The Politics of Sexual Harassment and War

The Harvey Weinstein scandal has forced the ugly practice of sexual harassment into the public square, where private companies have proven to be more responsive than the political world, reports David Marks.

By David Marks

The multiple sexual-harassment allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein have sent tremors around the world with newly expressed outrage toward the machismo atmosphere of the film industry and other work environments, including the news business and politics.

President Bill Clinton, First Lady Hillary Clinton and daughter Chelsea parade down Pennsylvania Avenue on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 1997. (White House photo)

Clearly, the problem reaches far beyond Weinstein. Allegations and lawsuits filed against Donald Trump mirror the worst of Weinstein’s behavior. Trump’s hot-mic 2004 interview with “Access Hollywood” surfaced during last year’s campaign, with him bragging about his ability to get away with aggressively kissing women and grabbing their genitals: “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. … Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.”

But even that wasn’t enough to keep 63 million Americans from voting for Trump and putting him in the White House, although that was in part because many voters saw no moral superiority in Hillary Clinton, who not only disparaged women who complained about sexual harassment by her husband but who enthusiastically embraced war as a ready option for U.S. foreign policy.

Yet, while the political careers of Donald Trump and Bill Clinton survived disclosures of their predatory behavior, Weinstein’s movie empire quickly crumbled after a number of women came forward with accounts of how he used his power to gain sexual favors. Several prominent news personalities, from Bill O’Reilly at Fox to Michael Oreskes at NPR, have lost their jobs, too, amid other sexual harassment complaints.

Oddly, it seems that private industry is now more sensitive to allegations of this kind of sexual misconduct than the American political process, possibly because of the potential legal liabilities for companies as well as the organized partisan defenses that are immediately raised around the highest-level national leaders even when there’s clear evidence of their predatory behavior. While it’s true that some members of Congress have lost seats because of sexual misconduct, the situation has been different at the presidential level.

After Trump’s “grab ‘em by the pussy” boast became public, his Republican “base” rallied around him and prevented the expected collapse of his poll numbers. Similarly, in the 1990s, when Democratic presidential candidate (and later President) Bill Clinton was accused of predatory sexual activity with female subordinates and other vulnerable women, loyal Democrats sprang to his defense and challenged the veracity of the accusers. The Clinton team complained about “cash for trash.”

‘David Cop-a-Feel’

Even earlier, rumors about President George H.W. Bush’s extramarital activities and a fondness for groping unsuspecting women were brushed aside as yellow journalism that should not be taken seriously about so honorable a man. Only recently – in the wake of the Weinstein scandal and more women denouncing boorish male behavior – was Bush pushed into apologizing for inappropriately grabbing women as the punch line to a joke about who his favorite magician is: “David Cop-a-Feel!”

Then-Vice President George H.W. Bush in a meeting at the White House on Feb. 12, 1981. (Photo credit: Reagan Library)

It seems that the most powerful leaders, both in industry and government, are often the most aggressive predators; both on a personal level and with how they affect the social fabric of the country through their professional actions. There are parallels between the pattern of sexual harassment, in which the historical tendency was for women to stay silent, and the U.S. government’s military assaults abroad, which most Americans tolerate as somehow necessary or inevitable.

President George W. Bush inflicted “shock and awe” on Iraq, touching off the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and the destabilization of the entire region yet he is now treated as a respected elder statesman when he criticizes Trump’s behavior. President Barack Obama authorized military operations in seven countries, including interventions in Libya and Syria that contributed to other humanitarian disasters, but Obama faced little public outrage among the American people for these actions.

President Trump appears to have learned from his predecessors that he can boost his sagging poll numbers by threatening and launching military strikes. He’ll also win some grudging acceptance from the elites of Official Washington who never seem to see a potential war that they don’t want to send the U.S. military to fight. In April, Trump got some brief relief from the Russia-gate “scandal” after he ordered the firing of 59 Tomahawk missiles at Syria in a hasty reaction to a dubious chemical weapons incident that he blamed on the Syrian government.

Trump played the tough-guy again on Sept. 19 with a bellicose speech to the United Nations General Assembly, threatening hostilities against North Korea, Iran, Cuba and Venezuela and boasting about his plan to escalate the 16-year-old war in Afghanistan. Despite America’s recent history of aggressive war – not to mention historical crimes of genocide, slavery and imperialism – many Americans still profess how morally superior we are to other people.

Any American who dares challenge this “American exceptionalism” can expect to face ostracism much as women who complained about unwanted sexual advances by male bosses in years past could expect to be categorized as troublesome and unfit for professional advancement. That could be especially true in a highly subjective profession like acting.

Movie executive Harvey Weinstein.

Yet, whether it’s Hollywood’s “casting couch” or Official Washington’s actions on the international “stage,” it remains difficult to stop predatory behavior. When a culture of male dominance looms in every direction, it is a rare individual who will defy convention – even a morally bereft convention – and do what’s right. That’s especially true when the almost certain result will be loss of friends and loss of income. We have seen plenty of cases in which even women will make excuses for male misconduct, whether involving sex or war, as Hillary Clinton has shown.

