As we arrive at the last page, I have to make a note about how taken aback at the extent of everything. I was only going to write a follow-up update on Devin Faraci’s situation. Then shit kept hitting the fan over and over. It got to the point where I dedicated myself to writing about this topic to the fuller extent you see now.
Now that we’re at the closing end of it? It’s astounding. I don’t mean it in a self-congratulating sense. More like: “wow this subject matter is more complicated and deep than I thought.”
I didn’t mean to write a book here. But since I am, it needs a proper send-off conclusion that ties things together. At the core of all this lays an ugly reality. Harvey Weinstein’s actions were evil, and to the extent of how long he got away with it is a reflection of his character. In the end, he was caught by the New York Times for being himself. Weinstein’s existence went on for so long because society allowed that to. Some things in the world are just fucked beyond all repair. Born as a broken machine in their design and nature. There’s beyond enough testimony and evidence for it all. Audio recordings and documents showing how and where he carried out duplicitous acts.
It’s that anchor of pure evil that caused this massive shockwave throughout the rest of the world. Seeing that sickness exist? It begs the question whether or not it spread elsewhere. It’s that kind of a catalyst that triggered this Sexodus we’ve seen over the past few months. Again we’re keeping in mind that what Harvey did is absolutely horrifying no matter what. Those caught in the spotlight of Weinstein aftermath are left for the public to judge.
What you’re looking at is the glory of nuance in the flesh. This series of graphs from YouGov was the result of a polling effort they did across several countries. Asking people about particular actions a man does to a woman (whose not a romantic partner) being considered sexual harassment or not.
For every senseless act of pain and disrespect that goes on in the world, there’s the opportunity to mend things and make it twice a better place too.
The intention of dumping as much material as I could here was to demonstrate to you in full the reality of what’s going on here. At the heart of this entire Sexodus is the people impacted by wrongdoing and inappropriate behavior. Something that was allowed to fester unchecked until the past few months.
The ending of the Sexodus is whatever we as a society choose to make of it. As a species, we’re pretty damn good at killing each other and going to war. We can do that again. But eventually, we’ll wind up right back here at this crossroads of a choice.
The first step is acknowledging the fact of the matter being something went wrong. It’ll be one hell of a reckoning for people in positions of power, who take advantage of their status in ways unacceptable to human decency.
The over-saturation of this topic in the public eye has had an effect over time. We’ve begun painting it all with the same brush of contempt and fear (or indifference), losing sight of the nuances throughout these situations. Society needs to re-establish limitations for bringing judgment over people. If we don’t, it feeds into the cycle of paranoia that keeps everyone on their guard. We’ll tear each other down until there’s nobody left, otherwise. No matter what we’re all stuck here on Earth with each other. You can rip careers away from as many people as you can. But they still exist.
What does rehabilitation back into public life look like? A question I posed back in the Devin Faraci section comes into play again. I don’t have the answer to it. But people like Mel Gibson, Tim Allen, and Robert Downey Jr. do. The solution comes to down the environment. I don’t mean Mother Earth and the trees. But our professional world and the interpersonal ecosystem. What was wrong before with online discussions surrounding Feminism is best described by this comic.
For a movement with such a hyperfocus on women’s rights, nothing was done about the predatory men among their own ranks. Shouting down misogyny in society and making an active effort to turn over every last rock looking for it. But completely blind to the obvious creeps right in front of them.
For anyone asking what the underlying flaw in the system was? That is what it is. This is actually why I kept politics out of this discussion as much as I could help it. It breaks my damn heart to read garbage pieces like this over on Buzzfeed. Going for the left vs. right mentality with this conversation does nothing in the long run. It’s pointless, feeding in on itself in a continuous infinite circle of bullshit.
The world we live in means all of this isn’t happening in a vacuum. That’s obvious. We also need to restore the basic humanity people involved in these situations are robbed of. Accept the fact that we can both punish someone for their actions, and yet not disown them altogether. But moreover, give those who spoke up the dignity to continue on with their lives like everyone else.
People like to rag on Christianity and religion, but you have to hand it to them on keeping themselves together when it comes to that sort of thing. There was a widespread panic over priests allegedly being pedophiles. Yet the church managed to get a handle on that and clean house. Society has shifted from the morality and values instilled by Catholicism, and moved toward a world where people engage in whatever act they want. No matter how taboo or disgusting it may be. I’m going to cut this off at the pass and stop you from interpreting this as some sort of “anti-gay” thing. I’m not saying that at all. The point is the fact that there is a greater sense of order in people’s lives when they practice religion.
We all act as a judge, jury, and executioner from our own points of view. Understanding perception matters. Given the substantial amount of examples to work with here, a classification system might come in handy to easily assess cases.
The Double S.E.T. system.
- Scale: how many people were involved in the incident? This could mean either victims or perpetrators.
- Strength: how severe was the incident? This section is for describing the action itself. Are we talking about something that was confined to verbal harassment? Or did it escalate to physical contact?
- Environment: what are the surrounding circumstances of where this incident happened? This applies to immediate stuff (bar, nightclub, hotel room, office, etc.) as well as psychological and mental too.
- Evidence: is there anything physical or digital to corroborate the incident description? were there possible witnesses?
- Time: how long ago did the incident happen? how long was the incident in question? frequency? how long did the victim know the person who committed it?
- Tell: were other people told about the incident? was it reported to the authorities? was the media told about it and did they investigate?
The real end of this story happens over a long time. The gradual progression from points A to B consists of those tiny and more immediate steps we take in the present. Everything I went over here in this book demonstrates there’s a vertical and horizontal angle to take. With the vertical: what can be done about addressing sexual abuse as it happens along during a Hollywood production? what can be done in situations where it’s a superior dominating a business underling? With the horizontal: how do we come to terms with addressing the fluid nature of sexual harassment and assault? what do the different industries it takes place in share in common?
That’s where this whole public conversation is headed. But until next time, that’s the end of this book.
(I’ve got two more add-ons to this. At some point, I’ll bite the bullet and go over the shake-ups that happened to the political world as a result of Weinstein. People will stay polarized in their own camps of thought, believing what they want to. But for completionist’s sake, I should address it. Also, later on, I intend to explore the pedophiles of Hollywood and beyond. The violation of innocence that happens to children creates its own series of complications and damages. But yes. What Corey Feldman brought to the public’s attention is worth talking about. In fuller attention.)