The Harvey Weinstein Syndrome—Because They Can

A twenty-something woman asked me recently, “Why do they treat us like this? Why do they get away with it?”

“Because they can,” I answered.

I am not talking about all men. But to be perfectly honest, I am talking about most of you.

To one extent or another, most men have extensive track records of treating women like second-class citizens, or worse, like property.

Their wives defend them. If they are young, their families protect them. Universities and corporations make excuses, minimize, obfuscate, penalize the victims, play innocent, lie. For every single company or school that takes action (whether because they read the writing on the wall, or are otherwise facing worsening repercussions), hundreds of others hide evidence and pretend nothing happened.

It remains to be seen whether the latest falderal is going to make any lasting change. I predict there will be a few sacrificial lambs, and then things will return to the status quo.

How would I know? Here’s the reasoning behind my educated guess:

Long years of watching people with really short attention spans, the majority just wanting to get by and not make waves, our inherent laziness, people with money who make issues disappear . . . . .

Men using covert forms of violence (social, political, illegal, immoral) to move up the corporate ladder. Men who control people in a business environment by threatening their careers and job security. Men who create hostile work environments where almost every single person is afraid of losing their jobs and careers.

Men who create pecking orders with male friends and acquaintances. Who systematically exclude women in almost every meaningful interaction that isn’t sexual.

Men who intimidate and terrorize family members.

And a growing number of men who pick up guns and use them.

Because they can.

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