Something is happening in our culture; something important and good and cathartic, and although its been LONG overdue, its better late than never. And that something is the public calling out and purging of powerful men in our society who sexually harass, intimidate, and assault women. Many Americans naively assume that the days of Mad Men are long gone, and that women aren’t treated as poorly as they used to be; but that’s a lie, and now we are starting to see the deep and toxic strains of sexism, misogyny, and the leveraging of male power to fulfill male sexual desires at the expense of women being rooted out. For millennia women have been violently stripped of their emotional well-being, of their physical safety, of their bodily autonomy, and of their professional and personal dreams. That horrific patriarchal nightmare still infects our society at every level, and countless women have been, and continue to be, victimized, denigrated, mocked, shouted down, and destroyed. And although that horrific legacy is nowhere near being fully over, whats happening in our society right now is surely an important and necessary step in that general direction.
Let’s review some of the biggest names to have been called out recently, and lets name, systematically, their disgusting fucking behavior. But before we do, I want to issue a gentle warning to anyone who might not want to be confronted with the details of sexual assault and violence against women. If you are not comfortable with having to listen to these things, please step away for a few minutes.
Okay, let’s start:
Harvey Weinstein, the famous film producer and executive, and giant human toad, recently saw his career burn to the ground after three decades of harassment, intimidation, and horrendous sexual assault, including numerous accusations of rape. He leveraged his power as someone who can make or break careers to coerce and force women to perform a whole slew of sexual acts for him. A rich, pampered piece of shit who lives a life of extreme luxury and for decades lived that life completely free of any sort of consequences for his behavior, in fact he amassed huge amounts of money and fame even as he victimized countless women and even as hundreds of people in that community knew about what he was doing.
George H.W. Bush Sr., the ex-head of the criminal CIA and 41st president of the most destructive, evil empire to ever have existed, has been accused by at least 8 women of groping them. George leveraged his power as president of the United States to touch women’s bodies and private parts without their consent, and he and his team have since attempted to dismiss these charges by saying: “’At age 93, President Bush has been confined to a wheelchair for roughly five years, so his arm falls on the lower waist of people with whom he takes pictures. To try to put people at ease, the president routinely tells the same joke — a joke about his favorite magician being David Cop-A-Feel — and on occasion, he has patted women’s rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner.” And therein lies the delusion of the male chauvinist mindset: non-consensually grabbing a woman’s private part is conflated with merely being “good natured”.
Roy Moore, Former Alabama chief justice and current U.S. Senate candidate, is someone with deep ties to white nationalist and neo-confederate organizations, was a leading proponent of the Birther Conspiracy, and is, of course, a self-proclaimed Christian man of God. The primary allegations against him are a slew of charges ranging from creepy to criminal. Roy Moore, for decades, was known to target, harass, and hit on high school girls, some as young as 14. He was actually banned from a local mall because he would continuously go there to attempt to pick up teenage girls, even when he was well into his 30’s. He’s been accused of groping women, forcing himself onto them, and even one time called the local high school and asked for a student in order to ask her out on a date. When Sean Hannity, a truly despicable right wing talk show host, asked Moore about the allegations, he said “”I don’t remember dating any girl without the permission of her mother.” Moore is still in the race for a senate seat in Alabama, and many prominent right wing pundits, activists, and politicians have remained loyal to Moore, some have even used bible verses that refer to older men dating children as a way to defend Moore’s behavior.
Other famous men recently called out include the comedian Louis CK, who leveraged his position as a well-known comic to repeatedly pull out his penis and masturbate in front of women without their consent, House of Cards actor Kevin Spacey, who has been accused of groping and sexually assaulting young men, some as young as 14, the actor Dustin Hoffman has been accused of groping and assaulting a 17 year old actress on the set of a TV film of Death of a Salesman in 1985. Others include Bill Clinton, accused for decades of a slew of sexual assaults, Bill Cosby, a rapist who would drug women and assault them, and Donald Trump, the president of the United States of America, who has been accused by well over a dozen women of harassing, groping and assaulting them, and who, as we all know, admitted on camera to grabbing women’s genitalia without their consent because, and I quote, “when you are a star, they let you do anything”. And that sums it up, doesn’t it?
But before I end here, I want to make an appeal to men out there listening right now. This is OUR problem. This is something we ALL have culpability in, and something we ALL have an obligation to address; in ourselves, in our friends, in our family members, in our co-workers, and in our communities. None of us are totally free of blame; and while I desperately hope no one that listens to this show has ever actively engaged in sexual assault or violence against women (and if you have, fuck off, you are no comrade of mine), but all of us, at some point in our lives, have certainly used sexist language, have treated women poorly, have let harmful behavior by our friends go unchallenged, etc. It is our responsibility, as liberationists and as human beings, to do better; to root out and kill the male chauvinist in our minds, to counter the denigration and objectification of women in our culture, to listen to women and to defend them, to speak out loudly and unapologetically against rape culture, against all forms of misogyny, and against violence against women. It’s worth noting and reflecting on the fact that EVERY. SINGLE. WOMAN. in my life, from my mother to my sister to my partner to virtually every single one of my exs and female friends have, in some form or another, been sexually harassed, sexually assaulted, or have been the victim of domestic violence. If it’s true for me and all the people I know, I can guarantee it’s true for all of you, too.
Enough is enough.
Transcribed from “The Guillotine”, a revolutionary leftist podcast covering global news and current events. You can find the full episode here: http://theguillotinepodcast.libsyn.com/episode-1-fascism-libya-sexism-and-j20