A Pivot Point? Yes and No.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Carl Cannon of The Orange County Register asks an interesting question: "Is Harvey Weinstein a cultural pivot point?" He offers some pretty compelling arguments for why this might be the case, contrasting Weinstein's rapid fall with the fates of a couple of other public figures about twenty years ago:

Yet, like Bob Packwood, Bill Clinton was "good" on Roe v. Wade, so what's a good feminist to do? In the end, they backed Clinton. This lesson wasn't lost on future offenders. Bill Cosby's camp has openly played the race card, just as Bill O'Reilly claimed to be the victim of a political "hit job" by liberals. Harvey Weinstein responded to the New York Times' expose with a statement beginning with his claim that he "came of age in the '60s and '70s, when the rules about behavior and workplaces" differed. "That was the culture then," he added. [minor edits]
And later:
If there's good news in this sordid tale, it's this: Once these allegations were made public, playing the partisan political card didn't create even a minor speed bump as Weinstein was being drummed out of polite society. Feminists openly scoffed at this gambit. Prominent Democrats didn't so much as acknowledge it.
This could be very good or very bad, depending on why this is happening so quickly. It would be a very good thing if, indeed, this is a sign that, culturally, the kind of mistreatment of women the likes of Weinstein specialize in is no longer getting a pass. But consider that some of the outrage is coming from the left, which has been responsible lately for fostering outrages against men, on the premise that, as Cannon puts it so well, "merely being a man [might be] some sort of pre-existing condition." (Oh. And Caucasians. And the wealthy, but I don't really need to bring that up, do I?) Let's not forget that Weinstein is something of a strikeout: white, wealthy, and male.

Perhaps there is a bit of both going on just as, not so long ago, racial bigotry became unacceptable while, at the same time, leftists pushed for the kind of legislation, regulation, and pandering that make such a thing as a "race card" even viable now -- and even after our country has twice elected a black man as President. An interesting thought experiment indeed is to consider where this story might have gone had it occurred on Hillary Clinton's watch, had she won the election. I suspect a one-word answer, starting with the word "no," and ending with the word, "where." Weinstein would have been too useful.

I personally think it's both: In the broader culture, men at work are expected to behave like professionals towards women. But at the same time, many on the left doubtless see yet another opportunity to tear someone down, ostensibly in the name of a just cause. Yes, our popular culture has reached a pivot point, but we're saddled with the same old, power-hungry left.

-- CAV

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