But a culture that tolerates various forms of abusive and predatory behavior, whether it’s silence amid a culture of sexual harassment or blind patriotism toward dubiously justified wars, has lost its moral compass. A democracy that in principle embraces the equality of all with everyone possessing unalienable rights, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, would have no tolerance for predators of any kind, whether at home, in the workplace or in warfare across the globe.

David Marks is a veteran documentary filmmaker and investigative reporter. His work includes films for the BBC, including Nazi Gold, on the role of Switzerland in WWII and biographies of Jimi Hendrix and Frank Sinatra.

55 comments for “The Politics of Sexual Harassment and War

  1. Delia Ruhe
    November 11, 2017 at 20:22

    “It seems that the most powerful leaders, both in industry and government, are often the most aggressive predators. . .”

    Probably a majority of males do believe that access to women is one of the perks of high office – as probably do a large number of women, considering the substantial number who comply and don’t complain until one brave sister goes public, thus opening the floodgates.

    Probably for every woman who goes public, there are, what? 10? 20? 30? who don’t. There must be some feminist social science scholarship that provides some fairly accurate figures. (C’mon, women journalists: do the research and let us know.)

    In other words, not until we change that widespread, cross-gender belief in male prerogatives will it become what it should have become 50 years ago, namely, a boorish practice of the distant past.

  2. Evelyn Pringle
    November 11, 2017 at 11:23

    Bottom line! We are taking down the Global Pedophile Network run by world leaders NOW! It’s that simple.

  3. Abe
    November 9, 2017 at 17:45

    The politics of sexual harassment and war create many bedfellows in Israel and the pro-Israel Lobby, which includes leading media figures.

    Self-professed “I am Israeli in my heart and mind” American movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is one of those bedfellows.

    Israeli senior politician Ehud Barak reportedly gave Weinstein information that facilitated his hiring of the Israeli intelligence agency Black Cube.

    Barak served in top Israeli government posts:
    – Chief of General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (1991-1995)
    – Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs (1995-1996) under Prime Minister Shimon Peres
    – Israeli Prime Minister and Minister of Defense (1999-2001)
    – Israeli Minister of Defense (2007-2009) under Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
    – Israeli Minister of Defense and Deputy Prime Minister (2009-2013) under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s second government

    Haaretz reports:

    “The Israeli spy who worked to cover up the sexual violence of media mogul Harvey Weinstein is actually 30-year-old Israeli Stella Penn Pechanac, the Daily Mail claims in a report on Wednesday.

    “Penn, who reportedly worked as an operative for intelligence agency Black Cube, duped actress Rose McGowan into meeting her and disclosing her memoirs. She met with McGowan under the alias ‘Diana Filip,’ allegedly a women’s rights advocate from London, who worked as an investor at a firm called Rueben Capital Partners. She reportedly met with McGowan multiple times in New York and Los Angeles.

    “An online biography says Penn immigrated to Israel from Yugoslavia in 1993. She served as an officer in the Israel Air Force and studied acting in Tel Aviv […]

    “The New Yorker reported earlier this week that Weinstein hired business intelligence firms, including Black Cube, to compile psychological profiles of his accusers while digging dirt on their personal histories in an attempt to scuttle reports of his sexual abuse. […]

    “Israel’s Channel 2 reported that former Prime Minister Ehud Barak gave Weinstein information that facilitated his hiring of Black Cube.

    “Black Cube was founded in 2010 by Yanus and Dan Zorella, who served in an Israeli intelligence unit. Black Cube describes its employees as ‘a select group of veterans of the elite Israeli intelligence community, whose diverse experience in information gathering, analysis, research, and field operations.’ Most of the firm’s business is in supporting legal disputes between large business entities, when one side is trying to collect intelligence on the other side in an attempt to win the case.”

    Former Israeli Soldier Identified as Harvey Weinstein’s Spy

    • Susan Sunflower
      November 9, 2017 at 23:31

      really ?? seriously?? — I’m done with this site
      are you a proud anti-semite or one of those who claim to be misunderstood. (because you’re really an ardent advocate for the “oppressed”

    • Abe
      November 10, 2017 at 14:42

      Really? Seriously?

      For Hasbara propaganda trolls, reporting the facts makes one an “antisemite [sic]”.

      Speaking on the red carpet at The Algemeiner‘s fourth annual gala in New York City, Harvey Weinstein emphasized, “I am an Israeli in my heart and mind.”

      The Algemeiner Journal is a pro-Israel New York-based newspaper. The Algemeiner’s Advisory Board was chaired by Holocaust literature author Elie Wiesel.

      Weinstein praised the Algemeiner as “one of the most influential presses we have, not only in [the] Jewish world, but all [the] world”.

