By: KAREEM RAHMAN
The allegations levied against Harvey Weinstein has everyone in every industry talking. The allegations against Weinstein don’t seem to be stopping anytime soon either. Every day there’s a new woman stepping forward alleging that Weinstein raped or sexually harassed her. The allegations made by multiple women against Weinstein are disgusting. Most of us have trouble believing that a person could just take it upon themselves to treat another person like they owe them something, simply because they’re sitting in a position of authority. That person has the ability to help or hurt a person in the industry, and they use that power to their advantage. It’s sad to think that things like this happen. It’s sad that a person would have to go through something like this and be silent about it for many, many years, or risk losing their job and livelihood. It’s a tragic situation to say the least. But you’d be a naive fool to think that Hollywood is the only place that this happens in. These type of things happen in every industry where one person has the power to change a person’s life.
As I watch different people from different walks of life take to Twitter and other Social Media sites to show their disgust at the allegations made against Harvey Weinstein, I just sit back and wonder “do these people really think that this shit is going to stop with Harvey Weinstein or Hollywood?” Wherever you have authority, you likely have a person or people looking to abuse that authority to get what they want. In almost everything. We’ve seen corrupt cops, judges, politicians, the list goes on and on. What makes you think that this same thing doesn’t apply when that person in authority wants sex from someone instead of money? It would be foolish not to think that unwanted sexual advances and sexual abuse is or had been a part of almost every industry at one time or another. The only reason you may have not heard about it yet is because times were once different than they are today.
The 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s were a completely different time than what we see today. Unless you were there, it’s probably difficult for you to even imagine. And going back before the 70’s, I can only imagine that things were worse. If you go back to the 70’s, 80’s and even some of the 90’s, women were publicly shamed and ridiculed for almost everything. Women who were raped were looked at like it was somehow their fault. It’s kind of hard to explain, but before the Country stepped into the age of PC (politically correctness) culture, a lot of people got away with a lot of things simply because women were shamed into silence. Do you honestly think that Bill Cosby is the only famous person who slipped Spanish Fly or some other drug in a woman’s drink before taking advantage of them sexually? Hell no! Spanish Fly was a big part of the club culture back in the 70’s. Cosby just happens to be one of the few whose accusers decided to speak out about it many years later. Most women will try to bury experiences like these deep in their brain and try to just forget about it. And Terry Crews speaking up recently, shows that it wasn’t just women being taken advantage of in such a way. It was all about power and using it to believe that everything in the world was yours. Having the ability to change a person’s life at the snap of a finger is a lot of power. It’s not just Hollywood either. The music industry is probably one of the biggest rape hubs ever invented. And I’m going all the way back to the 50’s and 60’s. Can you imagine what a woman probably went through having to deal with shady music producers and executives? And politics? A place where men once outnumbered women probably something like 100-1. Can you imagine a woman being a personal assistant or secretary in this male dominated environment? How many times a day she was sexually harassed and said nothing because she wanted to advance in this field, and pissing off the wrong people may be hazardous to her career? What about television? People were completely shocked when the allegations came out about the working conditions and rape culture at FOX. Can you imagine 1970, or 80’s tv stations when maybe ten women worked at a place that employed 1000’s? Times were a lot different and people knew their positions. A woman was shamed into not saying anything that she went through. And if she knew what was good for her career, she would keep her mouth shut or risk being blackballed from a whole industry. And even if a woman were to be brave enough to come out and say something, she would probably be treated like a suspect instead of a victim. This went on in every industry. Where there was power there was corruptness and abuses of power. This is not just tied to one industry. So, before you people who’ve been around since the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s decide to jump up on your high horses about this, that, and the other….take a minute to think back. Really, really think back. And ask yourself “did I participate in this culture?” Participate doesn’t always mean that you’ve personally raped or sexually harassed somebody. If you knew something and never said anything, you are complicit. An accomplice of sorts. I know it and you know it. So before you decide to get on the internet and jump up on your high horse……check your own house first. The exposing of the sexual harassment culture inside of these multiple industries will not end with Harvey Weinstein and Hollywood. This may just be the beginning, and a lot of your favorite industry people are probably right in the mix of things.
**Just in case it’s not clear, this is not a defense of Harvey Weinstein. This is simply pointing out the hypocrisy that runs rampant in our society**