HAS ANYTHING CHANGED?

Harvey Weinstein got caught. Everybody has dumped all over him, which I’m sure he thoroughly deserved. They even tossed him out of the Hollywood Important People Club, ignoring all the other sexual predators who have been operating there since Hollywood became Hollywood.

Sexual predators are everywhere. They are in our homes, our churches, our schools, our sports teams. The number of adults and children raped by family members, boyfriends (or girlfriends) of family members is astronomical. Add to that the kids hit on by coaches, teachers, scout leaders, priests, pastors, bosses, dates, and total strangers … well … Hell, we even have one in the White House.

This was an ongoing horror show when I was a kid with a pedophile father. It has not gotten better. Men and women still can’t discuss it. The weak laws and pathetic prosecution of those laws make it highly unlikely a child who tries to report an adult will be believed. We automatically assume a middle class person in a middle class suburb with no criminal record can’t really be a criminal — and is surely not a risk.

Not true. Never was true.

Woody Allen and Harvey Weinstein

No criminal record often means “never caught in the act.”

Is this likely to change anytime soon? It’s nice that Weinstein got whacked, but all the other Hollywood guys who do the same thing and have since … forever? I couldn’t believe everyone was so “shocked.”

SHOCKED?

SERIOUSLY?

REALLY?

Aw, c’mon. You’re kidding, right? Not only do laws need changing, but attitudes need changing. Given the state of the world, not to mention judges who are determined to not ruin that poor young lad’s life by making him do time for rape? Call me cynical, but I don’t see it happening. I don’t see a hint of it happening anytime in this life. Especially not in this bizarre world in which we now live.

I do not see a single substantial change in the way unwanted sexual advances and/or rape are dealt with today than they were 50 years ago. We have supposedly better “laws” … but we don’t observe them. We don’t even pretend to follow them. The courts don’t follow them, the police and prosecutors ignore them.

Women know it. And that’s why we don’t report problems. We don’t report date rape and we don’t report rapist fathers or mom’s boyfriend who can’t keep his hands off us. Or the boss who turns our working life into a living hell.

Why bother? It won’t change anything and we aren’t going to save other women from the same fate.

The beat goes on.

85 thoughts on “HAS ANYTHING CHANGED?

  1. I remember as a “young lady” being told of the casting couches in Hollywood, and warned against that life-style. You’re right that it was pervasive and not just H’wood, but that was a prime example!

    Liked by 2 people

      • I know you’re less than impressed with the Weinstein takedown but it’s a start, especially in the climate of 45 and his kind. It IS pervasive ….like racism. I think it’ll have some people thinking twice because Weinstein was a player with friends in high places. Maybe I’m reaching but when folks started complaining about the lack of diversity in the Oscar nominations, Hollywood listened. I don’t think it’s about ethics but political and economic pressure to do the “right” thing.

        Liked by 2 people

      • It’s a start Marilyn. There will always be this issue of “he said – she said”. We had a series of articles in one of our news papers about this. Its title was Unfounded. It revealed just how many of these reported cases were pushed to the side as unfounded. I think in our parents time it was not considered all that bad. It was probably talked about by the men and normalized.
        Leslie

        Liked by 2 people

  2. An excerpt of facts written into fiction:
    Her investigations, and she did some serious searching and reading, showed that research into β€˜the problem of child abuse’ stopped once it reached a certain point. Most of the research didn’t make it to publication. Some universities and Councils and State Government agencies had copies of reports that never went anywhere but the archives. The dirt seemed too much to deal with. She had learned why.
    The primary sources indicated the rate of reported child sexual abuse was about thirty percent – that is, thirty percent of the whole child population. One in nine boys and two in five girls – it shocked her. If this reporting was similar to other forms of crimes where only ten percent of the actual crimes ended up reported to authorities, the problem was too big, too horrendous. Too easily tucked out of view.
    How were the surveys defined? That would tell her something. It would be clearly stated if the data came from law enforcement. No indication in the documentation to state data came from agencies associated with law enforcement. Government agencies used random sampling surveys. A tried and true method to hide facts by denying statistical significance for specified zones and regions. Some areas were known high risk. The numbers would be so much worse if the survey used specific high-risk regions.
    Too many people in positions of power and influence who put in their two-bob’s worth. There had to be. Someone high up, somewhere in authority, had to sweep investigations under the carpet, delay funding programs, hide procurers from the processes of community. Define specific target areas for surveys.
    She would not be able to rely on the system to help her. Not the law, not the government, not the churches. No one but the people who had already suffered would understand her need.