      The Hollywood mogul recounted his appearance at The Algemeiner’s gala in 2013, when he presented the “influential” Wiesel with the “Warrior for Truth” award. Wiesel served as chairman of The Algemeiner’s Tribute Committee until his passing in 2016.

      In August 2017, ardent advocate Weinstein announced that he would produce a movie based another Holocaust literature author, the “influential” Leon Ursis.

      The “defiant” Weinstein appointed himself as director of a film adaptation of Ursis’s 1961 novel, Mila 18.

      Speaking of the “influential” Algemeiner, a “fighting” media figure, and cheap theatrics:

      Donald Trump received the “Liberty Award” for his “contributions to US-Israel relations” at a February 2015 Algemeiner gala.

      Trump declared: “We love Israel. We will fight for Israel 100 percent, 1000 percent.”

      After the “influential” Algemeiner event, Trump did not renew his television contract for The Apprentice, raising speculation about a Trump presidential bid. Trump announced his candidacy in June 2015.

      Hints of Trump’s “defiant” break with GOP orthodoxy, questioning of Israel’s commitment to peace, calls for even treatment in Israeli-Palestinian deal-making, and refusal to call for Jerusalem to be Israel’s undivided capital, were all stage-managed for the campaign.

      Catapulted to the White House by the “influential” pro-Israel Lobby (that also fully backed Hillary Clinton, his “opponent”), Trump has proven his Israel-Firster “1000 percent” willingness to “fight” for Israel with Tomahawk Tweets and worse.

  4. bobzz
    November 9, 2017 at 13:53

    where are the moderators? kellieyynch458 and like intrusionists have no business on this site as they contribute nothing to any of the discussions.

  5. geeyp
    November 9, 2017 at 07:31

    John Wilson- This comment was withheld for moderation so I will try to re-say it again. Yes, I wonder all the time when more whistlers will show up, ’cause there is much to tell. We have timed incidents also to hide real news in this country. It happens elsewhere as well. Gideon Levy recently wrote of the Israeli press talking up a sex scandal whilest ignoring what is happening next to them in Palestine.

    • Anon
      November 9, 2017 at 10:14

      It is a political diversion but nonetheless, a real problem that causes significant damage.

      • Susan Sunflower
        November 9, 2017 at 15:52

        Except I think it amplifies the pervasive sense of “helplessness” that is part of why and how both Clinton and Trump got their nominations, and Trump won … Clinton promised more of the same (what a winning concept) and Trump promised kick-azz, burn it down change … never forget that folks also voted for Change when they elected Obama … (as if, the Democrats would want that — even if they owned congress, or that the “Deep State” would permit much beyond window dressing**)

        The media — news and entertainment alike — is awash in mindlessness (stupidity and fantasy) and violence (often towards women) … This is just another infusion of toxicity (like they did with periodic revivals of panic about kiddie porn and human trafficking — in both they have “major FBI sting operations” that usual net a dozen or so … bad guys, but not an existential crisis)

        ** I wish I could look forward to Obama’s inside story … the book will be published, but there was so much face-saving throughout his term, I have no reason to expect honesty … prolly ever.

  6. Superman
    November 9, 2017 at 01:35

    If you want to stop sexual harassment then you have to look at the origins of a people who do sexually harass and get away with it (sexual predator is just a hysterical term which I refuse to use… really!) Sexual harassment is a by product of power so like if Joe Schmoe whips his pleasure trophy out he gets slapped and reported but if a person of power does it nothing happens. Stop creating people of extreme power and this will go away. Anyone in power does what he or she can… Catherine the Great didn’t have 20 lovers for nothing. In our society it is just men that maintain most the power. This happens all the time and it will not stop as long as our society is shaped in this manner. Oh… also I see people talk about JFK but not Jackie had lovers too. If you are in that class sexual promiscuity is the norm. Please stop calling this country a democracy… thats just funny!

    • Susan Sunflower
      November 9, 2017 at 16:41

      Seemingly spun off from the “listen to the children” campaign, this flood of accusations appears to be being accepted as similarly obviously truthful, even as we know that “even” innocent children can be fairly easily coaxed and convinced of a skewed narrative… and that vindictive family members and ex-members and “others” have used called to Children’s Services and the police “forever” …

      People act as if the police “not believing” rape victims is borne of some deep unwarranted (male) suspicion of female victims but when you see how often these reports are dropped or that the victim refuses to cooperate further … It may well not be a matter of “belief” in the victim story as weariness and wariness of pursuing complaints only to have the victim decide to drop the whole thing. … and if pressed to proceed to indictment, that then becomes “harassment” … same with domestic violence, where the cops come, arrest the perp only to have the spouse decide to drop the charges and take him (or her) back. It’s turning into vigilantism

      • Susan Sunflower
        November 9, 2017 at 16:48

        The taint of being the “victim” and/or accusor also has consequences (many domestic violence victims need their spouse to pay the rent) and there are lingering scars and pain … There are indeed myriad reasons for women to decide to drop pursuing charges … but I’m not sure that how many bolster some “the system failed me” narrative …

  7. geeyp
    November 9, 2017 at 00:28

    I wanted to add a question: Can that collection of pictures that accommodates this piece suffice as mugshots?

