harvey Weinstein, adept film producer, director and co founder of Miramax - an entertainment company that produced movies like Pulp Fiction, The Crying Game etc.

Now meet the tons of ladies in Hollywood that have come forward alleging that (during a three decade period, at one point or another) Harvey assaulted them sexually, raped them, forcibly gave them oral sex, made sexual advances and / or groped them inappropriately.

His victims include Carla Delevingne, Mira Sorvino, Patricia Arquette, Asia Argento, Rose Mcgowan, Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and many other ladies.

Some of the victims declared that at the time of Harvey's sexual misconduct, they were young, up and coming actresses who were afraid to expose Harvey due to the possibility of their career being threatened. (Harvey did warn some of them to keep the incidents a secret.)
A few of the actresses also claimed that after rejecting Harvey's sexual advances, their acting roles impeded.

Now I ask - how is it ever OK to treat women as sexual objects and also indirectly threaten their career?!

Would it be OK if the same thing happened to their daughter, sister or mum?!

Plenty ladies stated that during their meetings with Harvey, as soon his sexual attempts began, like groping them, trying to get them naked, appearing naked, asking them for massages or asking them to watch him shower etc (WTF Harvey?!), they would say no and many evacuated his presence. Others were forced into oral or vaginal sexual acts. They remained quiet about the occurrences due to fear.

But a few of the women in Harvey Weinstein's case did bring to light Harvey's sexual behavior, either by telling others about Harvey, or, as in the case of Amber Gutierrez, who in 2015 reported to the police that Harvey groped her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt. Nothing was done to Harvey but Amber got labelled as a publicity seeker and her image sadly, was tarnished.

Now (ONLY), in 2017, is Harvey being investigated for at least four past charges of alleged rape by some of his victims. He has taken blame for his sexual misbehavior but states he didn't rape anyone and that all sex was consensual. (Insert unconvincing face here.)

 I've never been a victim of sexual assault or harassment but I see it often and read it. I can imagine the fear, awkwardness, trauma and disgust these ladies had to put up with just because Harvey felt he could treat them as objects and not as a respectful, EQUAL human.

Unfortunately Hollywood has been engulfed with dozens of Harveys throughout the decades in a world filled by the stereotypical pressure of beautiful ladies, glamour and fame all camouflaged in a vessel of darkness and abuse. There are also Harvey's in a lot of work places and it's rare for a guy like this to change as long as they know they can get away with it. But what happens if they know they CAN'T get away with it...

Combating sexual offenders in the workplace.

To a woman that's worried about the stability of her job or career, and therefore is tentative about reporting a sexual offense, they should know that the laws of a workplace states that sexual harassment is NOT allowed, even if its the boss or CEO that happens to be the abuser.

Note : I personally feel that the employee should know exactly what constitutes as sexual harassment and what doesn't. For as much as I agree to punishing every arrogant male imposing sexual actions to unwilling females, I do believe that there are plenty good men out there whose actions are merely playful and innocent and should be treated as just that - innocent. Hence I mention the need for research on what is sexual harassment and what isn't.

If sexual harassment does occur, the victim (who can be male or female but statistically this happens more to females) needs to address the offender verbally and ask them to please stop their misdemeanor. Or the victim can speak to human resources department to take more formal action and for further advice.

In the case of Harvey Weinstein, where influence, money and power allowed him to get away with this type of behavior, it became a conflict on whether or not to report his actions. The victims expressed that they felt awkward, scared, alone and chose silence to keep the peace and not jeopardize their career; although the intense trauma and guilt stayed with them throughout. This is not something any female or person should have hanging on their shoulder!

Effectively, the more awareness and light shed on this topic, the more the offenders will realize that sexual harassment will not be condoned and will think twice.

It was admirable to see many of the victims step forward and speak out against Harvey and even more amazing to witness men and women, especially in Hollywood, who are standing by their side. It's a clear stance against sexual abuse of any kind and shows that women - all around the world and in any field - will NOT tolerate their bodies being used against their will, for sexual satisfaction and / or to further their career.

I also feel non victims need to vocally and mentally support those who have experienced sexual assault, stand by their side and do the best they can to ensure that the Harvey Weinsteins of this world do not get away with disrespectful, demeaning behavior!

With actions spreading more knowledge and opening up ones eyes to this common topic and with a strong support system, females (and men who are targeted) can win this fight and play a huge role in discouraging and ceasing the behavior of people like the great, talented, Mr Harvey Weinstein.

NO wait, now it's just...Harvey.


  1. Maybe I'm just cynical, but I think for every Harvey W. who is brought to light, there are a dozen more that remain in the dark. He had the "influence, money and power" to act on a grand scale, but everyday there are men able to wield influence and power on a smaller scale and ordinary women afraid to speak out. Whenever there is an imbalance in power, sadly there will always be someone taking advantage of the situation.

  2. Hi Yolanda :) I 100% agree with your comment! Large or small scale, 'Harvey's' are everywhere! That's why I believe, whether this happens in Hollywood or in a small office of 20 staff, that the more awareness brought and spread around stopping sexual abuse, the more all females and victims will feel supported enough to stand up. Which will "even" the power. Power isn't just money or influence. It can come in the form of support to - that's how I feel. These offenders are just arrogant cowards and when they realize the heavy support and standing up of the victims they will think twice.