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For decades, centuries, it was closed: Something bad happened to you, you shoved it down, you maybe told someone but probably didn’t get much satisfaction — emotional or practical — from the confession. No one really cared, and certainly no one was going to do anything about it.
There are also women who want to go on the record, women who’ve summoned armies of brave colleagues ready to finally out their repellent bosses.
To many of them I must say that their guy isn’t well known enough, that the stories are now so plentiful that offenders must meet a certain bar of notoriety, or power, or villainy, before they’re considered newsworthy.
It’s our tormentors, obviously, but sometimes also our friends, our mentors, Since the reports of Weinstein’s malevolence began to gush, I’ve received somewhere between five and 20 emails every day from women wanting to tell me their experiences: of being groped or leered at or rubbed up against in their workplaces.
They tell me about all kinds of men — actors and publishers; judges and philanthropists; store managers and social-justice advocates; my own colleagues, past and present — who’ve hurt them or someone they know. Few can speak on the record, but they all want to recount how the events changed their lives, shaped their careers; some wish to confess their guilt for not reporting the behavior and thus endangering those who came after them.
“I didn’t know how to get away from him, because if he were just a complete douchebag, I wouldn’t be with someone like that.
But he was also very charming and publicly very feminist, and he introduced me to people and did all these other things that were supportive.” At the same time, “he was this known abuser, and I even defended him: ‘Oh, he’s just an old stoner hippie; he doesn’t mean anything by it.’ So I participated — and I saw other women get targeted by him.” though not with Leon Wieseltier, who recently lost his post at a new magazine after the exposure of his decades as a harasser, I’ve heard from many friends and former colleagues who are pained about the situation. “All these things about him are true, but it is simultaneously true that if you were on his good side, you felt special — protected, cared for, like he believed in you and wanted you to succeed.” In a profession where far too few women find that kind of support from powerful men, Wieseltier’s mentorship felt like a prize.
There are the cheating dogs who proposition us, the artless boy-men who make fumbling passes over work lunches, the bosses who touch us against our will, the men who retaliate professionally if we dare reject them.
And yet the rage that many of us are feeling doesn’t necessarily correspond with the severity of the trespass: Lots of us are on some level as incensed about the guy who looked down our shirt at a company retreat as we are about Weinstein, even if we can acknowledge that there’s something nuts about that, a weird overreaction.
But it’s also harrowing because it’s confusing; because the wrath may be fierce, but it is not uncomplicated.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating