One of the most common comments since the Weinstein sexual harassment story broke has been: “It was common knowledge so why wasn’t it exposed earlier?” Seriously? Is there a living American male or female that doesn’t know the answer to that question?
The American workplace is still dominated by men and it has become the dominant force in our daily lives. It’s more competitive, more insecure than ever before. It is understood that you either park your rights and feelings outside the corporate door or lose your job. And this includes keeping your mouth shut if the boss leers, pats, makes lewd jokes, or even attempts (or does) lay his hands on you. It’s been going on since time immemorial despite the occasional high profile scandal. Remember Anita Hill? Isn’t her abuser still sitting on the nation’s highest court? And that was twenty-six years ago. My, how times have not changed.
Still surprised Weinstein’s behavior went unexposed for so long? Didn’t America just elect serial abuser and sexist par excellance Donald Trump as its president? And that vote came after we all heard him admit to all manner of lewd, crude and theoretically illegal behavior on an Access Hollywood tape. And wasn’t it the same Donald Trump who mocked, threatened and continued to harass the brave women who came out to corroborate his history as a serial abuser? Their reward for stepping up: he was elected president.
So, let me ask again: are we really surprised that Harvey Weinstein, Bill O’Reilly, or Bill Cosby got away with such behavior for so long? No, they are just the tip of the iceberg, which, I bet, will stay firmly in tact long after earth’s last glacier has melted.