No, this isn’t a review of the new movie out about that infamous tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, although I do hope to see it soon. It looks hilarious and who couldn’t use more laughter in their life right now.
Today’s topic is Harvey Weinstein and female oppression. Hold on guys, don’t leave the room, as this isn’t a male bashing hit piece either. While the whole pathetic Weinstein saga brings about several steaming piles of hypocrisy just begging for dissection, what intrigues me most is how far off track we’ve gotten when it comes to women’s oppression, because those words have lost their meaning.
First, a brief summation of events. Harvey Weinstein is (was?) a big time movie producer and co-founder of Miramax films, who for decades used his industry power to pressure women in to having sex and/or perform lewd acts in front of. He is a living, breathing caricature straight out of 1930’s Hollywood of a cigar chomping film mogul who preys on women in return for movie roles. His number of accusers is now pushing 30 and growing daily.
Calling Harvey Weinstein a pig is an understatement and unfair to real pigs, who can be quite charming. He is a predator who views women in one of two ways; those that can fulfill his perverted sexual needs and those that can make his films successful and thus fatten his bank account. He is a selfish, vile abuser who oppressed women in the worst of ways and deserves the public flogging he’s now getting.
What to make then of Mitt Romney, who after a question about pay equity in the 2012 presidential debate said:
“I had the chance to pull together a cabinet, and all the applicants seemed to be men . . . I went to a number of women’s groups and said, “Can you help us find folks?” and they brought us whole binders full of women.”
Ok, not the most eloquent statement, but it was clear he was saying that he went to great efforts to make sure women would be hired for his cabinet. Yet he was roundly pilloried by the Left as wanting to put women in binders, which quickly morphed in to the “big scare” narrative that Mitt Romney’s policies are from the 1950’s, implying he wants to oppress women by keeping them barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.
Of course this was a big fat lie drummed up by Team Obama to piggyback off the Left’s bigger, “War on Women” theme, which demonizes Republicans on issues like birth control, abortion and equal pay as wanting to oppress women. Legitimate policy differences exist by the way on these topics, but it’s so much easier to exploit the vulnerable and demonize your opponents as sexist cavemen, than engage in debate.
Unfortunately it worked and the “women are oppressed” narrative along with a heavy assist from a compliant media, perpetually outraged feminists and, ironically, Hollywood, took on a life of it’s own. Women’s Studies’s classrooms across the country now teach as fact that oppression is everywhere, as common as the air we breath, brought to you by an invisible patriarchy that exists to keep women down.
Question, if women’s oppression is everywhere, so much that a squeaky clean Mitt Romney can be painted with such a villainous brush, how then do we describe the Harvey Weinstein’s of this world? Is he like a Super Duper Women’s Oppressor or perhaps an Oppressor Extraordinaire?
No, Harvey Weinstein deserves the label of women oppressor without the extra superlatives. In normal times, it would be understood that this is a very serious business and accusing someone of such evil should not be taken lightly.
We don’t live in such times however, which unfortunately means Mitt Romney and many other good men will continue to be demonized, as long as it pays off politically. Welcome to the insanity of identity politics.
The problem is when the wolf constantly cries “oppression, sexism and patriarchy,” many folks tend to tune out, especially those being unfairly maligned and instances of real oppression and harassment don’t get the attention they should.
One final note, ladies, give the men in your life the benefit of the doubt that for the most part they are decent people and not out to harm or oppress you. Guys, don’t be so quick to dismiss our complaints of sexual harassment and abuse because it does happen. It’s not the norm and certainly not systemic to our culture, but it is real and we need good men like yourselves to help combat it.