    Nothing has changed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hmmmm….

    I pretty much agree with everything you mention here!

    Something HAS to change. Change usually starts with each one of ‘us’.

    With Weinstein it didn’t start with just one person speaking out – but all it took was one (more) person joining in the chorus of other complaints to start the avalanche that hit him.

    I’ve added my voice against sexual abuse many times on my blog and elsewhere – hopefully one day the right person will hear it and it will make a difference – i have to try!

    Although in my country there has been a Royal Commission into the child sexual abuse of some 4000+ cases over nearly half a century by the members of the Catholic Church, the numbers of confirmed abuses and perpetrators in the Church are no greater and may actually be LESS than in the general community (as a percentage of population).

    Yet somehow no-one investigates why this should be like they do with the Church?

    If we keep our silence nothing will change – and that is the real tragedy.

    (Well done for speaking out in your excellent book btw)

    love

    Liked by 3 people

    • It’s more complicated than that. Much more complicated. Because it starts with finding a compassionate and sane way to deal with the many children that suffer from abuse in their homes — something that has never been dealt with — nor does ANY country seem to have a setup that does’t take kids from a really bad situation at home and throw them into a foster care situation that is often much worse.

      No one has come up with any way to prevent abusive bosses from destroying the careers of women — and sometimes men — who complain. Date rape isn’t considered rape. Despite everything, women are held responsible for being women and “instigating” men … and many men think it’s okay to do whatever they want if they think a women is sexily dressed.

      And on and on. It IS complicated and it cuts to a lot of levels of society and how we teach our boys versus how we teach our girls … and how we fail to listen to children. It’s not ONE thing It’s a LOT of things.. I wish it were less complicated and I wish I saw progress in all of this, but honestly, I don’t.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Bob, it probably helps more than you know with your blog. Across the years, I’ve run into people who’ve said I helped change their thinking about racism. On the 25th anniversary of Boston’s School Desegregation Program, I encountered people who’d spat at me, called me the “N” word and worse. They had kids on their shoulders, introduced them to me and said their kids were growing up with different views. Perhaps a small sample but reason to hope even as hate still flourishes. It takes a little bit everyday. You just can’t sit back and say the world will never change. I’ll never accept that premise.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re a good man Garry!

        Thanks for that! πŸ™‚

        We’re in a world now that is much more open and likely to change. We are much more of a mix of culture and are having to accept more an more that old values are not the ONLY values we can have!

        With modern communication we are slowly accepting that even one person can change the world in some way – hopefully for the better! πŸ™‚

        love

        Liked by 1 person

        • Bob, you are exhibit A of a good person. Reaching out and helping — people you only know as pen pals. Your kindness still blows my mind and is part of the reason I’m still hopeful amid all of the negativity in the world. However, never offer me the use of your good pens.

          Liked by 1 person

          • πŸ™‚

            I’m seeing a lot of negativity around the entire world – on the media!

            In the world i LIVE in i am seeing much more reasons to believe in the goodness of mankind. Yesterday i was talking with a young African immigrant to Perth. She was working as a pharmacy assistant while studying for a B.Psych. degree. She spoke excellent English and was an upbeat, charming young lady.

            We’re coming into a world we have never experienced before and many things will change and feel strange..but if we have young people like her around there is some hope! πŸ™‚

            And you Sir, are welcome to my best pen anytime! πŸ™‚

            love

            Liked by 1 person

            • Bob, negativity seems to be “in” these days. Everywhere. It’s funny because I’m still “on stage” in many place because folks remember me from my TV News days. Many say they wish I was still working because I was “respectful” of the people I covered. I always appreciate the compliments but I was just doing my job the way it SHOULD be done. That sentiment is lost on the likes of Bill O’Reilly and his Fox News mates. Bill was a horse’s rear end when we were colleagues and he only grew worse with time. SAD!!

