The list of prominent men accused of rape/sexual assault/unwanted sexual advances has grown to add three more men: Russell Simmons, Nick Carter and Jeffrey Tambor.
Former teen pop singer Melissa Schuman from the pop group Dream has accused Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter of raping her more than a decade ago. Carter denies the allegations. Actor Jeffrey Tambor, the star of the television series, Transparent, will be leaving the show after two women have accuse him of sexual harassment. Music mogul Russell Simmons has been accused of assaulting model Keri Claussen Khalighi when she was in her late teens while movie director Brett Ratner, who was also in the room, did nothing to stop Simmons.
Sexual assault and rape are nothing new to humanity. These heinous acts have been going on since the beginning of our species. My hope in publicizing these acts and shaming the accused is that our society will finally make a change for the better. Whether it is a movie mogul or the manager of a fast food restaurant, men in power will think twice about dangling career opportunities in front of their female employees in return for sexual favors.
When the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke in October, the nasty truth of our society and how women are treated was brought into the harsh light.
The newest member of this quickly growing list is respected journalist Charlie Rose.
Eight women have accused Mr. Rose of making unwanted sexual advances toward them.
As painful as the newest revelation is, I believe that is absolutely necessary. This is an evil in our society that must be confronted. This is not simply about the power imbalance, but it is also about how women are seen and treated. The first step in resolving a problem is admitting that there is a problem. Now that we have been forced to admit that there is a problem, we must resolve the problem. Unfortunately, it will be easier said than done.
When the news broke last month that movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual assault by a number of women, it was only the tip of the iceberg. The newest member of this not so honorable club is Al Franken, Saturday Night Live alumni and current senator from Minnesota.
In 2006, while on a USO tour, Leeann Tweeden accuses Mr. Franken of forcibly kissing her and having a picture taken of them while she slept. The picture is of Mr. Franken pretending to fondle her breasts.
Should Mr. Franken resign from? Honestly, I don’t know. In an ideal world, I would say yes, but considering that an empty seat in the Senate would create an imbalance that would tip in favor of the Republican, I say no.
At least unlike other politicians accused of similar acts (Donald Trump, Roy Moore), Mr. Franken has apologized and promised to make amends. But unlike his predecessors, there is pictorial evidence that is irrefutable.
The problem continues to be that women are still seen as sexual objects without thoughts, feelings and ambitions. Until the day when the concept is eradicated for good, then we will continue to be seen as and treated as sexual objects.
Yesterday would have been the 61st birthday of actress, writer and mental health advocate Carrie Fisher.
Originally known to audiences as Princess Leia Organa from the Star Wars films, she was the daughter of the late singer Eddie Fisher and his first wife, actor/singer, the late Debbie Reynolds.
I could write about what her legacy is to the millions of Star Wars fans around the world and to the millions who are suffering from mental illness, but that’s been done. I want to remember as a woman who was not afraid to call out the bullshit, especially in Hollywood. Since the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke two weeks ago, the floodgates of women who were sexually assaulted, not just by Weinstein, but other men in Hollywood have come forward. One of these men assaulted a friend of hers and Carrie responded as only she could.
In honor of Carrie, I give you Star Wars Rap Battle: Han Solo vs Princess Leia.
Happy Birthday, Carrie. You are gone, but never forgotten.
Since the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke last week, he tried to defend himself. He claimed the following:
“I came of age in the ’60s and ’70s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then.”
I have mixed feelings about this statement, though I think it is still bullsh*t. The 1960’s and 1970’s were a time of change in America. Women were starting to not just enter the workplace in greater numbers, but they were also starting to work in fields and positions that previously were open to men only. At the time, some men might have chafed at working with women on an equal level. I call it bullsh*t because we are not living in either the 1960’s or 1970’s anymore. But he seems to think so.
Weinstein is trying to defend himself, but his defense does not hold water. His defense does not hold water because not only did he know exactly what he was doing, but he also is not the only male to have grown up in the 1960’s and 1970’s. There is a whole generation of men who grew up in the era, I doubt every single one of them used their professional positions to procure sexual favors from female subordinates.
It is also not a generational thing because this kind of abuse has been going on for time immemorial. It’s time we admitted it, faced the truth and stopped this abuse once and for all.
Since I last wrote about the Harvey Weinstein scandal last week, the floodgates have opened.
He was fired from Miramax, the production company he founded with his brother. His wife will soon be his ex-wife and the many women he took advantage of or tried to take advantage of have come forward. Kate Beckinsale, Angelina Jolie, Rose McGowan (whose twitter account was locked) and Mira Sorvino are some of the bold-faced names who claim to have met the former movie mogul under less than honest and moral circumstances.
The problem is that what Harvey Weinstein has been accused of is not limited to just the entertainment industry. This heinous act is repeated every day in every corner of the globe. It could be a male teacher with a female student, a male boss with a female employee, etc. It’s just so disgustingly pervasive that we don’t have to read about or hear about a similar story.
The one small nugget of hope that I have in all of this, is that there is light at the end of the tunnel. The men who commit these horrible acts will get the message that what they are doing is wrong and will think twice about doing it.
Perhaps then, we will be one step closer to being truly equal.
It’s nothing new to hear of powerful men using their stature and/or name to gain sexual favors from less powerful women in trade for something else.
Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s name has recently been added to this list. Several women have come forward, claiming that over the past few decades, Weinstein has set up meetings with young actresses, who believe that they are meeting with him to advance their careers. Instead, he meets them, expecting sex.
If nothing else, this story reminds me that not only is feminism alive and well, but it still continues to be necessary in 2017. While we have no doubt come very far, there are also many battles to fight. Mr. Weinstein is not the first man, nor will he be the last man who believes that not only is he immune from the law, but that young actresses willingly submit to the casting couch to work in their chosen careers.
I keep hoping that as these men are publicly outed and vilified, that things will change for the better. Women will not be seen as mere sexual playthings, but as full fledged human beings.
Mr. Weinstein will get what is coming to him, either in this world or the next. Perhaps this will finally send a message once and for all about how women are still being treated in 2017.
Perhaps is the key word here.