Abuse, Misogyny & Why Women Can’t Win

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I woke up to this message this morning. It couldn’t have been received at a worse time, what with the news about Harvey Weinstein and all the stories of assualt and rape coming out. The whole  scandal has made me catch a lot of feelings, y’all.

First, let’s address this tumor of a man who messaged me. I state clearly in my profile that no Trump supporters should contact me, so it’s safe to assume that this walking abortion is a Trump supporter. Why else would he be whining that I will never fuck him? Imagine that. He doesn’t care what a woman’s political leanings are. How shocking.

I have one question to all you white men: what’s it like not to have any skin in the game? A woman’s political affinity should matter to you, just like a women being harrassed, assaultyed, and raped should matter to you. More over, it should matter all the time, not just when you’re personally invested in the cause or trying to protect your career. White men don’t seem to understand something: liberal women have to stand by their political leanings. We don’t have a choice. Every day something is being stripped from us, our birth control and our dignity to name a couple. We have to fight. We have to be vocal. We have to be angry. But most of all, we have to be with someone who will fight alongside us. We can’t just shirk our principals for a man. When we’re not with you we still have to deal with misogyny and gender inequality. Having a man does not fix any of that.

Now that I’ve gotten that out, let’s talk about Weinstein and the afermath of the assault revelations. Let’s first examine the fact that when Gwyneth Paltrow came out and admitted to the fact that Weinsten harrassed her, legions of people – mostly white women – criticized her for not coming forward sooner.

 

 

George Clooney gave an interview with The Daily Beast copping to being aware of Harvey’s “doggish” reputation but nothing else. Think anyone questioned or attacked him? No. No they didn’t.

I don’t talk about this often for a myriad of reasons, but I’m sexual abuse survivor. It went on for years, there were two perpetrators who were much older, my family knew because I told them what was happening, and they stayed quiet. They never spoke up to the abusers or their parents, whom my whole family saw frequently due to where we lived. One sister once told me I should take it up with their mother myself if it bothered me so much, but she wouldn’t say anything.

And you wonder why I don’t go home to Boston very much.

Remember that cat that used to mewl and howl in the alley behind my building? Do you recall how upset it made me to hear its cries? I identified with that cat. That creature was out there alone, fending off threats and wondering why they’d been disposed of and forgotten. That was my childhood. Frankly, that’s been the running tape in my head for most of my adulthood.

I hate discussing this because I know there are people out there who will read this and go, “That’s why she’s alone.” You know what? It probably does have something to do with it. I don’t doubt it. The abuse itself left lasting scars – I jump out of my skin when people come up behind me and get nauseous when someone whispers in my ear – but nothing cut me deeper than the silence from my family. Their refusal to defend me shattered my sense of self. As a result, I will never be able to completely trust them or anyone, really. By not speaking up they made it clear they would only go so far for me. Try to imagine how it feels to grow up beliveing you don’t matter. That voice has stayed with me my entire life and I have fought every day not to let it define me. That’s why I rarely ever talk about it.

All the women coming out and relaying their experiences with Harvey Weinstein told people what he’d done to them. With the rare exception here and there, the people Weinstein’s victims confided in did nothing. A woman got his despicable behavior on tape and the DA decided there wasn’t enough evidence to press charges. Then the press  – obviously paid off by Weinstein – went after her and painted her as a gold-digger and a con artist. So when people ask why these actresses didn’t come out sooner, remind them that each one of them did and were hushed, threatened, or dismissed. Gwyneth Paltrow, daughter of highly-respected and well-connected producer Bruce Paltrow and god-daughter of Steven Spielberg, was threatened by Weinstein himself into silence. Imagine what was done to the women who weren’t associated with Hollywood royalty. Look, you don’t like her website or vagina eggs? Cool. Just keep in mind that a person can be someone you dislike and a victim at the same time. It’s not an either or situation. 

White women and men trying to pin the blame on the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Angeline Jolie and all the others for not coming forward are motivated by one thing: misogyny. Those people don’t get it: even today – almost forty years later – I still fear what could come from me talking about this publicly. What will people say? What will people think? Will my family lash out? I never would have dated you if I knew about that. That’s what a man said to me once.  Will any man ever want me if they know this, or will they assume I’m broken beyond repair? Because you know what? That’s what I think sometimes. So, no, more than likely those women kept this secret to themselves not to save their careers because they didn’t want to be stigmatized or accused of lying for attention or revenge. Even if they did stay silent to protect their careers, they’re not responsible for what Weinstein did. He is. Just him. Only him.