              Liked by 1 person

              • What’s the saying?? Misery loves company? And as far as news goes it’s the bad news that sells best. ( I think it’s because most people want to know that their life is not the worst it could be by comparing themselves to others who have it worse… Kinda dumb really! πŸ˜‰ )

                Like i said though – in my little part of the world life is actually really rather pleasant – if i ignore the mess my government (s) are doing at trying to run a country! – and all the backstabbing and sniping at the ‘other’ party.

                AS for being ‘on stage’… (GOOD!) Old journalists don’t die – they stay True to Type! πŸ˜‰

                love

                Liked by 1 person

    • In fairness, if ALL women in every workplace spoke up and made a noise, enough so they couldn’t get get rid of everyone — THAT would work. But how do you organize all those women? We are more than half the population, remember. It’s a scary thing to stand against the people who pay your salary. Terrifying for many. It’s not just ambition — it’s survival.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I agree – opposing someone with power over you in any form is never an easy choice. Many times though it is a better one than the alternative.

        Organising everyone is unlikely – organising some who can be effective in telling their story to gain the support of many is the key i suspect. Gaining a powerful ally who may have a similar story would be good but won’t happen until someone has the courage to say what they know – it does not have to be public but it needs to get to the right ears! That won’t happen if fear causes silence. πŸ™‚

        love

        Liked by 1 person

        • Bob — you’re right (again!) about getting to the right ears. I confronted some of my work colleagues who were loudly sharing anti-semitic jokes. They actually looked stunned until one of them quietly said, “Careful, he’s married to one of them”. The bigotry level in my old work place was embarassing. Such hypocrites!

          Like

      • You said it! It is everywhere. You know what I think? This is not going away. There are many people nervous over this one. Too many people of influence talking…I think it will have a ripple effect…not just in the industry either. Workplaces, homes around the world. This is the tip of the iceberg. I could be wrong…
        It makes me smile to think how many people are watching their back right now.

        Liked by 2 people

        • It would be nice if there was some kind of structure to help those hurt by it. It’s the kids who get hurt the most and are the hardest to help. We have a terrible foster care system. So often, pulling a kid out of a bad household just throws them into something even worse. And too many of the households where this stuff goes on are NOT poor ghetto kids … they are well-off white middle class kids. No one believes them, no one wants to deal with their parents. We’ll clap a few big time famous abusers away, but we’ll ignore the kids and women just trying to keep working. Because we can.

          Liked by 1 person

          • You are right, there needs to be more help for victims. It is all too common and it is time for all levels of government to put the spotlight and money on it. Just think about the awareness programs and money spent on snack foods in schools! Lets babysit what they eat, but ignore a much more important topic.

            Like

          • One of my former colleagues was a poster boy for harrasement. He even bragged about it. He figured he was untouchable because of his public image. Wrong, Sodomy breath! He was eventually nailed and upset because he didn’t receive support from his “Bro” pals. Good golly, Miss Molly! What a shock!

            Like

  4. It’s all about power when you think about it. Abuse of power. Those more powerful than children threaten family members or that they’ll be killed if they tell anyone, and the “anyone’s” can’t or won’t believe the impossible of a family member, boss, employer and they too give in to the “power” of whoever is involved, often looking the other way. Rampant! Abuse of women and children is more rampant now than ever and it has nothing to do with population. It has everything to do with the inability of the abused to be heard and believed. Women are less than chattel in my opinion. The books might say this and that, but the truth is, that atrocities and abuse are well hidden and women and children continue to be undermined as stupid, worthless, incompetent. When a woman makes any progress “she slept her way to the top”. She couldn’t possibly be smart enough to have outdone a man for the position. Right??? I agree with everything you’ve said, Marilyn and more. Your broaching the subject and others speaking about it will make a difference, in fact, it has with some men, fathers, brothers who find the actions of predators horrific. When will it be enough?How much more have to suffer a lifetime of either abuse or dealing with the horror and aftermath of abuse before it’s taken seriously? I don’t know. I wished to god I had an answer for that one.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. As a counterpoint opinion the reason (IMHO) that the child who cries abuse are not heeded sometimes is because today children use that threat as a weapon. Some children. I do not support nor admire the waste of skin that abuses and preys on children, they are beneath contempt and in another situation would be put to death for that heinous crime. However sometimes children lie. Tell a version of the truth that they think will please the asker. I know personally of an individual who was branded a child molester (he was put in the database the ‘man’ keeps about persons of that sort) and it followed him around for the rest of his life. He protested his innocence and later it was proven the child did lie. She came and apologized to him later in life for lying about what happened. Claimed she was ‘bored’ and wanted attention and thought it funny to cause a scene. So to me? That’s why many of the cases of actual abuse aren’t believed nor followed up on…too many liars have sullied the situation. Adult crimes of that nature (‘consenting’ adults) should be believed. You’re correct about that. But the whole criminal justice system is messed up isn’t it? Victims are made to feel criminals and criminals demand their rights and to be treated as victims. The system is so far off course that I doubt it can be made right. Especially since one of the ‘bad’ guys is sitting in the oval office. Makes me afraid for the future and what it holds if one happens to be female.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe some do, but many of us didn’t. Of course, we never opened our mouths or said ANYTHING because however awful it was at home, being taken away to live in foster care wasn’t an improvement. I think the first time I really talked about it to anyone but my closest childhood friend — or my brother who got worse than I did — was when I finally wrote a book. And that was 60+ years later. My brother NEVER talked about it, except to me because I already knew. He died with the ugly secret gnawing at him.

