There were raging hurricanes drowning humans, pets and property; there were torrential floods sweeping away children and entire families; there were blazing fires incinerating lives, belongings and treasured mementos; there were avaricious wars devouring innocent lives; there were terrorist bombs; there were murders, gang violence, kidnappers and traffickers . . . and . . . then . . . there was L’affaire Harvey Weinstein!
And the winner of most discussions, views and print material from all of the above listings that were occurring during the same time? Yes, indeed! It was L’affaire Harvey Weinstein and the salacious sex! We quickly forgot the Las Vegas murders, and, short of a radical, extremist, super-hyped terrorist attack occurring domestically, or in Europe, it was that story which grabbed our attention more than any other, proving that no event grips us more than sensational sex! How pathetic we are!
Within a few hours Harvey Weinstein was upturned from a rich, powerful, famous and absolutely brilliant movie producer into a cardboard cutout of his sorry self! And, as we say in Arabic: after the cow falls, the knives become many. Weinstein was now that fallen cow, and out of the woodwork came the flashing knives avidly lunging into his carcass, driven more violently by the many who had been unashamedly complicit, acquiescent and silent for so very long! How utterly opportunistic and hypocritical!
Unfortunately, this kind of behavior has been going on for a long time. Some examples: the numerous enlisted women being sexually assaulted while serving; the rape of women in Japan, Iraq and Afghanistan and wherever some of our troops are; several of our sons continuing to sexually assault their fellow students on our campuses and on and on it goes. Perhaps our indignation and horror this time around, though, is because that artificial veneer of our iconic glitzy and glamourous Hollywood was now being tarnished? Only now are we mortified enough to rise up with this upheaval of outrage? We are truly wretched!
Nevertheless, and after all the dust settles, could this become The Seminal Moment which is going to transform the sexual predators of our world? And did Sandy Hook change our gun laws? Huh? Will this scandal begin to tame all the carnal abusers? Will it put that vile instinct of taking advantage of mostly young, inexperienced, naïve and scared women out of commission? After all, there have been Weinsteins galore since time immemorial. And, even while that scandal was still playing itself out, there were many Harvey Weinsteins out there and all across the world continuing to unabashedly wield their dreadful deeds of intimidating, groping and raping women. Cads like these will not be deterred so easily. In their understanding this “goes with the territory” of being Powerful and/or Wealthy and/or Famous. They generally feel that they are Untouchable and that they are Entitled to this repulsive Behavior simply because “boys will be boys!”
Needless to count how many times I was horrified when I was living in Beirut as I heard of fathers encouraging their sons to rape the maid as an initiation rite into the world of sex. How many rapes have I heard of since living in the free West despite sex being readily available? How many little girls are raped and abused every single day across this dismal world? How many are sold into sex trafficking, and who are these monsters who would commit such crimes? How many men have we heard of who fly over to the Philippines, to Indonesia, Vietnam and other such countries in order to have an orgasm with little virgin girls, some as young as eight and nine years old?
It makes my skin crawl simply to think of such crimes continuing to happen every single hour of every single day all across the globe and in every sector of our societies.
Harvey Weinstein is not an Aberration!
The proclivity for sexual deviation has been a constant in our world since its inception. And we, women, have only whispered about it throughout history. In fact, we were often complicit facilitators of such lascivious behavior. At the end of the day, we, as mothers and women, have raised the sons that are committing these heinous acts, haven’t we? Every woman should think of this, and of our possible role in such behavior.
Therefore, aside from aggressively pushing for Equal and Human Rights for all females worldwide, how do we, in the US, recalibrate a culture that sells sex and female objectification as a commodity serving the Mighty Dollar throughout every venue at its fingertips: fashion, makeup, vacations, home décor, cars, food and even pharmaceutical ads being just some of those overly “sexed up” exploitative venues that do nothing but trivialize sex and encourage deviant behavior? And, in our extremist way of finding solutions, are we now going to restraint every natural instinct of fun and flirtatious exchanges between the sexes? Is our solution to be “throwing out the baby with the bathwater” as we are prone to do on most issues? Another failed social experiment whilst trying our hands at social engineering? That would be truly unfortunate!
Sadly, the young impressionable minds are receiving the consistent message that sexual interaction is a casual, irresponsible, superficial, animalistic, hedonistic, five-minute-Tinderella act where “Stop” is ignored. How do we stress and convey to them that our intimate interactions ought to be an act of love between two consensual and mature partners that brings with it a deep sense of responsibility, consideration, affection, mutual respect, admiration, tenderness and the desire to give, as well as to receive, pleasure, while also talking honestly about the complexities of human relationships and how they can sometimes be frustrating, unexciting, with ups and downs that require hard unselfish work?
In other words: for humanity to call itself truly Civilized shouldn’t we be elevating all of our emotions, feelings, sensual pleasures and gratifications, our actions and reactions on every level to a much higher plateau than the one we have designated and accepted for ourselves thus far? If we do not then we should not act horrified when rape, war and all criminal activity continue to occur as has been the case for the past twenty centuries of our existence. Moses brought down the Tablets and thought that he would civilize his people – the Jewish people of those days – and make them adhere to a higher level of thinking and behavior than the immoral one that they had been on. He did not succeed. Neither did any other Prophet. And here we are, dealing with the Harvey Weinsteins of our world!
We humans across this sorry planet of ours have continued to turn a blind eye on deviant behavior of all kinds and sorts, always making ourselves believe that it is “those other than us” who behave in these horrific ways. The truth is that we are all complicit for ignoring these issues for so very long and pretending that all will be well with our superficial world, because: “It is What It Is.”
And so . . . the Oscar goes to . . . and we will probably all applaud! Again! And, then, again!