Who Will Hold Weinstein’s Lawyers To Account?

Harvey Weinstein tried to rape Rowena Chiu, a Miramax assistant, twenty one years ago after evaluating scripts with her in a Venice hotel. Chiu, who has a degree from Oxford in English Literature can write, so she tells a lucid and harrowing story that details how Weinstein, and others like him if we extrapolate, wreak havoc on their victims’ lives.

Props to you for getting this far in the post.

But will you take the 7-8 minutes required to read her story or is it too unpleasant a topic for a fall weekend? Are you giving in to a MeToo malaise? I hope not, women who have suffered sexual abuse deserve much better. And given the intense silencing of victims that Chiu details, we’re really just getting started understanding the breadth and depth of the problem.

Chiu reflects:

“I’ve had many years to ruminate on how I fell into Harvey’s trap, and the best way to understand it is through the four power dynamics of gender, race, seniority and wealth.”

Power over. Power over. Power over. Power over.

I shudder to think Weinstein may leverage his immense wealth to avoid spending the rest of his life in prison. In the U.S. we talk sporadically about growing inequality, but not nearly enough about how that growing inequality creates two distinct judicial systems.

Granted, our legal system depends upon everyone receiving a robust defense when charged with a crime, but what about before then, how is it okay for lawyers to enable monsters to continue committing crimes indiscriminately by strong arming victims into non-disclosure agreements? Why can’t we go after those attorneys and get them disbarred for moral turpitude? It’s not enough to ask “How do they sleep at night?”

Netflix’s “Unbelievable”

Rumors of Netflix’s possible demise are premature. This eight episode mini-series about a serial rapist is truly outstanding. I wasn’t sure I was up for it and almost bailed after the very dark first thirty minutes, but indoor cycling season has started, and I’m glad I stuck with it.

Merritt Weaver and Toni Collette are a dynamic duo. Weaver’s steely minded, workaholic detective is especially impressive.

More important than any particular person’s contribution is the powerful illustration of how victims of sexual abuse can easily be traumatized a second time by uncaring, calloused, hyper-skeptical police.

The miniseries excels at what I try to get my first year writers to do, tell a subtle, nuanced, and complex story particularly in how it portrays men. Given the topic, it would’ve been easy to paint the majority of men in the story with a broad, decidedly negative brush.

But to their credit, the writers resisted that impulse. Instead, the rapist’s evil is detailed in the larger context of several caring and likable men including the female detectives’ male partners, along with good guy FBI agents, police, an intern, and others.

Also, the pacing is perfect and the whole tragic story, which sadly is based on a true story, seems imminently believable. Almost like you’re watching a documentary.

Unbelievable is more proof that this is the Golden Age of television. Tonight, the eighth and final episode. Hoping against hope for some semblance of justice for the victims.


After amazing veggie eggs benny at The Bread Peddler with J Hustle on her 24th birthday, I dipped into the Farmers’ Market on the way home because flowers for the wife makes for a nice life.

As I approached the stand, I saw a dude getting some beautiful sweet peas mixed with purple dahlias. A stylish hippy bouquet, perfect for my stylish, natural woman. After he paid, I said, “I’ll have the exact same.” A few minutes later, after scratching my signature on her iPad, she turned to a woman to the left of me and said, “You were waiting weren’t you?” Why she didn’t turn to her before helping me I am not sure.

Shit. I’m not sure I even saw her. So I said, “I’m so sorry, I didn’t see you.” To which she replied, “Yes you did.” Ouch. The fact of the matter is the man in front of me blew her off and I mindlessly followed his lead. That’s not an excuse, I hate getting cut off, so I was supe apologetic. “No, I really didn’t, I’m really sorry.” By now a second, also sixtyish woman, had materialized. “Men! What are you going to do?” she said to her aggrieved soul sister.

Upon further thought, I think I did see her, but I wrongly assumed she was just thinking through whether to make a purchase or not. Obviously, I should have checked with her. And of course, if I didn’t see her, that’s even worse.

I had just hit the ATM so I was flush with cash money. I thought to myself hell if I’m going to drag my gender even further down some cosmic sinkhole at the Olympia Farmers’ Market! Without Aggrieved Soul Sister hearing me, I told the flower salesperson I was going to buy her flowers*. Immediately afterwards, kid you not, my upset fellow human being grabbed a large bucket of dahlias and asked the salesperson how much all of them would be. Immediately, the salesperson shot me a big smile which communicated, “Women ONE, Men ZERO!” She counted the flowers and did the math while I braced myself for the economic redistribution to come. $28. As I handed her two twenties Aggrieved Soul Sister said, “No way, please give it to someone that needs it.” I insisted telling the salesperson to “Just give me $12 back.” Soul Sister protested again, at which point, not wanting to be too aggressive a male, I caved.

I think she and the other two women appreciated the effort. At least I hope.

Antipathy for males in society is deep-seated. Most of it is deserved, but in rightly deconstructing and criticizing toxic masculinity we have to be very careful of writing off the gender. Sometimes we run that risk when it comes to rightly criticizing men who treat others inhumanely.

Occasionally, we have to point out that some men are conscious of male privilege, don’t sexually abuse women, aren’t all ego all the time, don’t talk over women, and can even talk about emotions and admit when they’re wrong.

However, as a male, I’m not the best person or blogger to do this. Were I to start cheerleading for sensitive and caring men in the interest of some semblance of balance, it would come across as disingenuous. Kind of like a President saying “I’m the least racist person in the world.” Better that some women sporadically weave occasional, alternative, positive stories of men behaving humanely to create a more subtle, nuanced, and complex feminist narrative.

*sigh, of course sharing this story with you diminishes it, a price I’m willing to pay for just a wee bit more blogging glory

In Today’s News

In the interest of helping the growing number of journo’s on the sexual harassment beat with their untenable workload, I have created a template:

“Today, [insert number] women [or substitute underaged men or just men if applicable] have accused [insert name of Hollywood director, writer, actor, comedian, Congressman, former/current President, professor, executive, publicity titan, veteran political journalist, athlete, celebrity journalist, studio head, fashion photographer, Olympic team doctor] of allegedly [insert type of harassment—groping them while posing for a picture, talking about sex with them, telling them he deserved to see them naked for all he had done for them, touching them in an improper way, repeatedly making sexual comments at work, kissing them and grabbing their breasts during a work meeting, chasing them around a hotel room naked, masturbating in front of them, raping them]. [Insert name again] has released a statement through his attorney saying he is extremely sorry if anyone has been hurt by his actions.”