It’s great that all these white men want to come forward and speak in our defense and denounce assualt and harrassment, but rape and assault aren’t new, boys. Where ya been? Yes, it certainly is admirable that Anthony Bourdain is publicly supporting his partner, Asia Argento, after coming foreward with her story of being raped by Harvey Weinstein. But would he have been so vocal if he didn’t have a personal connection to the story? I seriously doubt it. Would Matt Damon care so much if he didn’t have four daughters? Would George Clooney have come out with such a strong statement if people hadn’t started demanding he speak up? The support is great, but it would have meant a hell of a lot more if it didn’t reek of a strategic CYA move on the part of men coming out with statements. 

I’m not a person who likes to praise peopel for doing what they should have been doing all along. That’s something else that needs to stop. Stop giving men credit for not being rapey asshats. Stop indulging clear-cut male attention whores like that douche who held oral sex auditions for his female friend.  Seriously. Cut that shit out. It’s a ploy to ingratiate themsleves into female spaces and gain access to women they wouldn’t normally have.  Early this week this dude posted a Periscope of a naked woman masturbating in his bed. But it was for his show, guys! That’s not sleazy, right?

Enough. Enough of all of it.

 

 

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31 Responses to “Abuse, Misogyny & Why Women Can’t Win”

  1. Mandy Says:

    About people (usually white men, but not always) saying people should “stay away from the politics”, especially in social situations…to them politics is about taxes and silly laws and general policy. They are so privileged (or totally ignorant to the fact that they’re not) that they don’t realize that “politics” to the rest of us is about our most basic human rights, or the most basic human rights of others who we care about. And that is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing, not something trivial.

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  2. Parenting Says:

    Do these idiots have any idea what its like to work in an industry thats controlled by like 5 men? Who are you going to take your sexual harrassmet complaint to? The union? Is winning a moral victory against a dirty old man worth never working again?

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    • Parenting Says:

      And never mind that no matter what you do or dont do, you’ll get called a “whore” (see above).

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    • Sheba Says:

      You’re right, of course, but the sad fact is that most industries are largely controlled by men (even if many women get the jobs that involve being looked at), and so the same thing goes across most fields.

      A person who really can’t understand why someone would be too intimidated and frightened to report assault (of both the attacker and how society at large will respond) is frankly too privileged to enter the conversation.

      If you’re that sure that not only are you in the right, but everyone who hears about it will agree with you and support you and not minimise the attack or blame you in some way…you’re probably a man, sorry. Our world is geared towards men’s needs and men’s wants. That’s why the dickhead who messaged Moxie told her not to involve politics because it wasn’t important to him…and therefore she should avoid it across the board. Because his wants influence the entire sphere. (Anyone else thinking of Gaston? “It’s not right for a woman to read. Soon she starts thinking and getting ideas….” And the fuck of that one was, when Belle was initially scripted as being bookish, several male story editors tried to pressure the female scriptwriter to change that!)

      I absolutely cannot fathom a world in which a man could attack me (several have) and I could stand up and report it and not be largely judged for what I wore, how I acted, for making a big deal, kicking up a fuss, is it really that important, stop being such a princess, stop screeching, that’s just how men are, oh wait I have reported it but I waited too long so I’m still a bitch….I can’t imagine it. I can’t.

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      • Parenting Says:

        I agree with you that men still largely control the world, but there are a lot of buffers and risks for sexual harrassment in the corporate world. If i can prove sexual harrassment in the workplace, i can potentially when a very large settlement. In the arts, not so much. Really all that you can do is try to file a conplaint with the production company of which you are a contractor or conplain to the union (probably your best bet) if its even a union job. Being sexually harrassed while working in a non-corporate artsy jobs is so common place its rediculous. I would report rape. I didnt report a guy putting his hand on my thigh while offering me a job or the time a coworker touched my ass or the time a coworker tried to watch my colleague dress or the time i was told “can you recommend someone because they dont hire women”. The way that it normally works is if someone is treating you so badly you cant tolerate it, you stop working for them.

