THE HARVEY WEINSTEIN SAGA
[Nyerges is a teacher, and author of such books at “How to Survive Anywhere,” “Til Death Do Us Part?”, “Extreme Simplicity: Homesteading in the City,” and others. He can be reached at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com, or Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041]
The Harvey Weinstein saga was the opening salvo in what can be described as the latest Pandora’s Box to be opened for public viewing. Why now? Who knows? The timing was right, apparently, and the pendulum has swung – in a good direction.
I’ve had many discussions in the past month as revelation after revelation has come forth, almost at a dizzying speed. The nature of this particular Pandora’s Box is unique, and it has ignited deep-felt discussions by both men and women. I’ve had discussions with just men, just women, and with mixed groups. I’d like to share some of my observations.
First, by whatever divine timing occurs to allow such nasties to be revealed, it is clear that women have had enough! Women everywhere know how they have been treated for so long, almost automatically, and they want it to end. After all, let’s face it -- the world is largely run by men, and many of them haven’t gotten used to the idea of a woman in the work place which is his equal, and should be respected as such. Or, the men who have been running things for so long have come to expect – even demand – certain perks from the women who are part of their solar system.
Once, many years ago while having lunch with my mentor at the time, he noted that I glanced over at a very attractive woman in the next booth over. My mentor said nothing at first. Then, in a short while, he said, “Most men have no clue how hard it is to be a beautiful and attractive woman.” He did not specify the woman that I had glanced at, but let’s just say that she had all the assets that a man seems to not be able to not stare at. “Imagine if you were such a woman,” he continued. “All day long, men would whistle at you, yell at you, taunt you, and they would interpret your every move as a flirt or an invitation to them.” Honestly, I’d never quite thought about it that way before. I’d figured, as a male, that it would be quite awesome to be the most attractive woman in the room where every guy wanted to… well, you know.
My mentor continued. “The curse of being highly attractive is that it is nearly impossible for most men to see beyond your body, and get to know the person inside.” I had to admit that was true. Sad, but true.
In our recent Weinstein-related discussions, most of the women were a bit surprised when I declared that nearly all men are natural predators, and that they have to work hard to overcome their animal nature. Women are not that way, and so they are too often surprised when a man’s animal nature strikes. That’s no excuse for the man, of course – it’s just a fact.
I found it interesting that not a single man challenged my assertion that nearly all men are predators. Why? Because they are men! They know what it is like to be inside a man’s body.
I was asked if I thought any of these women were lying with their sexual allegations. I said no, I didn’t think so. I mean, maybe there are one or two exaggerations, but I didn’t see any reason for deceit in this matter. One man asked me, “Well, don’t you think it’s odd that some of them waited 30 years to speak up?” No, I didn’t find that unusual at all. After all, if you lived in an environment where you had to prove something happened, you would end up in the so-called he-said-she-said situation, where it could not be decided by a court who was lying or telling the truth. So why would any woman under such difficult situations bother to again put herself through the wringer of the courts? I believe most of the women. The timing was right and they are speaking up, saying, I didn’t like what you did to me. I did not consent. What you did was wrong.
And men should really sit up and listen. A woman does not like a man to push himself on her. A woman who rejects a man (for whatever reason) is not playing “hard to get.” Guys, get over it. If the woman does not care for you, keep your hands to yourself and move along smartly. The world is a very big place. Remember, it is always the woman who chooses in a relationship. Get that into your head.
The Weinstein saga has brought up a lot of touchy issues, some of which will probably not be resolved any time soon. For example, there are some who want to revisit some of Bill Clinton’s sexual allegations. But, they aren’t interested in Bill's extramarital affairs – something that occurred between two consenting adults and therefore only their own business – but only in cases where Clinton forced himself on a woman, and used his power to influence her to do something she did not want to do.
As since the beginning of time, men like women, women like men, and we all need each other, as friends, partners, and associates. Learn to give the respect that you want and expect others to give of you.
These are some of the things that my friends and I discussed. I think it’s good that the cat came out of the bag, and I hope that we might see positive changes in the male-female relationships of our society as a result.