The Harvey Weinstein fall-out continues and has produced a huge amount of really good articles.
The Conversation We Should Be Having
A US-centic piece (though I’m sure similar pieces could be written for many countries) about how revelations like Weinstein come out periodically but nothing ever changes, and people denouncing now were once the ones aiding cover-ups and minimisations.
men need to start speaking out, not just about other men, but about themselves, about the power they wield and the role they play in creating the realities that seem still to shock them.
Quentin Tarantino Was Well Aware of Sexual Misconduct Accusations Against Harvey Weinstein for Decades
I am quite sure that Tarantino wasn’t the only man in this position. I don’t know whether to praise him for speaking up now or to feel outraged that despite his obvious power in Hollywood he did nothing.
Beyond Weinstein: The Fraught History of the ‘Casting Couch’ and Hollywood Sexual Harassment
A podcast non the history of the casting couch, which goes back far further than Hollywood.
Men of the world: You are not the weather
This is a truly excellent piece.
I am sick of having to suffer so a man can grow. What is this, every Hollywood movie ever made? I am tired of having to confess to someone else’s crimes. I am tired of showing up at the banquet dripping blood like Banquo’s ghost. This should be your ghost, not mine. I am not the one who should be ashamed that you have done these things. I am not here to make you see the error of your ways.
The Harvey Weinstein allegations are monstrous. But it’s not just monsters who harass women
This piece looks at harassment in journalism and asks why men get away with it.
Let’s focus on the real question: why did all these guys do it? I would lay blame on a culture where the script of “romance” often involves a pursuit, with an unwilling target eventually melted by the force of a man’s ardour. I’d blame a culture of entitlement, where some men think that they are owed women’s attention. I’d blame male-dominated office cultures, where a few loud arseholes can set the entire tone, and industries run by powerful men, and run on an endless supply of powerless women.
Hollywood’s Other ‘Open Secret’ Besides Harvey Weinstein: Preying on Young Boys
Corey Feldman is using the Weinstein revelations to get more attention to a topic he’s been talking about for years - the abuse of young boys by Hollywood executives. It seems that he’s finally getting some traction and good luck to him. This is one case where ‘what about the menz?’ is truly justified.
The Weinstein revelations have led to people taking a closer look at Hollywood and the way it approaches sex and women in film. It’s been pretty damning.
Sexual Violence in Spec Screenplays
An analysis of screenplays for sexual violence themes. Their findings aren’t surprising but are depressing:
- stories where men rape women are generally written by men
- stories where women get raped usually use that rape to define an otherwise cardboard character
- stories where women get raped often have that woman as their single female character
- stories where a woman is coerced into sex often show the coercer in a good light
- stories where a woman gets raped often use that rape to define the male protagonist’s journey
Much more at the link.
Sarah Polley: The Men You Meet Making Movies
Sarah Polley describes an encounter (a prelude to assault) with Weinstein and how women are systematically marginalised in Hollywood.
On sets, I saw women constantly pressured to exploit their sexuality and then chastised as sluts for doing so. Women in technical jobs were almost nonexistent, and when they were there, they were constantly being tested to see if they really knew what they were doing. You felt alone, in a sea of men.
Why Do We Let “Genius” Directors Get Away With Abusive Behavior?
A really excellent piece on Buzzfeed about how people excuse anything if it’s for ‘art’. I found really strong parallels with the culture of pushing people to (and beyond) their limits in academia by ‘superstar’ PIs and I don’t think that’s a coincidence.
Excusing the abuse of men in filmmaking means that those who work with them on film sets, especially women, are expected to develop “thick skin.” It becomes proof of their commitment. And when they fail to reach this unreasonable standard of emotionlessness, they — rather than the directors who demand it — pay the price.
It also spawned the #MeToo campaign (well, actually, it didn’t, that was begun by Tarana Burke over a decade ago) and a lot has been written about that too.
#MeToo or #MenToo? How men can talk about abuse
This is a great piece from Ally Fogg on how men can respond to the ‘revelations’ that many women have faced sexual harassment and abuse. It’s all excellent but this bit in particular rang true,
join us in carving out other spaces to talk about men’s experiences, separate and parallel to the conversations women are having. Those can happen at the same time or perhaps we can find more appropriate occasions. Even this week, to be blunt, if you have been trying to talk about men’s experiences of sexual assault as a rebuttal to the Weinstein allegations but you have not been highlighting the testimony at the Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Inquiry from Rochdale children’s homes about the revolting crimes of Cyril Smith, then you’re probably a shitty hypocrite who doesn’t actually care about male victims at all.
Toxic masculinity is everywhere. It’s up to us men to fix this
This is a really excellent piece by Jordan Stephens of Rizzle Kicks, highlighting how toxic masculinity is hurting men and their relationship with each other and the women in their lives.
Any man who has read a woman’s account of harassment or assault and thought “that doesn’t apply to me”: what you’re experiencing in that moment is the exact privilege, power and entitlement that women are finding space to battle against. We have subconsciously benefitted since we were born from patriarchal privilege – in many ways it’s invisible to us.
#MeToo – Some Useful Things That Men Can Do
Another one for men, written by a man (in this case Justin Hancock). It’s fascinating how many of these articles are listicles. I don’t know if that’s just the way people write these days or if men need things to be spelt out in clear short statements.
Men paralyzed by #MeToo: Here’s why you need to speak up—and how
For men, by a woman, this piece explains why getting men to acknowledge #MeToo is so important.
Some readers may think, “I see women calling out men for the stupid things they’ve said, and I know I’ll be judged for speaking out, too.” To that I would say: I celebrate your discomfort.
Frankly, it’s entirely fine—actually, it’s great—that many men feel judged and personally attacked over recent debates about Weinstein and sexual abuse. The reality of sexism and sexual violence makes women feel uncomfortable and judged every single day, from the catcalls we get on our way to work to the way we hesitate before sharing our opinion in a meeting. For women of color, trans people, gay people, and gender-queer people, this daily judgment and discomfort is only amplified.
That men are finally starting to experience the negative consequences of sexism may be a way for them to understand how women and non-gender-conforming people feel all the time. If you’re feeling judged or attacked, channel those sentiments into thinking critically about how you can do better—in both your public and private fight against patriarchy.
As a man, #MeToo has made me reassess my past sexual encounters
A man reassesses his interactions with women and views them from their perspective for the first time.
#MeToo and why even if we think it hasn’t happened to us, it probably has
A woman reassesses her interactions with men and realises the many ways in which she’s been sexually harassed which she had unwittingly brushed off as ‘just the way things go’.
The fact is, of course, that it has happened to me. Not in the horrendous way retold by thousands of victims through #MeToo, but in a variety of styles, various degrees of banter, pestering, and physical contact. And the reason why I discounted those events, some of which should certainly not be discounted, is because the reality of sexual harassment and contrived sexualisation is so prevalent, from such an early age, that if a woman were to recall all incidents of such a nature she would immediately cease to function and melt on the spot.
The Problem with the #MeToo Campaign
This is a really thought-provoking piece, discussing how the #MeToo campaign unwittingly puts the burden, once again, on the victim and not the attacker.
The problem, really, with all of it is how violently present the victim is forced to be in the narrative, and how utterly passive the perpetrator. The problem is not that women have trouble considering themselves victims of sexual violence, but that men have trouble considering themselves the aggressor.
As #MeToo takes off, don’t let the right define misogyny
This piece is the most overtly political of the lot, looking at how the unveiling of abusers from the Left have allowed the Right to take control of the narrative.