“Toxic masculinity” – it’s often in the last place you look. The mirror.
I’m still not sure what’s more ridiculous about the Harvey Weinstein saga: the wounded surprise and faux outrage from the denizens of Hollywood that this sort of decades’ long harassment and abuse has been happening in their midst or the pretense by so many that they were completely oblivious to it until now. Don’t believe that for a second. Many people in Hollywood might be dumb, but they’re neither deaf nor blind. Entertainment is an industry that thrives on gossip; everyone knows who’s sleeping with whom, who’s overdoing it on the alcohol and drugs front, who’s had a breakdown, who’s in rehab or who’s had a new surgery. There are no secrets in Tinseltown, and thought not all stories are true, as the bold and the beautiful err on the side of the excess and exaggeration, no true stories remain unknown. Everyone knew about Weinstein and his wandering hands, and everyone knows about other creeps and predators, but everyone keeps quiet – you don’t shit where you eat – until the bitter end.
And Harvey, needless to say, is a tip of the iceberg. Hollywood, and the entertainment industry more generally, are full of dirty old – and young – men who like to take advantage of the plentiful opportunities. It’s not just the Jabba-the-Hut-esque producers, directors and actors who try to bed young starlets. The 80s star Corey Feldman has alleged for years a culture of paedophilia, with predators grooming and molesting teenage actors and wannabes. Former “Dawson’s Creek” star James Van Der Beek twitted about his early 20s self that “I’ve had my ass grabbed by older, powerful men, I’ve had them corner me in inappropriate sexual conversations when I was much younger…” For all I know, stories might come to light about industry women preying on younger hopefuls, but they are likely to be outliers.
You don’t need to be a radical feminist to know that since the time immemorial, men (usually older) have used their wealth, power and influence to try to gain sexual access to women (usually younger). That the entertainment industry would be particularly rife with such practices should hardly be a surprise, considering the over-abundance of young and attractive women who “want to make it in Hollywood”. For every one that manages to evade the clutches of a sleezebag producer another one will succumb and lie back and think of her future career. You don’t want to make enemies of people who hold the power of professional life and death over you. The same people who have the power to make you or break you usually also have the power to kill any negative stories, should they seep into the wider world. And they did and they do, but eventually there is a tipping point, as we have seen over the past few days.
If the phenomenon itself is sad and pathetic, the hypocrisy and the sanctimony of the industry is positively sickening. Hollywood, after all, styles itself as the moral compass and the conscience of America, if not the entire world. Entertainment industry couldn’t be more woke if it was snorting twice as much coke as it does. Here’s the largest collection of feminists, progressives and radicals outside of the academia; here are the people who consider it their artistic mission to indict their own country – and particularly the conservative, “fly-over” half – of all the deadly sins and then some, including patriarchy, sexism, misogyny, and general discrimination and ill-treatment of women. Yet here is the small section of the American society which is quite possibly the biggest offender. Men like Weinstein mouth pious feminist platitudes and donate to Hillary with one hand while the other is groping an up-and-coming actress. And everyone knows about it and keeps quiet because you don’t want to damage your own career by making powerful enemies and you don’t want to give succor and ammunition to the dreaded right by badmouthing and tarnishing the reputation of the progressive city on the (Hollywood) hill.
As Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds likes to say, why are the Democrat-monopoly institutions such cesspits of sexual harassment? Because it’s not just the movie industry – it’s also the media, the music industry, universities… It’s not that bad things don’t happen to women elsewhere – of course they do – but the trendy left’s moral vanity and virtue signaling citadels have no credibility when they claim the status of our betters and lecture the rest of us on the evils of the world outside their enlightened enclaves, i.e. the world where most of us live.
Science-fiction writer John Ringo has an interesting take on the Hollywood Syndrome:
Deflection in abuse syndrome: Are Hollywood Actresses really angry at Conservative men? Or is it all just a sham?
The simple answer to the question is: Yes. But not because conservative men have abused them. Because they are forced to be silent, for various sociological and psychological reasons, about their abuse at the hands of the ‘in-crowd’ of liberals by which they are surrounded. And they lash out at any convenient target…
So do liberal actresses and models and all the rest really think conservative men are the worst human beings in the world?Yes. Yes, they do. Because they have to work every day with some of the ACTUALLY worst human beings in the world. And they have to believe conservative men are worse. Otherwise, there’s no point to being on the ‘good’ side.
Thus when Donald Trump said some needlessly crass things and alleged to have groped women, they immediately saw in him not just Harvey (all the rest of the abusers in Hollywood High not to mention Billy ‘I did not rape that woman’ Clinton) but WORSE THAN HARVEY.
Because Trump has to be worse. They can’t really be slaves to some of the most vile human beings on the face of the planet.
Got news for you ladies: Yes, yes, you are. You enable them every day and by doing so you not only support the abusers, you directly or indirectly tell all the hurt new cheerleaders: Welcome to the bigs, sis. Now shut up and act.
You’re blaming the wrong side.
This echoes words ascribed to a conservative activist Phillys Schlaffly to the effect that liberal women think all men are pigs because their men are. I’m not going to be as categorical; over my two plus decades in and around politics I’ve met sleazebags on all sides. But the point of all the above is not to try to outbid each other; it’s to note that it’s well past the point that the assorted artistic and intellectual elites can maintain any air of superiority vis-a-vis the mere mortals. Your whole empire wears no clothes, and it’s not just because they’re on Harvey Weinstein’s bedroom floor.