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    • UWSGal Says:

      You are correct. You do understand though, that it’s the same as saying this harassment wasn’t big enough deal for these women to risk their careers over?

      I was harassed in a very similar manner when I was about 25, one of a few females and the most junior on the team working in a male dominated industry. At work, in plain sight basically. Everybody saw. I didn’t report it, not even to the HR because why? What would’ve happened to him? I mean it’s barely even a crime, nobody cares. Most importantly, 10 years later I don’t particularly care either. I’ve got thick skin and worse things have happened to me. I am glad I didn’t waste time or energy on that douche. Btw, he fucked off when another guy on my team finally came up to him in front of me and said he should leave me alone. Like i said – everybody knew, one chose not to look the other way.

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      • Parenting Says:

        Wel yeah, its not a big enough deal to risk your career over. When you are 25 and you’ve spent a dozen years struggling and sacrificing so you could have a shot at a dream, and just when the work finally seems to be coming your way, are you going to give it all up because some perv tries to kiss you? Hell, I wouldnt have given up my career if that man punched me in the face at every rehearsal. Back then, Im not sure what it would have taken for me to sacrifice my career. That doesnt mean its ok and no big deal.

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      • ATWYSingle Says:

        Like i said – everybody knew, one chose not to look the other way.

        Right. A man decided to step up and say something and the harassment stopped. Your male co-workers thought so little of you that your comfort and opinion didn’t matter. I mean, cool for you that doesn’t bother you, but if you think that’s changed in ten years you’re sadly mistaken. You’re still nothing but a hole to some of the men you work with.

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  3. fuzzilla Says:

    **Even if they did stay silent to protect their careers, they’re not responsible for what Weinstein did. He is. Just him. Only him.**

    Exactly. Great post.

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    • Selena Says:

      **Even if they did stay silent to protect their careers, they’re not responsible for what Weinstein did. He is. Just him. Only him.**

      Regardless of how an individual woman handled abuse from this man, it doesn’t matter – IT IS ON HIM. ONLY HIM.

      Some people who worked with him are writing they heard of his reputation. Others who worked with him write they were unaware.

      Regardless of who was aware, and who may not have been – IT IS ON HIM. ONLY HIM.

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    • ? Says:

      Exactly. So we shouldn’t haul other men for not speaking up either. They are protecting their own jobs and careers, just like the women.

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  4. Betty Says:

    John Bradshaw’s Homecoming really helped with my early childhood issues. You’re supposed to be safe with your parents and the onset of trauma/neglect can really shatter us. It taught me how to self soothe which is a big thing when your caretakers are out to lunch. Totally agree about the Weinstein thing. Rose McGowan was banned from twitter for saying Ben affleck knew more than he let on and yet all these Uncle Tom women love piling on the criticism on other women. Sad, this is what society has become.

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  5. Yvonne Says:

    As the Independent Newspaper asked today, “Why are we still shocked that men in power abuse women, when Donald Trump is the president?”

    I’m sorry, but sexual abuse is ubiquitous. 1 out of every 6 American women has been a victim of attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. The numbers actually used to be more than DOUBLE, but they are still way too high. This cuts across occupation, race, and class.

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    • UWSGal Says:

      Honestly this quote is devoid of any logic. So Trump being elected president in 2016 made Weinstein abuse women 30 years ago? Also do they even realize that Weinstein was one of the biggest HRC and Obama donors? Jeez. It seems that all these Hollywood people who so much like to claim the moral high ground and attempt to teach the rest of us how to vote and what’s good for us need to clean up their own house first. This has nothing to do with Trump.

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      • ATWYSingle Says:

        So Trump being elected president in 2016 made Weinstein abuse women 30 years ago?

        The quote is asking how people could be shocked that someone like Weinstein could rise to the level of success that he attained while at the same time harassing/assaulting/raping women.People shouldn’t be shocked that Weinstein got away with it because we elected a man who was accused of rape and assault numerous times over, even by his own ex-wife. Apparently 13 accounts of harrassment and assault didn’t disturb enough people not to vote for him. Tons of people were willing to look the other way or chose not to believe the stories.

        Also do they even realize that Weinstein was one of the biggest HRC and Obama donors?

