Weinstein: the trigger man

“The whisper network.” A friend sent Jia Tolentino’s article from the NewYorker, https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-whisper-network-after-harvey-weinstein-and-shitty-media-men

writing, “it’s really making the rounds!” I had read it already. It is making the rounds. No longer a whisper, more of a shout.

The pitfall in keeping such underground lists, as the author points out, is the opportunity for false accusation: for vendetta, depraved prank, or witch-hunt fervor. No longer underground, excavated as it is in these recent post-Weinstein news-cycles, people have the chance to defend, refute, and to start to make amends. Careers will be up-ended. Lives will change. It serves as a behavioral stop sign within the industry. Hopefully the false accusations will crack like eggs on concrete and the true will rise to the top like cream.

Eggs and cream — a rich omelet of power, violation, complicity and self-preservation.

Why has this Weinstein debacle affected us globally? We love our celebrities. There is kinship. Who among us hasn’t felt authentic grief at the passing of an actor or musician — Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, Amy Winehouse, Robin Williams, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Mary Tyler Moore, Tom Petty — the list goes on. We mourn for their disintegrating marriages, their depressions, their battles with cancer and substance abuse. They are welcomed into their lives, they are culturally a part of our family. When bad happens to them we pay attention. We identify. We reflect.

We receive permission to validate our own experiences. Then and now.

Alyssa Milano’s invitation to women to post Me too on social media is brilliant and sensitive. Without having to publically qualify by detailed self-disclosure, women are able to link arms and walk out of the shadows. The world cannot help but attend to this culture of male coercive sexual entitlement. We are powerful in our numbers — we ordinary, extraordinary women.

Harvey Weinstein may just find himself the father of all triggers for sexually traumatized women. We insist on finding him behind bars soon. Or perhaps, even better, on an island with Cosby, Clarence Thomas, Trump and his own kind.