Condemn Harvey Weinstein and Hollywood White Male Power Priviledge
20 Oct 2017
Harvey Weinstein has undoubtedly launched careers, created art that will live across generations, and released memorable films but none of these trivia should be seen as a shield to defend the vile actions he has committed in his lifetime. The fact that it remained hidden with the silence of prominent and vociferous celebrities is what makes this a severe crime.
Funnily enough, all the victims are popular celebrities and all of them bravely came forward to speak about the same. Started by Rose McGowan and 40 women came forward with the last person being Lupita Nyongo. Personally, I am not surprised at the allegations since it is the same guy who defended the child rapist Roman Polanski. Polanski is yet another perfect example of white privilege as he not only escaped the punishment but managed to win an academy award which was received by Hollywood superstar Harrison Ford. Despite being popular and known, the actresses themselves found tight spots before the large society that tend to blame and shame the survivors and impose restrictions on women’s mobility in the name of safety. Look at how Asia Argento was forced to flee Italy and we know that an average woman with no passport, visa, and money will find herself in a tighter spot in such situations. A relative of mine claimed that lack of proper structuring has prompted “foreign” women to fall in traps with their “crappy” feminism. Of course, speaking out against a gender-biased system and violence will result in isolation and ridiculing but that doesn’t mean that we should perpetuate it with our silence. More than that, we shouldn’t in anyway silence those who have been victimized.
Speaking out against sexual harassment is both grueling and burdensome, due to the patriarchal social structuring that condemns a woman more for being in such a position (A.K.A victim blaming) and for seeing a woman’s honor limited to the “purity of her vagina“. Look at the number of Indian films where the victim commits suicide after being raped. But, in real life, women had to do what is essential for giving out a bigger and better statement. The allegations against Weinstein resulted in #MeToo campaign with women coming forward to speak against the same by revealing their experience with sexual harassment. And, it happens to be the one silver lining in the dark. Here in India, several actresses notably the one who was assaulted in a moving vehicle, spoke out about their experience. Another worthwhile result is that many men admitted to the mistakes they have made in the past, including Ben Affleck and Quentin Tarantino.
I acted inappropriately toward Ms. Burton and I sincerely apologize
Now, we can’t rule out the presence of white privilege and power play behind this scandal. Weinstein used his money and power for a long time, which is why it took over 20 years for many stories to come out including Rose McGowan’s. Some of the stories send chills down my spine and this is not something that happens in dark alleys when women go for a stroll. This happened to those women who knew Weinstein and who trusted him to a “nice guy” by default. Now, Weinstein still gets the platform to express that he is disturbed, again, shows what media tends to follow.
I wholeheartedly extend my support to all survivors who suffered under Weinstein and under those who had power and authority. Like it is told in Spiderman, “with great power comes great responsibility“. Those with power and influence should use the same for the betterment and benefit of the society. At the same time, it is imperative that women are given a safe environment to be in rather than to be “protected“. Intersectionality should not be disregarded while speaking up for all the marginalized people as opposed to limiting it to cis white women.