On expelling disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein over the weekend, the grandiosely named Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences declared with manly firmness that the move would “send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over.” As my father used to say, “That and fifty cents will get you a cup of coffee in a cheap restaurant.”
All kidding aside, Harvey is hideous – but then, so too is the culture that spawned him. I don’t just mean Hollywood – though it’s the leader of the pack – but the sexual-sideshow that is American society in the second decade of the 21st century.
Now that the dam has broken, we’re awash in sordid details. Besides the mountain of evidence against Weinstein that grows higher every day, women have come forward with credible accusations against Ben Affleck, Oliver Stone and George Clooney. (Batman, who was accused of unwanted groping, issued a nonspecific apology.) Like Harvey, all three are big-time Hollywood liberals and major donors to leftwing causes.
Feminists have the answer to the deplorable situation (you knew they would) – more female executives in the industry. Perfect, then lesbians will have an equal opportunity to hit on young starlets.
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Through the ages, powerful men without conscience have tried to take advantage of innocent, young women. But it’s become a lot easier since a large part of society has abandoned Biblical morality.
Hollywood is at the forefront of deconstructing sexual ethics. Premarital sex was long-ago normalized, along with homosexuality. Now, transgenderism and sadomasochism are the new frontiers of cutting-edge cinema.
Movies shape our values more profoundly than almost anything else. From ’40s films, our fathers and grandfathers learned that heroism, patriotism and hard work were admirable, and women should be honored and protected. Now, the message is men and women (boys and girls) can slip between the sheets on the first encounter, as long as there’s an itch to be scratched and no one’s arm gets broken in the process.
The news media and public education have made their own inimitable contributions to the process. Today, the goal of sex education isn’t disease prevention or instruction in human reproduction, but the reshaping of societal norms by accustoming children to engage in sex acts (some of which might make a gynecologist gag) at an earlier and earlier age.
How well it’s worked may be seen in a study by Wayne State University which showed two-thirds of college students have been involved in what’s called a “friends with benefits” relationship – where intercourse takes the place of a handshake.
The carefully nurtured ignorance – if not outright stupidity – has reached the point where young women can go to a man’s hotel room and expect him to behave like a Victorian gentleman.
Hugh Hefner died a few weeks before the Weinstein scandal broke. A pioneer of the Age of Harvey – Hef gave pornography a veneer of respectability.
For over 60 years, Hefner gained fame, fortune and flesh by selling photos of nude women to adolescents of all ages. More than any other, he helped to reshape the masculine ideal from one of men as the protectors of women (allowing them to fulfill the indispensable roles of wives and mothers who civilized chaotic male urges) – to men and women as sexual playmates, with an ever-changing cast, at a mansion where the party never stops.
All of this has contributed to the rapid decline of the American family.
In 1960, 45% of 18-to-24 year-olds in the United States were married. Today, the figure is 9%. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2013, more than 40% of all births in the U.S. were to unmarried women. As marriage declines, cohabitation continues to rise (up 29% since 2007). Last year, for the first time since we began keeping records in the 1920s, our fertility rate was below replacement level.
In Harvey-land, hypocrisy knows no bounds. Hillary Clinton – one of the prime beneficiaries of Weinstein’s munificence – is expressing shock at revelations of barnyard behavior by the man who donated $1.4 million to the Democratic Party, and its candidates and PACs since 1990. Additionally, he bundled more than $675,000 for Barack Obama.
The $34,000 Hillary’s 2016 campaign got from Weinstein pales next to an estimated $100,000 to $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation, the couple’s political money-laundering operation.
Such conduct can’t be “tolerated” or “overlooked,” said the self-styled women’s champion – who tolerated and overlooked worse by her horny husband for decades, and attacked his critics too.
Our 42nd. president grabbed any attractive woman who came within reach. When he was Arkansas governor, state troopers regularly escorted potential victims, like Paula Jones, to his hotel suites. Juanita Broaddrick accused him of raping her in April of 1978, and, when she resisted, biting her lip so badly that it was swollen for days. When Hillary ran into Broaddrick later, she thanked her for all she had done for the Clintons (wink, wink) – including not going public at that time with rape allegations?
Instead of a dewy-eyed starlet hoping to advance her career on the proverbial casting couch, Hillary was a cold, calculating politician who was complicit in covering up Bill’s sexual exploits in exchange for his help with her future political career. And she now has the chutzpah to say that we “elected a sexual predator” to the presidency last year. Actually, that happened in 1992.
Like the Anthony Weiner affair, the Weinstein scandal (the two may be cellmates soon) should cause us to reflect on where our culture is headed (toward the abyss), and how we got here.
In 2009, Weinstein circulated a petition among the Hollywood glitterati, demanding the release from Swiss detention of one of his soulmates – director Roman Polanski, who pleaded guilty to raping a 13-year-old girl in the 1970s.
Harvey was proud of the support the petition got in an industry that now claims to have turned over a new leaf. “Hollywood has the best moral compass because it has compassion,” man the who blazed new frontiers in both morality and compassion declared.
Excuse me, while I lose my lunch.
First published at GrasstopsUSA.com
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.