        Like Weinstein is the only donor with a seedy reputation? While Weinstein’s reputation for being a sleaze was well known, the stories of assault and rape were buried because he paid people off. People don’t seem to grasp just how powerful this guy was. He lasted as long as he did because people were terrified to go up against him. He destroyed careers and reputations.

        I guess only Republicans are allowed to shirk the numerous stories and rumors and admissions of assault on tape. Republicans can ignore the stories, but Democrats can’t apparently.

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        • UWSGal Says:

          I do understand what they’re trying to say, but still i think it is bizarre that a major liberal is caught being a sexual predator, and yet they STILL somehow manage to make it about Trump? This is especially upsetting since liberals position themselves as champions for women’s rights and yet they have guys like these among their ranks, at the very top, for decades. This is the guy that Michelle Obama called “a friend and a wonderful human being”. Clintons took his money. Did they not know? Were they afraid of him? Or, we are expected to believe that everybody in Hollywood knew, but they didn’t? This hypocrisy is truly nauseating. They are ALL the same at the top, a bunch of self-serving politicians and businessmen who will take any money and say whatever is convenient to get to their goals of power and money. None of them are any better than the other, that is my takeaway from all this scandal. If anybody thinks that some politicians are fighting for their rights, this is the time to wake up and get cynical.

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          • ATWYSingle Says:

            but still i think it is bizarre that a major liberal is caught being a sexual predator, and yet they STILL somehow manage to make it about Trump?,

            That’s because the they’re both men with a great deal of power who rose to that power despite a myriad of disturbing allegations and accusations. That’s the connection: the systemic sexism within our society that allows men to behave in such a way with no concern for their victims.

            This is especially upsetting since liberals position themselves as champions for women’s rights and yet they have guys like these among their ranks, at the very top, for decades.

            Cutting a check is not “among their ranks.” Nobody was asking Weinstein for hiscounsel or advice where politics was concerned.

            This is the guy that Michelle Obama called “a friend and a wonderful human being”. Clintons took his money. Did they not know? Were they afraid of him?

            Again i’ll repeat that nobody knew just how depraved Weinstein was because of payoffs and NDAs. All people had to go on were rumors of him hitting on and sleeping with actresses. And don’t forget, Weinstein conducted far-reaching smear campaigns against anyone that accused him of wrong-doing. You don’t seem to understand how elaborate this was. He had the media in his pocket. They did whatever he said.

            They are ALL the same at the top, a bunch of self-serving politicians and businessmen who will take any money and say whatever is convenient to get to their goals of power and money.

            And yet you chose to vote for a man accused of rape and assault. And spare me the Banghazi/Uranium/Ken Starr/White water arguments. To you, a woman being violated is less important than a hefty pay-check for a speech. You’re all so offended by that (a debunked story, btw) but rape charges and crass admissions on a hot mic don’t even register with you.

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        • John Says:

          “People shouldn’t be shocked that Weinstein got away with it because we elected a man who was accused of rape and assault numerous times over,”

          Are you referring to Bill Clinton or Donald Trump?

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          • ATWYSingle Says:

            Clinton wasn’t accused of rape or assault when he ran for president 20 years ago. He’s also not president now nor will he ever be again, so for the love of f*** find a different comparison to make.

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            • UWSGal Says:

              Why? I think Clinton belongs right with Trump, Weiner, Weinstein and the rest of this crew. Why should we cut him any slack, because … why? Just because he wasn’t accused at the time of running for president? But he WAS inappropriate with a number of women, and he and his circle did everything to bury those cases and then them and the liberal media completely destroyed Monica, who was just a 19 yo intern against oh I don’t know – arguably one of the most powerful men in the world? Are you telling me that as a feminist you are not disgusted by it? This actually is my problem with Hillary. Forget Benghazi and the emails- but she is not a woman I need fighting for me, when she is culpable in covering up her husband’s indiscretions for the sake of their political careers and power.

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              • Selena Says:

                “This actually is my problem with Hillary. Forget Benghazi and the emails- but she is not a woman I need fighting for me, when she is culpable in covering up her husband’s indiscretions for the sake of their political careers and power.”

                I suspect many folks chose not to vote for HC because they remembered her husband’s many infidelities and didn’t want the pair of them representing – and leading- their country again.