      Yes, children lie. But not about rape. They may lie about getting hit or pushed around, but not about rape. And lies about that are pretty easy to dispel. The odds are that a kid being raped by dad or step-dad or older brother or uncle, or boyfriend … won’t say anything. Because they are terrified.

      AS for lying — PARENTS AND OTHER ADULTS LIE TOO. Lying is hardly confined to children. Plenty of abusive parents lie ALL the time. To everyone.

      There are a staggering number of very real abuse cases all the time and no one wants to hear about it. No one. It’s ugly, it’s depressing. How many years did the American Catholic church run their own brothel for local priests and it took more than 20 years to uncover it. Kids told their parents, their parents told them to shut up and stop lying.

      This is what I mean by an attitude change. Kids are NOT the only liars and abuse is everywhere, even when we say “OH NO, that CAN’T be true.” It is true. And it will continue to be true. Because we don’t want to hear it.

      Like

      • I too suffered through a childhood riddled with that sort of thing. I was put into foster care, which is as horrible as you surmise. And that’s where the abuse took place. Most of it. I was molested at 4 years of age (prior to the foster situation) by a neighbor boy. I never told anyone, but according to my mother I did start acting out around that kid, who baby sat myself and my siblings. My two siblings suffered abuse at the foster ‘care’ (what a freakin’ joke) and as adults they deny it happened. Have put it away I suppose. Maybe men deal with that sort of thing differently from women or something, but I was married to a victim of child abuse (fate has a wry sense of humor sometimes) and he had a very different way of coping with the memories and trauma. His was an older male cousin and he did tell his parents and they told him to stop lying and trying to cause trouble. The abuse began at around 5 years of age and continued until he was 11 or 12 years old and was big enough to fight back against it. But it changed his whole life and in a sense ruined it. I know myself what that kind of stuff does to a person and I lived with the idea that it was somehow my fault these predators chose me until I was well into my 20s and got therapy. Even now the scars remain and the trauma changed my whole perspective of who I was and what I was worth. So I ‘get’ it. The silence, the shame, the fear. And no, I do not think kids are wholly responsible for lying, but the situation, IMHO, has been made more difficult because of the ones who did. The adults have no excuse at all.

        Liked by 1 person

        • The scars never go away, not as far as I can tell. Therapy helps you accept what happened and maybe be less angry about it, but weird things trigger a nearly panic reaction — even today. I can’t watch shows about child abuse, either. They wake up too many things.

          There is a whole school of abusers who think all of this is “natural” and if you are “nice” to the child you are abusing, that makes it “okay.” They really believe it, too. Nothing short of God coming down to explain the matter will change them — and I’m not even sure God could get it done.

