Revelations of his serial predations brought Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein low this week. But Cardus’ Andrea Mrozek warns everything from our relationships to our shopping malls are afflicted by the corruption he represents.
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There’s so much wrong with the collapse of producer Harvey Weinstein. The pervert of all perverts has finally been brought down. Yet no one has yet successfully explained how he lasted so long and wielded such power.
A couple of possible answers come to mind, in no particular order:
Money talks: A hundred thousand for Planned Parenthood here, a fight against the NRA there. He was the pervert of all perverts and the progressive of all progressives, giving ever so generously to causes that Hollywood loves. No, it doesn’t look particularly great when the same man supporting “a woman’s right to choose” is abusing women at every possible opportunity. Let the record stand: A pro-lifer can stand up for women’s rights, and an ardent pro-choicer and supporter of Planned Parenthood can definitively not.
Hollywood is obsessed with looks: Why can’t women ever look something approximating normal in Hollywood? By normal, I mean a lead role for a woman who is, oh, a size ten, and not then declared to be pushing the boundaries for plus-size acting. Watching a foreign film comes as a decided relief—for there, one might actually see a woman who is recognizable in real life. Hollywood’s No Reservations, from 2007, featured Catherine Zeta Jones as the sexy protagonist, where the German film of the same storyline had a more normal looking cast. There are few roles in Hollywood for women that do not feature unrealistic looks. Which leads to the next point…
Hollywood is obsessed with sex: It seems regardless of how far removed from the reality, Hollywood manages to botch a movie by including sex. Are you a sniper fighting off the Nazis? No worries—in Enemy at the Gates, you will be treated to the world’s most obviously ridiculous sexual encounter, right there in the barracks.
On a further related note, we are all complicit in the perpetuation of a sex-crazed culture: If you’ve been to the mall lately, you know what I’m talking about. How to shield one’s eyes from the larger than life dominatrix-style lingerie ads? Why do my young nieces have to see this? Why do I? It’s a question always on my mind when I pass by Victoria and her secret. Women’s nudity everywhere, all the time, is her only secret and needless to say, it’s out. Pervasive nudity comes courtesy of the “freeing” of culture by the recently deceased Hugh Hefner, who took porn mainstream.
Speaking of porn: It is consumed in ever greater quantities at ever younger ages with ever more violence, courtesy of the Internet. Children are being deliberately introduced to porn (by the producers) via ads and video games. Studies show “the consumption of pornography was significantly associated with increases in verbal and physical aggression, among males and females alike.” Author of The Culture War, Jonathon Van Maren reports that an analysis done of top-selling pornographic content found 88% of scenes contained physical aggression and 49% contained verbal aggression.That the violence of the online world would creep into the real world seems likely to me and is proven by people’s lived experiences.
A failure to distinguish between the sexes. Men and women are different, but woe betide the person who points this out. Today, highlighting that women and men have different approaches to sex is itself deemed sexist. And yet, Mother Nature simply refuses to read the progressive memo. Dr. Miriam Grossman, a campus psychiatrist, wrote her first book when she realized her female patients were suffering poor mental health caused by casual sexual encounters; men didn’t come in presenting with those symptoms. There’s another sure fire sign that women react differently to sex: pregnancy. Men don’t obsess about birth control because, put simply, they don’t risk pregnancy with sex. They can have sex with as little commitment as possible, and if pregnancy is the result, they can simply say, oh dear, “I wasn’t in for THAT,” and recommend abortion. We’ve tried so very hard to create a world of consequence-free sex and it’s not working very well. But if there are alpha males in Hollywood or politics for whom it does work, then suffice to say, the culture encourages it.
The dismantling of social institutions. Marriage as an institution, for example, acted to constrain and protect sexuality. The idea of placing sexual activity within marriage ensured that men would be identified with their own children, and stick around and take care of them—and their wives. Quaint idea, I know. Today so many view marriage as oppressive to women, failing to understand that marriage initially primarily constrained men. The idea that sexuality has a proper place is so long gone that you can’t even see it in the rear view mirror. Today’s only sexual standard is consent, and while this is very important, it’s also the very lowest possible bar. Today’s fixation on consent is the result of removing any other possible constraints around sexuality.
Feminism. I assume there is, as I type, a big women’s march being planned on Hollywood—with Ashley Judd, Scarlett Johansson and Madonna speaking. (Chirp, chirp.) Where is official feminism in all this? It has lost its way. Yes, there are feminists who are out there speaking against sexual assault. Unfortunately, for the most part, they also speak out against marriage and any other type of higher standard where it might infringe on limited ideas of sexual “freedom.” Banding together wearing vagina hats in D.C. was easy—for President Trump didn’t create great art. Heck, Weinstein himself even attended a women’s march. There’s hypocrisy worth recognizing. Feminists today can’t agree on whether pornography is harmful—and so we are back at square one for the hyper-sexualised world girls and women ubiquitously face.
And back at square one is where I will leave things. Weinstein has gone to Europe for “sex therapy,”—most likely in a jurisdiction that doesn’t allow extradition.
If there’s one thing to remember from one high profile pervert’s implosion, though, is that appearances can always be deceiving. Beyond even Harvey Weinstein’s predatory behaviour, that’s the dirty little secret that “progressive” Hollywood wants us to forget.
Andrea Mrozek is program director for Cardus Family.
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