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What Bill Clinton, Harvey Weinstein, Trump and all of us have in common

STEVE REID
Editor & Publisher
sreid@lbknews.com

Who doesn’t want some fat oversexed drooling film producer in a hotel bathrobe offering up his genitalia as a high-pressure bargaining chip in order to make it in Hollywood?

Who doesn’t want to see a future president holding a Tic Tac container on a bus with Billy Bush declaring that “when you are a star you can do anything. …(You can just) Grab them by the pu**y,” to use his own words?

And who doesn’t want to see another president while in the Oval Office prey on an intern using his magic Arkansas aphrodisiac combination of Walt Whitman, pizza and cigar smoke — every woman’s dream — to have sex and not have sexual relations at the same time?

And it goes on and on like a revolving door.

We had Thomas Jefferson sleeping with his slaves as he condescendingly treated them with respect.

We had Bill O’Reilly act like another empowered pig at the trough.

We had Bill Cosby who had most of his dates wake up only to realize a creepy and violent guy might have just raped them. And he was a doctor. Not a real one, but he was even more important — he played the stereotype of a successful caring husband on TV. He was the Jell-O pudding guy.

 

Appetite for deconstruction

Media moves so fast. It is a voracious animal with an endless appetite. The whole national news and media pivoted in a day from the very desexualized and weird world of Stephen Paddock shooting Las Vegas concertgoers to watching the fall of Hollywood mega producer Harvey Weinstein.

In many ways the two are at opposite ends of the spectrum. The murders left us wondering, “Why did he do this? It all seemed without motive. It is something we cannot relate to.

The other — Harvey Weinstein — is open to endless projection and hand wringing.

We have heard all of the tropes already.

One TV commentator said something akin to: “Weinstein is the embodiment of the patriarchal power culture. He was stripping women of their agency to control a sexual situation and fed off that like a shark feeding in a frenzy.”

A disturbing apologist then said, “All powerful men have an endless appetite for sex and women.”

 

Acting with humanity

Remember. Weinstein is a producer, not an artist. He looks at talent — men and women — as commodities, as brand names to bring in the biggest box office returns. Movie stars are chosen by producers like stocks or futures or ticker symbols to invest a position in — not as an individiual woman with a background, a family and human dreams and aspirations.

We expect and need to demand more from these people. These are real women in front of them. These are not an endless parade of nameless women to simply use and discard. They are someone’s daughters. Some day it could be my daughter or your daughter or granddaughter. Perhaps that is what hurts me on a personal level.

 

No one is immune

I, too, was that jerk guy in my own way. When I was in high school, I pressured my then girlfriend to have sex. She said she wasn’t ready. Well three days of pressure was a lifetime for me, so I broke up with her and went on my merry way doing what many teenage boys do — I dated a girl who would have sex.

I always felt bad about it. She was sad and felt rejected and at the time I was all too happy to discover the whole world of full blown sexuality.

Basically I treated her like crap, like a commodity. She respected herself enough to say she was not ready. I accepted it, but simply broke up with her.

I found out years later when I was in my late 20s that she had died in her early twenties. I realized I certainly only added to her pain in life and I did not show her the love and appreciation I should have. I was thoughtless and stupid.

Now with a marriage of 20 years and with four daughters all I try to do is learn and listen and understand how to compose myself as a husband, a father and a man in this culture and in my home. It is no easy task.

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