          My brother’s life was deeply changed by abuse, too … even more than mine, I think, because it started early and lasted until he was in his mid teens. That seems to be the pattern. The pedophiles lose interest when a boy starts to be manly.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I had occasion to meet my earliest abuser and I was a bit worried about my reaction. I haven’t been able to forgive that one, even though people have said “He was just experimenting – going through puberty” like any of that should excuse it. What did happen is he approached me and a sibling (we were at a funeral) and he and my brother hugged and then he turned to me and I recoiled strongly making my brother say “What’s wrong?” (he isn’t privy to the situation) and the man in question looked very confused so I’m sure he doesn’t remember it. But touching that guy? Not ever going to happen. Yep. Triggers. Never thought about them til that happened.

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  6. Well said. I have no answer for this problem. I think as long as (some) men think with their dicks, are threatened by the power women have “over” them, as long as the ambitions of some women enable them to use their bodies as a way to “get ahead,” as long as men are larger than women, as long as sex drives us crazy — honestly I think it’s just incredibly, incredibly complicated. And, I think a dad who sexually abuses his daughter should die a. horrible death. Weinstein is physically repulsive as is Cheeto face. I wonder, too, if their drive for wealth and power is not partly a result of their absolute lack of attraction. “If you’re famous, they let you.” That phrase has lingered in my mind as an admission of inadequacy. The other half, “Otherwise, they wouldn’t let me touch them.” I don’t know. Seriously. Way complex. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

    • I always wonder if my father is getting his, wherever he may be. And I hope whatever he’s getting, that my brother is watching and laughing.

      There are so many levels to this issue. It is ridiculously complicated from top to bottom. But we surely could get judges to stop letting college boys off the hook lest their future be compromised. They have already committed rape … how great is their future REALLY going to be? The churches need to do something about things they already know and which the prefer to ignore. And men who rape and grope the women who work for them should be fired. Period. None of this years of courts.

      I don’t see it happening. The rape of kids by their own parents or step-parents or foster parents is even more complicated, but start SOMEWHERE.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Martha, some of my former TV News colleagues believed their celebrity meant they were entitled and above the law. At first, I thought they were kidding because we used to tease each other with the “do you know who I am? Who you’re messing with?” — What I thought was joshing turned out to be guys who truly believed they were entitled. Unfortunately, our bosses — “The Suits” — frequently encouraged and supported this behavior.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Mothers will often defend their husbands, against all evidence, because after all, this is her husband. Maybe at some level she really believes that a child that small will “get over it”. I don’t know.

    Our local Catholic church was involved in one of those scandals, as well. The priest was caught, and found guilty–however, this was something that didn’t need to have happened. He had, years earlier, gone to the Bishop and begged to be released from local parish duty, and explained why. He said the temptation was just overwhelming, and he felt he could be of more value in a place without young boys around. The Bishop refused, and sent him to a different parish. Again and again, for years, until he finally got caught at our Church. I felt sorry for the guy, because suddenly he was pilloried for something he had no control over, and knew it. He had also asked to be released from his vows, and that too was denied. The church told him that they’d stand behind him, at this point, as long as he told the truth. And when he did, they excommunicated him.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s primal and pre-dates modern humanity! Sex is, and has been, widely used as a way to express domination over inferiors – to claim superiority and first pick of the group.

    Personally, i feel it’s time man grew up and realised that sex is not worth the trouble/pain it causes in a large society. I’m decidedly not hopeful of that ever occuring. πŸ˜‰

    love

    Liked by 1 person

    • Primal urges are primal and would not be if they could be easily controlled. NOT to say they can’t be controlled, because most people learn to manage them. But some don’t and won’t. They believe there isn’t anything wrong with it, that it’s “natural” — at least to them. Never mind how it affects the victims. And I don’t think it is entirely upbringing, either. There’s some weird genetic component involved, too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly! I just like to think ‘Civilised’ man understands this and is capable of choosing better actions/choices. And encouraging the weak ones to do the same or face the consequence of their weak will/action.

        I am a dreamer πŸ˜‰

        I understand the reality, but i will always dream of what can be if we want it enough.

        love

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I think the sex offender registration law was a move toward acknowledging the existence of a massive problem. The fact that we now try and put these folks where they cannot harm or molest children is a nod to that. Deep down there may be the awareness that sexual predators exist right here in our homes in the room next door, but the idea is too horrible to bring to the surface. I think change for the better will come, but like racism that change is going to take quite a while.

    Liked by 1 person

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