Monday, October 9, 2017

Sexually abusive men and class: Harvey Weinstein vs Clarence Thomas

Meryl Streep is quoted in “Appalled” By Harvey Weinstein News | Deadline:
The disgraceful news about Harvey Weinstein has appalled those of us whose work he championed, and those whose good and worthy causes he supported. The intrepid women who raised their voices to expose this abuse are our heroes. 
One thing can be clarified. Not everybody knew. Harvey supported the work fiercely, was exasperating but respectful with me in our working relationship, and with many others with whom he worked professionally. I didn’t know about these other offenses: I did not know about his financial settlements with actresses and colleagues; I did not know about his having meetings in his hotel room, his bathroom, or other inappropriate, coercive acts. And If everybody knew, I don’t believe that all the investigative reporters in the entertainment and the hard news media would have neglected for decades to write about it. 
The behavior is inexcusable, but the abuse of power familiar. Each brave voice that is raised, heard and credited by our watchdog media will ultimately change the game.
Weinstein appears to have taken one traditional approach to sexual abuse: he targeted women he saw as subordinates.

During the Clarence Thomas hearings, several of his subordinates defended him, saying he'd always treated them respectfully. If Anita Hill testified honestly (which I mention only because her story has not been verified—I find it perfectly plausible), Thomas took the second approach to sexual abuse with her; she was his professional equal, so he saw her as someone to belittle.