  8. geeyp
    November 8, 2017 at 23:25

    John Wilson- You are right and I think and hope for more whistlers all the time. That is something that really makes a difference. The distractions are always well timed. Gideon Levy just wrote of a sexual scandal in Israel taking up the mainstream news gossip instead of talking what is happening an hour away in Palestine.

  9. Virginia
    November 8, 2017 at 14:03

    Bush had a lot more to hide than his Cop-a-feel. John Stockwell, a 13-year CIA agent and former marine, has videos about Bush’s secrets. He shows how the CIA/DeepState operates. Anyone know where Stockwell is today?

    In line with article, it’s good that this systemic problem is being more openly addressed and more women coming forward.

    • Annie
      November 8, 2017 at 14:09

      “All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible.” – Frank Herbert I really believe this to be true. Recent work in the field of psychopathy shows a high incidence of this pathology among people who are in positions of power, like politicians.

    • Superman
      November 9, 2017 at 01:24

      John Stockwell…. that’s a man that divulged some good information. I believe Stockwell is alive and I have no idea where he is. I do know Kellner who interviewed him on Alternative Views in the 1980’s is a professor or was at UCLA the last I looked (check with him). My favorite Stockwell story was the one where he invented the Angola all women firing squad that executed 17 (I think 17) Cuban rapists in 1975 or 1976. Classic!

  10. Susan Sunflower
    November 8, 2017 at 13:31

    What I have found so alarming also is the passivity of the victims of harassment … many — as with Cosby — waited decades before coming forward “bravely” only when a groundswell formed. In many of the recitations of incidents, they describe a frozen deer-in-the-headlights response or some scurrying to escape — rarely seemingly a raised voice saying “get your #$@#@ hands off of me.” Many of these incidents — of varying threat level — occurred in public or semi-public spaces. With no real difference in the reports by men and women, except that “so far” there have been no male rapes reported (as far as I’ve read, I’m certain some will surface).

    It is not “blaming the victims” to wonder at how and why so many “tolerated” intolerable behavior, much as — as a nation — we passively tolerate these American wars of aggression, that are not popular, are poorly justified and are costing the country a fortune (money we might use to do projected we claim to be unable to afford). There was no “peace dividend” and there was no “end of welfare as we know it” dividend either (so it’s probably fallacious to thing that war money could or would be spend on domestic programs)

    I have found myself alarmed by our society that seems to think — reflexively — somebody oughta do something about this, without considering the what might be done, by whom, at what cost, impacting probably many things. The 1970-80’s saw implementation of “sexual harrasment” policies in many large businesses (and small, I’d guess) so that there were protocols and reporting structures (chains of command), so claims would not be abandoned because they difficult or confusing, and to — oddly enough — insulate companies from lawsuits (following the protocol could be used to demonstrate businesses behaving in a responsible manner). Oh, and that’s why the “private sector” has been “more responsive” … it’s bottom line self-protection. The US Government is not going to be sued for Donald Trump’s behavior or crimes. Trump’s private businesses have and have had armies aggressive lawyers — it’s very effective … ask the banks.

    Like Civilian Police Review Boards, everyone declared victory and stayed home. At the peak of the Campus Rape Culture/Crisis, it seemed to be a growing consensus that reporting rape (filing an criminal complaint) was inviting a “secondary victimization” … How the hell do we get beyond that mindset … even just get angry enough (the system is failing you) to demand that the tax payer funded system work. ??? Beats me.

    • Anon
      November 9, 2017 at 08:40

      Women do not report because they are not believed. The harassment laws of the 1990’s are not really enforced.

      Forty years in High Tech and I have been harassed, assaulted and at the age of 64, stalked at work! During that time I was always married to the same man in High Tech who incidentally was never harassed. When I reported, the corporate response was that I lacked proof. I retained a lawyer and even then, could really do nothing.

      My husband once asked “Why do these things always happen to you?” and my response was – because I am a woman who works in field where the ratio is 87 percent male to 13 percent female.

      So why do men act like this? Because they think they can get away with it. And when you look at this behavior, it’s really about violence, control and domination. Men who act like this are social predators who know their behavior is wrong but do it because they feel they are entitled. They are angry and frustrated and see women as an easy target because they think they are more vulnerable.

      I want to say that it is a very small minority of men who act like this. In my experience, I would say about one percent. But it only takes one percent to cause serious social and emotional damage.

  11. Antiwar7
    November 8, 2017 at 13:17

    I don’t think it’s limited to “male” dominance. I think women can be warlike (Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright), and female bosses can take advantage of their underlings, too.

