THERE’S an interesting similarity in the Harvey Weinstein lynching in the US and the same-sex-marriage bludgeoning here: if you want a seat in the new ark you have to declare your allegiance to the lynching and bludgeoning mobs.It seems to me that every woman who’s ever had even a minor starring role in a movie made anywhere has announced her condemnation of the powerful Hollywood producer even if they’ve never had an untoward moment with him or, even, met him.
Those female stars of the film world who’ve been slow to do so have been themselves condemned.
Down Under it seems to me that every bod who’s ever pretended to be anything other than a whooping boor with a cage of pig dogs in the ute is required to announce their support of same-sex marriage, their horror that anyone would disagree with them, and their disgust that those who disagree have been allowed to record that fact.
Those individuals and organisations that don’t are condemned and threatened with exclusion. That was succinctly illustrated recently in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra moving from announcing it did not believe it “has the right to take a position and commit our stakeholders to one side or the other” to taking an unequivocal position and committing its stakeholders to the “Yes”vote.
The Harvey Weinstein destruction is the same old play in a new theatre. It’s the power play between men and women, or I should say prospective sexual partners, and in the new theatre the balance of power has changed dramatically. The allegations against Weinstein range from rape and sexual assault to predatory sex, and while Weinstein denies he had non-consensual sex with anyone, the predatory sex allegations stand uncontested. The fact Weinstein has not been convicted or even charged with any sexual offence seems to be irrelevant to those in the baying mob.Predatory sex is about an imbalance of power, and I’d imagine that Weinstein had a great deal more power than all bar very few women in his industry. Is there an element of coercion in the predatory? If coercion is forcing then the sex is rape, and most of Weinstein’s many accusers have not made that allegation.Persuasion? Then almost all of us are guilty.
In the old theatre and for a very long time, perhaps all time, men have taken protection, influence, status, money and a good time to the negotiating table, and women have taken sex.That’s why men strive to drive flash cars and why those with the flashest car get the sexiest women.That’s why women at a negotiating age spend so much of their time and money trying to look as alluring, as enticing, as sexy as possible.
Watch a woman walking in high heels and tell me she’s doing so because it’s comfortable. Look at a woman’s painted face and tell me the lipstick and foundation is sun protection.
This negotiation applies in marriage as much as a nightclub encounter, and in the marriage market men offer financial security and protection and women offer sex. (Men seem to be held to their part of the deal for longer.) In short, men provide a house and women provide a home.Anyone who didn’t recognise that base position has an unrealistically cute view of the world.
Not even his supporters, if he has any, would argue that if Weinstein had sex with women in his industry he did not take his power and star-making capacities to the negotiation. Yes, improper, according to the proprieties of those with none of Weinstein’s power, but improper is not itself an offence.
In any event, all that is the old theatre. In the new theatre women have influence, status and money, and when they talk about the new independence of women what is meant is women being newly independent of men.
It used to be that men didn’t become irrelevant in marriage until they’d reached my age, until they’d provided the wife with the money, the house and the children, but now they’re irrelevant from the outset.Not only are men no longer required to provide the house, they are no longer required to father the children. That impregnating role can be and now often is an anonymous and medical process, effectively removing the male from the transaction.
Thiscould explain, by the way,the great increase in the number of lesbian couples. Perhaps, I accept, it’s an great increase in the visibility of the same number, but I believe the fact men are now optional has seen many embrace what has to be a nicer and neater arrangement.
Because men no longer take anything special to the negotiating table they are an unattractive prospect. In the past few weeks commentators and his accusers have taken to describing the destroyed Weinstein as ugly, and while he was always ugly, in the new theatre that’s all he is.Continue reading »