Look, there is only one angle to the breaking of the Harvey Weinstein abuse scandal that really matters: The unforgivable awfulness of the crime that is the systematic robbing of women’s agency by tyrannical male agents operating within a ruthless capitalistic patriarchal system.
The unparalleled courage of the women coming forward with their accounts of abuse, harassment, and worse beggars belief. And the cavalcade of men being caught in the spotlight by this sudden burst of attention—the number of them revealed as abusers or enablers—is both encouraging and scary. It’s encouraging because naturally we want those guilty of crimes to be punished, but we also have to admit to ourselves that it’s a little bit scary, not only because we’re afraid of the scale of the corruption, but also because we fear that someone we admire might at any moment be unmasked as having been a part of it all. That sounds selfish and shortsighted when you consider the wider context. Like, oh really, you’re scared that one of your heroes might be identified as an abuser? Wow, do you also not go to the doctor when you feel a lump because you’re scared that she might find cancer? That’s not how this shit works, dickhead!
Nevertheless, I think the two thoughts can coexist side-by-side. We can be aware of the crime, disgusted by it, eager for any and all criminals to be punished; and we can hope that those we have perceived to have been some of the good guys actually turn out to have been exactly that.
Because one of the things you need to beat evil is hope, and if any of these guys get outed as having been a part of the rot, then boy, is hope gonna be at an all-time low…
The Coen Brothers