                I wish she would have retired with her husband; writing, lecturing, making appearances for candidates and causes she supported. If she hadn’t run for POTUS…maybe
                a different candidate would have won.

                I did not vote for DT. He is so woefully incompetent for the job it scares me. Every day I hope HE realizes this and resigns. Any reason will do.

                My hope is we will have better choices in 2020 knowing what we had to choose from in 2016.

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              • Zaire Says:

                I’m no conservative, but I agree with UWSGal. I suspect the reason Hillary hadn’t come out against Harvey Weinstein is because condemning Weinstein is essentially a condemnation of her own husband.

                Things like this is why I am reluctant to fly the feminist flag. Of course I believe sexual assault and coercion is completely wrong. However, I can not condemn the men who do it but ignore women who “played the game” and stayed silent allowing this perversion to continue on. If we as women are all in it together who can you standby and allow younger women to be subjected to this treatment by remaining quite? How do you gladly reap the monetary, career, and political benefits afford by knowing a Weinstein but flip the script 20 years later when there is zero social cost to speaking up? As far as I’m concerned these people comprised women as a group to further their own individual interests. Most feminists will not critically examine women who passively cosign the exploration of other women for their personal gain.

                Also, who is seriously shocked that Weinstein did this for 30 years? Roman Polanski raped a 13 year old girl and people still cape for him to this day. If people can defend that they absolutely look the other way when a man forces himself on adult women.

                Let’s call a spade a spade. Political affiliation does not absolve anyone of being a horrible human being. I didn’t vote for DJT (or HRC) and will be ecstatic when this train wreck of a presidency ends in impeachment or a single term. That being said I’m really getting sick of people acting like all that is wrong with America is DJT’s doing. There were always racists, sexist, white nationalists etc in this country long before him. At least his blatant asshattery giving people the opportunity to seriously discuss these societal ills.

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            • John Says:

              Paula Jones filed a sexual harassment suit against Clinton is 1994. He settled out of court for $850K. All of this was known prior to Clinton being elected for his 2nd term in office.

              So I guess you defense now will be that “sexual harassment isn’t as bad as sexual assault”. But settling for almost 1 million so she would suddenly hush up is pretty damning to me.

              So lets hear how you spin doctor that one. Its been fun watching you whine about Trump for the past year. 3 more years of watching you become unhinged and linking everything bad to Trump is good click bait.

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              • ATWYSingle Says:

                There’s nothing to spin. He was elected in a time when that kind of behavior was not just ignored but encouraged. I don’t aghree with that and if he ran again, I wouldn’t votefor him. 1998 and 2016 are two entirely different landscapes. What we accpted then isn’t what we accept now. How is this hard for you to understand?

                Oh, and HE’S NOT PRESIDENT.

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                • UWSGal Says:

                  Oh yeah, as John Oliver put it, “in 1968 we had no idea that women didn’t like beinfg forced to look at dicks. The scientists did not discover it until the nineties” or something like that. Seriously? Do you understand what you are saying? This was exactly Weinstein’s line – “different time, it was the culture back then”.

                  And yes he’s not the president but why is he a liberal hero? Why is there NOW, that “the time is different”, has been no condemnation or any attempt to distance the party from him? He was campaigning for his wife and every freaking “feninist” out there cheered. And Hillary doesn’t get a pass either. She played a very active role in attacking these women. She was personally involved in hiring PIs who went on to dig up past lovers and any last piece of dirt they could find on the women making the allegations. She was complicit in attacking her husband’s victims, and she thought he did a good job “managing that narcissistic looney bin” (ML). This is not some fake news. There’s a NYT article about it.

                  The bottom line is, people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

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                  • Parenting Says:

                    Per my understanding, the only Clinton ill ever proven was the Lewinsky scandal. At the time, there was an aggressive campaign organized by the GOP to destroy the Clintons. There was so much smoke and mirrors on both sides, and so many bizarre accusations that never stuck that the only thing i as an observer could tell with certainty about Billy was that he had a wandering dick and was good at talking out of both sides of his mouth.

                    Moxie is absolutely right that things were different in the 90s. These types of things were just starting to come out. When that woman initially accused Clerance Thomas of sexual harrassment, there were jokes about it on family sitcoms and it was common to assume she was just doing it for the publicity and to maybe extort money. It was easy to assume the same about Paula Jones. After 25 years worth of scandals, we have a different view of things.