  12. mike k
    November 8, 2017 at 08:53

    I’m not seeing this comment published?

    ” Disparagement and abuse of women has been part of machismo fascism everywhere. Power corrupts, and males with power think it gives them the right to do with women as they please.”

  13. john wilson
    November 8, 2017 at 06:39

    Over here in the UK the “look what happened to me” brigade is in full swing and even members of parliament including a senior minister have had to fall on their sword and resign their positions. This is all fair enough, but where are the voices from the past who know of government cover ups and other crimes that also need an army of courages claimants to come forward and tell us what they know?There must be thousands of men and women who could expose wrong doing about governments and corporations. Why is it left to Snowden, Julien Assange and a handful of others to carry the burden of exposing criminals in government and corporations? They need support of the many other insiders that there definitely are to come forwards in the same way that victims of sexual predators have.

    • tina
      November 8, 2017 at 23:15

      Agree. I only ever heard of Jimmy Saville after he died. Like, no one ever knew what was going on. Same with all those Irish girls who were pregnant, they somehow disappeared. Here , all those black boys dying in jails.

  14. geeyp
    November 8, 2017 at 00:05

    It used to signal arrests when a threat was made against the president. Whether some drunk at a restaurant in earshot or in private. Now people like Madonna can threaten to set fire to the White House and say it into a microphone in front or a large crowd or Johnny Depp, a similar threat. Nothing happens. And what are we supposed to think? I think we are accepting some of this nasty attitude and sexual violence is now almost expected to happen. Ethics and morals? Hell, they used to teach courses on those topics in school!

  15. jazza
    November 7, 2017 at 23:19

    you gotta love a ‘great distraction’ from the real news – works everytime for those in charge

    • tina
      November 7, 2017 at 23:27

      this is fun time. I am concerned about our world and elections. New jersey and Virginia voted democratic. Good

  16. Evangelista
    November 7, 2017 at 21:49

    During “The Golden Age”, or, as Mark Twain and his son-in-law designated iit, “The Gilded Age”, in the United States, the period of prosperity and high living (in the mostly eastern Northern states) after the Civil War (financed by railfroad building and the despoiling of the Southern ‘rebel’ states, mostly through “borrowing” against potential tax revenues to accrue from ‘rebuilding’), in New York a law firm prospered named “Howe and Hummel” for its two principal partners. Howe was a criminal defense attorney, the better known in general press of the pair, Hummel was an entertainment and ‘domestic relations’ attorney, with less public image, but also well known, especially among the ‘young and gay’, and older and uncautious of the ‘about town’ sets. Hummel represented to a large degree predatory women. His clients would have Hummel file claims against men to collect awards for ‘seductions’, unwanted attentions and ‘privacy’, the last being effectively blacckmail, agreements by the predatory ladies to not ‘go public’ with accusations.

    Then, because the American Puritanism hysteria pendulum was swung the other way from where it is now, it was women who had the “weinstein advantage”.

    Today it is the other way.

    Or is it?

    Males will always be testosterone-driven,

    Women will always be avaricious.

    Some control themselves; some do not; of both sexes. As a rule, the more advantaged the less feeling of need for control.

    Thus, the whole “conflict” is artificial. Predators, of both sexes, taking advantages where opportunities and the post=ition of the pendullum, permit them to.

    Weinstein, and other males in like positions, have done nothing unnatural, or that has not been well known for multiple generations. The Casting Couch has been a Hollywood fixture since the beginning of Hollywood. Starlets have taken advantage of it to advance, or attempt to advance, their careers.

    Now some of those who were happy to use the means are growing a ‘sense of righteousness’, seeing advantages in jumping on that bandwagon…

    It is a game.

    • tina
      November 7, 2017 at 23:22

      Okay here we go, Jerry Sandusky, Catholic priests, Dennis Hastert, JFK, William Jefferson Clinton, Donald J Trump, That Republican senator from who knows where, David Koresh, Jeffries in Utah, Strom Thurmond, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Stanford rapist Brock Turner, You really think a child or a woman has a chance at these male institutions? I want to write something so vile to you, but I have a little more respect for humanity than you. You can not possibly be anything other than a white male.

      • Evangelista
        November 8, 2017 at 21:19


        ” You can not possibly be anything other than a white male.”

        I can’t be a cynic? Or are all cynics white male? If so, does it mean that all any of us has to do is become cynical and we can grow a mustache?

        Incidentally, at least half (more than half if we count all of the Catholic priests opportunistically accused by bandwagon-jumpers [especially where there might be money in it]) of the sensationalized names on your ‘gossip’s list’ of accused persons are without confirmed or confirmable records of the activities the gossip-mongering accuse.

        I do think that no one, man, woman, child, domestic animal. pet, or even corpse has a chance in a world of media-sensationalism fueled gossip-gaspers (note that I do not designate these gossip-addicted sensationalism-fixated “vile” things female: Although predominantly so, they come in all seses, races, and levels of self-titillation.

