Friday 17 November 2017

More accusations of sexual abuse by persons in power  (part 2)    

Before I publish the names of t alleged sexual abusers, I want to point out to my readers that unless the abusers have actually admitted to sexually abusing other persons, they should be presumed to be innocent of the accusations. However, that old adage comes to mind—where there is smoke, there is fire. Further, in my opinion, sexual abuse also includes trying to get another person to participate in some form of a sexual act. I am also cognizant of the fact that some women claim that they were raped or otherwise sexually abused when in fact, the so-called sex acts didn’t happen between them and other men. They do it to make a name for themselves.  However, there are also women who were raped or sexually abused but are too embarrassed to make that information public. And now, I will tell you about this second accused sexual abuser.
Harvey Weinstein

You may remember from the previous article, that I mentioned that a snowball as it rolls down a hill, it gets bigger and bigger. Well this man was the snow ball that began rolling down a hill. The bigger it got, more sexual abuser' victims went public. That is because these victims decided it was time to tell the public who also sexually abused them.  

Being the wife of an alleged sexual predator is far better than being a victim of that predator but it’s not a role to be desired. Case in point: Georgina Chapman, the 41-year- old English fashion designer who was, until very recently, the committed spouse of fallen Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein. His wife announced that she is leaving her husband and taking her children with her after the bombshell media investigations by the New York Times and the New Yorker revealed that the serial sexual predator was accused by many women over a period of several decades in the entertainment industry of sexually abusing them in various forms.

Chapman said in a statement to People Magazine “I have chosen to leave my husband. Caring for my young children is my first priority and I ask the media for privacy at this time. “My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions.”

Unfortunately, Chapman’s business already appears to be suffering as a result of her husband’s sexual actions. Jewelry retailer Helzberg Diamonds announced it was severing ties with her fashion label, Marchesa, (Chapman’s firm) and some former fans of the brand have begun boycotting it.

Chapman is not only an ongoing subject of media fascination; she is the target of unfair online vitriol. In times like these, everyone wants to know—Who is the wife? Was she aware of her husband’s alleged behaviour? How could she have been married to such a pig? Did her silence enable him? Those are unfair questions. It implies that she knew everything and didn’t do anything to stop her husband from abusing the women.

It is common knowledge that Harvey Weinstein may have been instrumental in the success of his wife’s fashion line, but there is no proof that she personally pressured famous actresses to wear her Marchesa gowns on the red carpet. But with respect to Chapman’s motivations for staying by Weinstein’s side for years, and now, for leaving him, we don’t actually know anything about their relationship.

Of course it’s entirely possible, as online haters of the fashion designer have suggested; that Chapman knew about every violation allegedly committed by her husband. It’s also entirely possible she had no qualms about keeping quiet so that he could help her business succeed. But suppositions like those are not evidence.

And those quick to condemn Chapman ought to remember that there are other possibilities in this equation, and though they are less scandalous, they are worth considering.

It is entirely possible that revelations about Weinstein’s alleged abuse came as a complete surprise to her. It’s also possible that Chapman was under the impression her husband was merely creepy (the kind of guy who makes a pass at a female subordinate) but was totally unaware that his actions may have veered into the territory of sexual assault. It’s also entirely possible that at his hands she was also a victim of sexual assault. Some of the women who say Weinstein allegedly assaulted or harassed them also report that they were terrified of him. Who’s to say his wife wasn’t equally terrified? Of course we don’t know the answers to those suppositions. 

What is commonly known is that the spouses of fallen powerful men are rarely able to redeem themselves like Hillary Clinton did. Real life is not as forgiving as we would like it. If Chapman says she knew nothing, she will not be believed. If she says she knew something, she will be loathed. Her situation is unfortunately a lose-lose situation no matter what she says.

 A new accuser, Beverly Young Nelson, told a packed news conference in New York that Mr. Moore attacked her when she was a teenager and he was a prosecutor in Etowah County, Ala. Ms. Nelson was represented at the news conference by Gloria Allred, a lawyer who has championed victims of sexual harassment.

She said, “I tried fighting him off, while yelling at him to stop, but instead of stopping, he began squeezing my neck, attempting to force my head onto his crotch,” Ms. Nelson said, growing emotional as she described the assault, which she said happened one night after her shift ended at a local restaurant, where she was a waitress. She said that Mr. Moore warned her that “no one will believe you” if she told anyone about the encounter in his car.

