Today in Rape Culture

[Content Note: Rape culture; descriptions of sexual harassment and/or assault; rape apologia.]

A bunch of new allegations late yesterday and this morning...

Salma Hayek in the New York Times: Harvey Weinstein Is My Monster, Too.
I was so excited to work with him and that company. In my naïveté, I thought my dream had come true. He had validated the last 14 years of my life. He had taken a chance on me — a nobody. He had said yes.

Little did I know it would become my turn to say no.

No to opening the door to him at all hours of the night, hotel after hotel, location after location, where he would show up unexpectedly, including one location where I was doing a movie he wasn't even involved with.

No to me taking a shower with him. No to letting him watch me take a shower. No to letting him give me a massage. No to letting a naked friend of his give me a massage. No to letting him give me oral sex. No to my getting naked with another woman. No, no, no, no, no… And with every refusal came Harvey's Machiavellian rage.

I don't think he hated anything more than the word "no."
Catherine Pearson, Emma Gray, and Alanna Vagianos at the Huffington Post: A Running List of the Women Who've Accused Donald Trump of Sexual Misconduct. "These allegations span more than three decades, from the early 1980s to 2013... Trump and his administration have repeatedly denied all of the accusations, most recently tweeting that women he didn't know were making 'false accusations.' In October 2017, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders suggested that all of Trump's accusers were lying."

Daniel Holloway at Variety: PBS Suspends Tavis Smiley Following Sexual Misconduct Investigation. "PBS has suspended late-night talk show Tavis Smiley amid misconduct allegations against its host and namesake. ...The investigation found credible allegations that Smiley had engaged in sexual relationships with multiple subordinates, sources said. Some witnesses interviewed expressed concern that their employment status was linked to the status of a sexual relationship with Smiley. In general, witnesses described Smiley as creating a verbally abusive and threatening environment that went beyond what could be expected in a typical high-pressure work environment. Several expressed concerns about retaliation."

Joe Coscarelli and Melena Ryzik at the New York Times: Music Mogul Russell Simmons Is Accused of Rape by 3 Women. "In recent interviews, four women spoke on the record about a pattern of violent sexual behavior by Mr. Simmons, disclosing incidents from 1988 to 2014. Three of the women say that he raped them. In each case, numerous friends and associates said they were told of the incidents at the time. The women said they were inspired to come forward in the aftermath of the accusations against Harvey Weinstein, as victims' stories have been newly elevated and more often believed. ...Black women, especially, felt powerless against Mr. Simmons and his cohort in the small world of urban music, with several saying that misconduct against them could go unchecked because their place in the industry was so tenuous. They feared being ostracized, or worse."

Beth Healy and Sacha Pfeiffer at the Boston Globe: For Years, Fenway Health Center Kept Prominent Doctor Accused of Harassment, Bullying. "Fenway Community Health Center permitted a doctor accused of sexually harassing and bullying employees to continue working there for four years after the first serious complaint was filed in 2013, according to interviews with current and former employees and documents reviewed by the Globe. The Boston medical institution, known for its pioneering care and advocacy for patients in the gay community, paid an outside law firm twice in the last four years to investigate allegations made against the doctor, Harvey J. Makadon, according to the sources. The second time, in 2015, chief executive Stephen Boswell ignored the lawyers' recommendation to fire Makadon, and failed to report the matter to the board of directors."

And a follow-up: Second Fenway Health Center Leader Steps Down Amid Furor over Handling of Sexual Harassment Claims.

Morgan Spurlock: I Am Part of the Problem. At the link, Spurlock confesses (sort of) to rape, sexual harassment, and infidelity — then offers a list of reasons why he might have sexually abused women. I have so many fucking problems with this, I hardly know where to begin, but, chief among my objections is this: Now, if any woman accuses him of any other abuse, lots of people won't believe her, because he didn't "confess" to it and, gee, he's so honest. This is a clear attempt to get out ahead of serious allegations and frame it himself before his victims can even tell their stories. I'm filthy angry about this, especially because, as Spurlock certainly anticipated, he's being widely congratulated for his bravery. Seethe.

Heather Caygle at Politico: Democratic Lawmaker: Women's Clothing an 'Invitation' to Harassment. "A female Democratic House member shocked fellow lawmakers Wednesday when she said that the revealing clothing that some members and staffers wear is an 'invitation' to sexual harassment. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) made the comments during a private Democratic Caucus meeting Wednesday to discuss sexual harassment issues, according to two Democratic sources in the room. ...In a statement to Politico later Wednesday, Kaptur said she never meant to suggest that women are to blame for harassment they experience." Except, ya know, she did.

And finally, during a Q&A for their new film, The Post, Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep on separating (or not) the art from the artist:

TOM HANKS: If you threw out every film or television show that was — okay, yeah — made by an asshole, Netflix would go out of business. [audience laughter] So that's not a good idea. I think you do just have to — you wait, because this is a long game. Picasso was a womanizer — this is not excusing anybody. You just have to wait and see how it settles over the long haul. This is not a sprint; this is a marathon. And I think work does speak for itself, but character does come into the conversation at some point, but I think that lands over time.
Although she is not in the above video, Streep reportedly said: "We still revere Shakespeare. I mean we haven't thrown [The Merchant of Venice] out and there is no question that that play is antisemitic. There's no question that The Taming of The Shrew is misogynist. Everybody has their blank spots, but the genius that understands about the human experiment is worth safeguarding and shouldn't be touched… People who are terrible also have terribly clear insights on other subjects, so I don't think you throw the baby out with the bathwater."


Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus