Weinstein's World

What don't you see?

We all live in Hollyworld, even Weinstein.  For sure, the man was wrong to abuse his power, to use beautiful women to address whatever deep dissatisfaction he couldn’t live with.  And I am heartened to see women coming out about their experiences, but just as we don’t fix hatred by killing off Trump, we don’t fix misogyny by getting rid of Weinstein.  It’s fun to mock him, especially Samantha Bee, who proposes a strict code of conduct for men,
and has generously created a Penis Public Service Announcement to help men understand the new rules. 

We all live in a world in which if you look like this, and you do what is required, you get the goodies; you get a piece of patriarchal power. In The Deuce, someone asks why young women who sell their bodies and sexual expertise are so devoted to their pimps, and the answer is the feeling of belonging, of being cared for, of being protected.

We start with this.  Daddy is the one who protects.  It was true when I was growing up and it’s true now.  Who else can protect you from the dangers the patriarchy creates.  Certainly not Mommy.  My father was an officer in the US Army and when he went away to Korea and Vietnam, my world fell apart.  Burned in my memory is his beautiful brave posture heading back to Vietnam, leaving me with the chaos of my mother’s transition from dutiful wife to blooming graduate student.  When he came back, he couldn’t protect us anymore because the world had changed. We rejected the protection but we still got raped, again and again, and with many variations.

Women interviewed about Weinstein say that they were confused by his feminism, his seeming tenderness, and later realized it was manipulative.  I doubt it. I bet he really believed he was a supporter of women. And who knows what kind of need he was trying to fulfill by demanding to be seen naked. Imagine a two-year old boy showing himself, or asking for a massage. It might be adorable. Put that all in an imposing immensely powerful man and it becomes menacing. For that matter, if a two-year old acted as Trump does, we’d put him in a time out and be done with it, but put him in charge of the country and you get hell.

If you make it about Weinstein the man or Kappock the man or Woody the man or even, God help us, Trump the man, you miss the thing we really have to dismantle.  

Can I stop looking to Daddy? Can I protect myself, experience myself as a subject instead of as an object for him to admire or not? Can we stop our addictions to patriarchal proliferations like fight movies, chase scenes, winning and losing, conquering, consuming?  Women are cannibals too, mind you. Women who are enslaved by the patriarchy are the cruelest to each other.

There is another way. Let's harness our flight or flight responses, our traumas, our various hormones, and our evolving minds, and lurch into something new. 





October 2017

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