Moore denied knowing the man but he lied. Ms. Allred displayed a yearbook that Ms. Nelson said had been signed by Mr. Moore, and the writing mirrored other examples of Mr. Moore’s signature.

Being sexually assaulted is a far graver lose-lose situation than that of the wronged spouse, but victims of sex crimes have a protective force behind them that Chapman and women like her most certainly do not and that is the sisterhood of other victim. In other words, where victims of assault are rightly believed, women who appear to give themselves willingly to domineering men are judged and shunned.

Certainly Chapman is not Monica Lewinsky, the former White House intern who was faced with the slow, painful climb back to respectable public life after her affair with former President Clinton. It is a perfect example of the cognitive dissonance some feminists exhibit in situations where women aren’t clear-cut victims.

The difference between Lewinski and Chapman is that Lewinski did what she did to move up in the world whereas Chapman is faced with the problem of moving down in the world.

Perhaps the most telling example of this cognitive dissonance was Beyoncé performing in front of a gigantic “FEMINIST” backdrop at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards after she sang Partition.  a song in which she turns Lewinsky’s name into a verb for ejaculation. Some of the song’s words were “He Monica Lewinsky’d all on my gown.” Lewinsky later and rightly so shot back at the pop star in Vanity Fair, when she wrote; “If we’re verbing, (verbalizing) I think you meant ‘Bill Clinton’d all on my gown.” That singer’s stupidity in her choice of words was obvious.  I certainly hope that Chapman isn’t saddled with stupid words in a song by another fool.

No one will really know if Georgina Chapman was a victim of her husband, but she is most definitely a victim of the judgment of people who should know better. This is indeed unfortunate because when a man appears to have abused his power in a cruel and heinous manner, as Harvey Weinstein has allegedly done, the public rage against his former spouse achieves nothing more than to extend Weinstein’s path of destruction.

What would really be disastrous is if her children are saddled with the stigma that is richly deserved by Harvey Weinstein and only him. They might be better off if their mother changes their last name to Chapman if that isn’t already their names. 

The United States is a big country with well over 300 million people living in it. How many of the men in the USA have the same first and last names as the sexual predator, Harvey Weinstein?  Will many of them become the recipients of cruel jokes?

Two decades ago, the Hollywood producer  invited Ashley Judd to the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel for what the young actress expected to be a business breakfast meeting. Instead, he had her sent up to his room, where he appeared in a bathrobe and asked if he could give her a massage or she could watch him shower, she recalled i an interview.

“How do I get out of the room as fast as possible without alienating Harvey Weinstein?” Ms. Judd said she remembers thinking.

In 2014, Mr. Weinstein invited Emily Nestor, who had worked just one day as a temporary employee, to the same hotel and made another offer: If she accepted his sexual advances, he would boost her career, according to accounts she provided to colleagues who sent them to Weinstein Company executives. The following year, once again at the Peninsula, a female assistant said Mr. Weinstein badgered her into giving him a massage while he was naked, leaving her “crying and very distraught,” wrote a colleague, Lauren O’Connor, in a searing memo asserting sexual harassment and other misconduct by their boss.

Many women have been sexually abused by celebrities and kept those experiences to themselves or only shared them with close friends. However, often when someone goes public, others will follow suit.  

Republican senators trickled out after four women accused Moore of sexually harassing them when they were between the ages of 14 and 18. Many of the senators hedged their calls for Moore to suspend his campaign by using some version of the phrase

Senator John McCain was one of the few senators to unequivocally say that Moore was unfit for office if the  allegations against Moore are true.  

Weeks after sexual assault allegations bombarded Harvey Weinstein, journalist Ronan Farrow revealed how the Hollywood powerhouse employed an army of ex-Mossad agents and private investigators. They were tasked with digging into histories of Weinstein’s many victims (especially Rose McGowan) and used intimidation tactics to ensure silence. As an update to this saga, the Guardian and its sister Observer publication have obtained an incredible list of 91 names targeted by these investigators in early 2017. These names not only included potential accusers but others (including publicists and producers) who could have knowledge of corroborating circumstances.

Weinstein reportedly drew up this list on his own and monitored progress by his team on the potential for these people to expose his acts, all because he feared that his behavior was an “open secret throughout Hollywood.” The publication blacks out most of the names on the list but does show McGowan, Sophie Dix, and Annabella Sciorra who were but a few of 50 names colored red in a prioritization scheme. And Weinstein left a clue within the list that showed he was aware of the impending reports against him.


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