        • tina
          November 8, 2017 at 22:55

          What is seses?

          • Evangelista
            November 9, 2017 at 21:44


            Q: “What is seses?”

            A: The word “sexes” with an ‘x’ typo in it.

            Q: Have you figured out yet that the much bruited-amongst-the-gossips Trump “grab ’em by the pussy” statement was not “Trumpian-Sex-Brag”, as the gossip-mongers tisted it (and most of the breathless-gossip set still flutter themselves assuming it to be, but a deprecation of the kind of women who will “let [men who are ‘stars’] do anything”? Find the original in the ‘net now, after all the election hysteria is over, and check it out.

            Unfortunately just about all of the hyper-ventilated sensationalized ‘news’ is gossip like that bit, and is twisted, as gossip always is, as that bit is, and is passed in the twisted forms as gospel by gossip-mongers, as that bit is.

            And if women are defined witless, shallw-brained, nitwit airheads incapable of rational thinking, and so needing to be ‘looked after’, coddled and treated as somewhere between dogs and cats as pets, it is because of that kind of preference for titillating sensation over basic truth, and the kind of grabbing for advantage being depicted currently by the breathless blatherers of the “Twenty or thirty years ago it happened to me too!” mantra, who said nothing at the times (if ‘it’ ever really did), and who have no concept of such a thing as statutes of limitation, or else imagine that for them, or their sex, things like those should not apply.

            Those hysterics, always ready to leap out of the woodwork, are a pain and embarrassment to everyone interested in serious thinking, whatever their sexes. They are, however, assuming them only hysterical flutterers, way ahead from the likes of Sabina Ederly and her “informant” who perpetrated the 2015 UVA “Rape on Campus” hoax (google “Rape on Campus” or search for the same in wikkipedia).

            Meanwhile, under cover of these media hysterias the Elite (who own the Media who flog the hysterias, are continuing to gut the U.S. government and push through double-tax-increasing (taxes for the average go up while hey go down for the Elite, and the ‘Deficit’ goes up, too, meaning more borrowing of ‘investable surplus funds’ from the Elites, at interest, which interest the taxed must pay to the lending Elites) and more war-funding and Pentagon-fattening and Assets-to-the-Elites-Transferring legislations…

            In Elite circles it is called “Gaming the Lemmings”.

    • Typingperson
      November 8, 2017 at 04:59

      So you think men raping women is OK. Noted.

  17. Sam F
    November 7, 2017 at 19:51

    “A democracy that… embraces the equality of all… would have no tolerance for predators… at home, in the workplace or in warfare” and in fact no real democracy could do otherwise. We have only a fake democracy that believes only in money=power=virtue and celebrates exploitation. Our culture teaches the ten commandments of ignorance, selfishness, hypocrisy, malice, lying, cheating, stealing, bullying, harassment, and vandalism. Because we’re the best.

  18. mike k
    November 7, 2017 at 18:43

    Disparagement and abuse of women has been part of machismo fascism everywhere. Power corrupts, and males with power think it gives them the right to do with women as they please. This is a sick hangover of patriarchy.

  19. PEG
    November 7, 2017 at 18:13

    The author makes an interesting and valid point regarding the similarity between social acceptance of sexual harassment in the workplace and political acceptance of aggressive war. But comparing Trump to Weinstein or even Bill Clinton in this regard is wrong and totally unfair. Weinstein did not just practice “sexual harassment” – as the author indicates – but apparently numerous cases of aggravated forcible rape – which if carried out by some poor minority guy from the inner city would merit 20+ years in a maximum security prison. Trump simply engaged in off-color banter which – 12 years after the fact – the Hillary Clinton campaign inserted into the mainstream media as “breaking news” in order to torpedo his campaign. Words are not “predatory behavior”, actions however are – as in the case of Weinstein and Bill Clinton. The electorate was able to see through this in the case of Trump – as the people hopefully eventually will in the case of foreign interventionism.

    • Cookies
      November 8, 2017 at 00:23

      I believe that they are all rapists. I believe that they have all been to Lolita island…..even Hillary.

    • Annie
      November 8, 2017 at 01:03

      I agree, and I thought the same thing when I read it. He undermines his own article when he fails to make a distinction between rape and braggadocio. I also found conflating sexual harassment in the work place and rape with our multiple wars that have taken the lives of millions of men, women and children does not sit well with me, and in no way am I making excuses for those who use their positions of power to exploit anyone sexually.
      Why would my comment be awaiting moderation?

      • Annie
        November 8, 2017 at 02:32

        I don’t understand why my comment should be awaiting moderation, when nothing I said was abusive. Yet trolls can come on this site, call people idiots, and tell them they are full of sh*t repeatedly, and no moderation was awaiting their comments. Explain that to me.

