They Had It Comin' All Along: From Dragging Weinstein Naked from a Truck to Building a Movement
“Anger continued on past its usefulness becomes unjust, then dangerous… It fuels not positive activism but regression, obsession, vengeance, self-righteousness. Corrosive, it feeds off itself, destroying its host in the process.”
— Ursula K. Le Guin
Names and info from Newsweek:
- When: October 5 via The New York Times initial report.
- Accused of: Sexual harassment and sexual assault, including forced oral sex.
- Number of accusers: Now over 100.
- Known for: Film producer and former studio executive of The Weinstein Company and Miramax.
- When: October 21 via The Times-Picayune.
- Accused of: Sexual harassment in the workplace.
- Number of accusers: At least 25.
- Known for: Celebrity chef and owner of Besh Restaurant Group.
- When: October 22 via The Los Angeles Times.
- Accused of: Sexual harassment and misconduct, including vulgar conversation, non-consensual touching and masturbating in front of women.
- Number of accusers: Now over 200.
- Known for: Film director and screenwriter, best known for writing the Oscar-nominated 1991 film Bugsy.
- When: As early as 2004, when an initial police report was filed, according to Huffington Post. However, first named accuser came forward to The Daily Beast on November 16, 2017.
- Accused of: Rape.
- Number of accusers: At least four, one named: Chrissie Carnell Bixler.
- Known for: Steven Hyde on That '70s Show, currently stars in Neflix's The Ranch.
- When: November 19 via The Los Angeles Times.
- Accused of: Rape.
- Number of accusers: One: Model Keri Claussen Khalighi.
- Known for: Def Jam Recordings co-founder, music producer.
- When: November 20 via The Washington Post.
- Accused of: Sexual harassment including a lewd phone call, groping, and appearing naked in front of female coworkers.
- Number of accusers: Eight, including three former co-workers on the record, Reah Bravo, Kyle Godfrey-Ryan and Megan Creydt.
- Known for: PBS talk show Charlie Rose and co-host of CBS This Morning.
Rape? Oh, yes. An accusation of rape is worthy of the kind of scorched Earth vengeance being leveled. I mean, why not just strip them naked and drag them behind a beat up pickup truck in the middle of Texas? Seriously.
Multiple accusers? OK. I mean, multiple accusers of coercion, repeated harassment, and anything involving pulling out the flesh dongle has merited some banishment from society. Perhaps the 30 lashes sort of thing in public? Forfeiture of property?
Unwanted advances? Vulgar conversation? Lewd comments? Inappropriate workplace conversation? The nebulous Inappropriate behavior? Nah.
Anonymous complaints? Nope. I can sort of buy "I believe her" but not "I believe who."
This is a reckoning. No question. A long overdue culling of powerful dick wavers and rapists. As it gains steam, the knee-jerk reaction to believe anyone leveling an accusation and desire to include any behavior counter to polite as harassment will need to subside and a bit of rationality will need to takes its place. Not right now—still too many fuck-os out there cowering in their boots, clammy hands gripping their vestigial limpidness, in need of purging—but soon.
The hotter the fire the quicker it burns out. As soon as TIME magazine, a relic of the days when people bought magazines made of paper, honors it on its cover, the writing is on the wall.
There are some things to think about to keep this fire going. Elements of long-lived social movements.
More women in power seats? Serious consequences for this sort of behavior not so much up to the whim of social media but embedded in the fabric of public policy? Without some sort of specificity, the movement goes the way of Occupy Wall Street.
In the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr. and his contemporaries started by mobilizing Southern blacks, but then shifted to bringing Northern whites over to their cause. And when Harvey Milk began the LGBT movement, he started with gay people on Castro Street, but then continued to the straight liberals in the San Francisco Bay area.
Use the system
What institutions are available to assist in getting the change defined?
Be persuasive rather than overpowering
Gandhi’s allies questioned his idea to make the salt tax a primary focus of the Indian independence movement, because they favored a plan for comprehensive change, but he saw that a single issue, even a small one, could unify the nation and break British Raj’s monopoly on power.
Whether the Trump ascendency has fractured your faith in democracy or not, it's still how we run things around here. Democracy relies upon persuasion rather than brute force. Unity means getting those millions in the center on your side and not because you say so or yell at them.
Plan for success
What happens to the movement once all the Weinstein's are exiled or imprisoned? What kind of infrastructure will be in place and who can it serve?
Outrage can only last so long before the next outrage takes its place. Be prepared, not for the backlash (because you knew that was coming) but for the inevitable fatigue of being angry non-stop.