                    Had it happened today, I’d give the testimony of Clintons accusers far more weight. I dont know if Trump is different from Clinton. They are both certainly womanizers and probably both sexual harrassers.

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                  • Yvonne Says:

                    CNN also responded to the NYT article with further clarification last year:

                    http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/11/politics/hillary-clinton-donald-trump-bill-clinton-accusers/index.html

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  6. Coffeestop Says:

    When I look at profiles politics does matter. I am not an ultra lefty but I would find it difficult to have sex with a guy who sincerely believes in Maga. They can go have sex with the millions of Maga ladies who love Trump.

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  7. Yvonne Says:

    As I said in my post, this behavior is ubiquitous. It cuts across political lines. You don’t have to be a conservative or a liberal to be a misogynistic asshole; there is still a tacit acceptance of the sexual abuse of women. I may agree with Weinstein’s liberal politics more than Trump’s, but at the end of the day, they are both abusers whose abuse has been covered up.

    But with Trump, it is actually worse, because despite the allegations, he still became the supposed leader of the free world, and we look to the POTUS to set a moral example. Too many people used the line that “boys will be boys” in his case, which they really are not doing with Weinstein. It may be late in coming, but Weinstein’s career is ruined. Trump’s career was elevated in spite of everything.

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  8. Nia Says:

    First of all Moxie, I’m very sorry this happened to you, you have my deepest sympathies.
    I will say it really bothers me that there’s this idea that liberals are ignoring Bill Clinton’s unethical behavior or that by voting for Hilary Clinton, they are somehow ignoring said behavior?
    As far as I recall, Clinton did suffer pretty serious consequences from his choices. He was investigated quite thoroughly by our government (You may recall the Starr Report?) and almost impeached.
    No liberal of my generation (X) thinks he’s any kind of hero. He’s a flawed politician and flawed man who cheated several times on his wife.
    There is a big difference between a by all accounts consensual affair (granted, an icky affair, due to the imbalance of power) with a very willing partner, and a ongoing series of genuine sexual assaults such as Weinstein committed.
    Women have come forward saying that he committed acts from simple “flashing” or sexual displays, all the way up to rape. All of these were non-consensual and he was holding the threat of being blackballed out of Hollywood over these women’s heads.
    The other thing about this guy that makes people so disgusted is his sexual misconduct is only part of the story. There are few other redeeming qualities that might mitigate his deviance.
    He abused people psychologically, physically, emotionally, and sexually. I daresay that Trump does or did too (shouting, threats, tantrums, humiliation, etc).
    Clinton entered into inappropriate sexual relationships. He also was widely respected for his many accomplishments as a leader.

    Leaving that aside, it’s NOT about politics. This isn’t about “The Left” covering for their poster boy. Weinstein was incredibly powerful in Hollywood, he may have even been *THE* most powerful person in Hollywood. He could break someone’s career and leave them penniless and unemployable.

    We ALL have to make hard choices in life. Let’s not take the focus off the person who is REALLY responsible in this: The predator and abuser.

    Women choose not to come forward for all kinds of reasons. Fear, denial, confusion, feeling guilty or complicit, etc.

    I was sexually assaulted at age 19 by a much older coworker. For years I thought I led him on and that (ugh) sexual “favors” was the price I had to pay for him allowing me to crash at his apartment after a concert one night. I was torn because my upbringing had taught me that being attractive to men and managing their overtures while being sweet and sexy was my job. Dealing with a man who was drunk, had power over me, and was about 50 pounds heavier was too much for me. Just letting him do whatever was easier.

    That was almost 20 years ago. I put it out of my mind. I’m in therapy now and a lot of stuff that I pushed down and covered up is coming back. Am I a cowardly complicit hypocrite because I chose to shake it off and move on?

    I hope not.

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  9. KK Says:

    Moxie,

    I commend you for your bravery and speaking out about your abuse. You will never know how many people you have given hope and strength to, knowing that they are not the only ones.

    I also think you’re amazing to write about your political views that may not resonate with your fanbase-your opinions matter greatly and need to be known. I applaud and thank you.

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