        • PEG
          November 9, 2017 at 07:24

          Fully agree with your comments, Annie, also regarding moderation. My above posting was also “moderated” for a really immoderate time. Any you are right that conflating sexual harassment with aggressive wars that take millions of lives makes no sense at all.

          • Nancy
            November 10, 2017 at 19:47

            Sexual harassment is another symptom of the hideous disease of capitalism that feeds on perpetual war.

  20. Drew Hunkins
    November 7, 2017 at 18:05

    Below’s a letter of mine that was published in the Capital Times newspaper (Madison, WI) a couple weeks ago regarding powerful elites like Weinstein and their control over the media:

    Dear Editor: One of the most disturbing aspects of the unfolding Harvey Weinstein scandal, and it’s barely getting the coverage it deserves, is the overwhelming influence Weinstein had over the mainstream news media. On a few occasions he threatened or showed off his prowess in planting stories in the mainstream media, sometimes within hours of telling the women he was going to do so. He virtually had certain journalists and commentators on his de facto payroll.

    This is terrifying. That a single multibillionaire can place a quick phone call to a New York news desk to tactically plant stories in the national consciousness makes a mockery of our “free and independent” press.

    This very unsettling portion of the story is arguably the most distressing and significant element. Yet it’s this aspect of the Weinstein saga that’s getting short shrift amidst all the salacious details.

    It calls up the obvious question: What other billionaires, military contractors, pro-Israel zealots, corporate moguls, anti-union concerns, anti-Putin Russophobes, warmongering Pentagon flacks are flexing a similar kind of muscle behind the scenes, painting false pictures and shading reality?

    With almost just a flick of his wrist, Weinstein could control the thought processes of tens of millions of Americans, both through his films as well as through his back-channel control over sectors of the establishment media — a power that should send chills down the spine of anyone who professes to live in a democracy.

    Drew Hunkins

    • Zachary Smith
      November 7, 2017 at 18:42

      Good remarks, but you and essay author Marks overlook another ability of a famous abuser with boatloads of money: they can hire some muscle.

      Harvey Weinstein hired ex-Mossad agents to suppress allegations, report claims
      Harvey Weinstein calls New Yorker report ‘fiction’, as magazine alleges producer used an ‘army of spies’ to stop accusers from going public

      The report, published on 6 November, alleges that two Black Cube investigators met with actor Rose McGowan, who later publicly accused Weinstein of rape, to obtain information.

      Weinstein “unequivocally denies” all claims of non-consensual sex, a spokesperson for the producer says.

      The New Yorker also claims that one of the investigators secretly recorded at least four meetings with McGowan while pretending to be a women’s rights advocates, citing dozens of pages of documents and seven people directly involved in Weinstein’s efforts.


      And if all else fails, there is one more possibility:

      An arrest warrant has been issued for Rose McGowan on a drug charge: ‘Are they trying to silence me?’

      An arrest warrant has been issued for actress Rose McGowan for felony possession of a controlled substance, according to the Associated Press.

      The warrant was obtained February 1, after a police investigation of personal belongings left behind on a January 20 United flight arriving at Washington Dulles International Airport tested positive for narcotics.


      I don’t know a thing about Rose McGowan. Never even heard of the woman until a few days ago. For all I know she may buy “controlled substances” by the truckload. On the other hand, if all the other efforts by the Israeli Intelligence people don’t work, there is always planting evidence, then alerting the cops. Would the agents of a murderous little cesspool of a nation stoop to such things? Think about it.


      One more thing which is kind of off-topic is the prospect of giving Biggest Internet Retailer your house key. The number of possibilities available to evildoers like Land/Water Grabber Intelligence agents boggles the mind.

      • Lisa
        November 7, 2017 at 20:03

        As much as I find the “Weinstein-culture” disgusting and repulsive (yes, it is not just him but a culture), I could not help laughing heartily at an unexpected demonstration of support for him. Guess who? The Russians! More exactly, a group of Russian beauties gathered in front of the US Embassy in Moscow, with handwritten posters in his support, and their scarce clothing consisted of winter boots. They told the reporters: “He has offered sex, it is good, sex is great, wonderful, he is welcome here any time, we’ll be happy to receive him”.

        If you think this was meant seriously, you are wrong. Russians are masters in all sorts of humour, political, moral, sarcastic… whatever. I don’t give a link to the video of the girls, but the news item was on the Russian news site on Nov. 1st. Don’t be disappointed if you find it, the video is censured and blurred partly, so the girls are not seen clearly.

        Don’t try to make Putin guilty of even this incident!

        As for the Weinstein culture, I think it is as old as the world, and that his behaviour was so severely condemned just at this moment, has many explanations. Maybe he should consider the invitation by the Russian girls, his future in the US is not bright.

        • Zachary Smith
          November 7, 2017 at 20:59

          Funny, but it didn’t take long for the cops to arrive.

        • Drew Hunkins
          November 7, 2017 at 21:23

          Sounds like something the pro-West, politically brain dead Pussy Riot would do.

          • Lisa
            November 8, 2017 at 04:15

            Pussy Riot members perform in complete masks, these demonstrators did the opposite. And seemed to have fun. Obviously the press was informed in advance, as they managed to film and take interviews of the girls during the few minutes they managed to forward their message.

        • Evangelista
          November 8, 2017 at 21:01

          For help to understand the satire of Russian women mocking twenty-first century U.S. female sexual chauvinism/puritanism/faux-outrage, either recall, or if you can’t, review, the 1990’s “American Decade” in Russia following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, with its introduction of ‘American Decadence’ as part of the snidely designated “Shock Doctrine” pushed on Russians with/for the induced economic collapse, with no efforts to safety-net or relieve severe distress. The purpose was to force distress sales and drive purchase prices down, to run ‘hard currency’ (dollar and euro) purchasing power up to aid Western purchasers to strip Russia and other ex-Soviet states as much as possible. In the economic holocaust the “Americanization” of the “economy” caused, such “American” practices as demanding provision of sex for a job, or for just consideration for a job, or as a job requirement, was common, especially among Westerners who flocked to Russia to get in on the spoliation. There was a lot of complaining among Russian, and other ex-Soviet nationalities, especially among the women who were coerced to choose between moral integrity or a job, between providing “perks” to hold onto the income needed for food and housing, often for their whole families, and losing all for refusing.

          For Russians who remember the West “opening up” Russia, and the other ex-Soviet states, to Western “adult” “realities”, to see American women and their toadies going self-righteous about a milder form (none of Weinstein’s propositioning was “or lose your job, or starve”, it was “improve your chances of getting ahead, by, you know, …giving a little…”) of what was economically forced on them, that they were informed was just “American Free Market Economics” in action, that they should “get used to”, is undoubtedly amusing.

          I imagine that the prescient ones, who can see the West presently sailing rapidly toward its own economic collapse, can foresee the today indignantly and self-righteously outraged of American Womanhood coming to have to face the “adult realities” of “American Free Market Economics”, themselves, in a not to distant tomorrow.

          Will America’s women then huddle homeless and hungry in the cold drafts under rain-dripping bridges, pow-wowing in righteous indignation, demanding males with jobs to offer provide them for only pay, without “perks”? When some of those will be some of the same who taught “American Economic Realities” to women in Russia in their ‘ex-pat days” in the ‘nineties’, before Vladimir Putin spoiled their parties?

          • Nancy
            November 10, 2017 at 19:45

            Appreciate this perspective.

  21. irina
    November 7, 2017 at 17:55

    Sexual harrassment is a covert form of domestic violence.
    War is the extreme manifestation of domestic violence.

    • voxpax
      November 8, 2017 at 05:48

      Calling p o o r young people to serve the country to secure their livelihood, training them to be obedient to any command by treating them like nonpersons, aka s..t, screwing them up in any respect and if necessary sending them to foreign places to compensate on their maltreatment is only one shining indicator of how the powerful look down on to their subjects. Peer pressure is the name of the game, boarding schools, college teams, Sunday schools, rifle associations, university alumni, career situation of any sort, we now them all.
      It is the whole system that stinks. The way alfa heterosexuals build this world is disgusting. We kill and maltreat every beeing, male, female, human or animals, trees, you name it.

    • November 8, 2017 at 11:43

      In a nutshell. Simply stated. Overwhelmingly true.”God shed thy grace on thee”!

  22. mark
    November 7, 2017 at 17:11

    There’s no doubt Weinstein is a sexual predator, but he is also collateral damage in the civil war between Trump and the Clinton faction. The opposition to Trump never accepted the result of the election, and have ever since tried to mount a coup against him to take back power. They have done this by targeting the people around Trump like Flynn, Sessions, Kushner. Weinstein isn’t just a groping film producer, he is a leading Democrat who is very close to Obama and the Clintons. He has been targeted but the Trump faction as a result, to embarrass the Clinton faction and to divert attention from the Russiagate nonsense. This is not to condone his behaviour, but if Weinstein was apolitical or a supporter of the Green Party, he would probably have been left alone to continue his sexual shenanigans. Everybody has known about Weinstein for decades, so he was an easy target, low hanging fruit.

    • David G
      November 7, 2017 at 17:49

      The NY Times and The New Yorker, which were the ones to torpedo Weinstein, are part of the “Trump faction”? That’s obviously not true.

      The analysis I’ve heard, which makes a bit more sense, is that people like Weinstein, who always got a pass from the MSM, are now collateral damage since the sex allegations against Trump (and his own taped words) make that an area the media wants to take more seriously.

      • mark
        November 8, 2017 at 20:22

        No, they’re just jumping on the juicy sex story bandwagon. But the Trump faction are behind his outing.

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