Editor’s note: The following column first appeared in The Washington Times.
Hillary Clinton: Woods walker, Chardonnay drinker, screamer-into-pillows, sore loser. And now? The recycled claim of Feminist Icon Supporter of All Women.
The feminist bar is very low these days. We’ve now heard from a number of very successful, famous actresses (and the aforementioned politician) who are being lauded for coming out against producer Harvey Weinstein. After he was fired from his film company.
“It took Hillary about 5 minutes to blame NRA for madman’s rampage, but 5 days to sorta-kinda blame Harvey Weinstein for his sexually [sic] assaults,” tweeted Kellyanne Conway. But even that was giving Hillary too much credit.
Hillary’s silence, and that of the Obamas, was so absurd even their own blogs (also known as the mainstream media) hectored them about it for days. Five days into the media firestorm, she finally issued a statement quintessentially Clintonian:
“I was shocked and appalled by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein. The behavior described by women coming forward cannot be tolerated. Their courage and the support of others is critical in helping to stop this kind of behavior.”
A rather rich statement about not tolerating sexual harassment and assault, coming from a “feminist” who made a career tolerating it, and modeling that acquiescence to a generation of young women. Shocked and appalled? No she wasn’t.
Hillary’s example for women is, if anything, consistent. She has shown them how to put up with, and defend, the most egregious treatment, if it will get you something.
Ian Tuttle at the National Review reminded us last year of Hillary’s role in attacking her wandering husband’s victims and accusers:
“[The New York Times and The Washington Post both cite] ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos’s memoir of his years as Clinton’s chief adviser, ‘All Too Human.’ When the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke, ‘[Hillary] had to do what she had always done before,’ wrote Stephanopoulos: ‘swallow her doubts, stand by her man, and savage his enemies.’ To an allegation from Little Rock music groupie Connie Hamzy that Bill Clinton propositioned her, Hillary responded: ‘We have to destroy her story.’ “
The Daily Wire reports, “In an ABC News interview in 1992, Hillary smears Gennifer Flowers, a woman Bill would later admit to having an affair with, as ‘some failed cabaret singer who doesn’t even have much of a resume to fall back on.’ Hillary also referred to Flowers as ‘trailer trash.’ “
No wonder Mr. Weinstein’s Hollywood and Hillary’s Washington so frantically turned to deflection by painting Donald Trump as the singular menace for women. Because, you know, locker-room talk.
Through various reports and confessions, we know everyone in Hollywood knew about Harvey Weinstein. But he’s not the end of it, he’s just the beginning. Like the iceberg that nailed the Titanic, the problem is the part still hidden.
Those at most risk in the cesspool of Hollywood are the young and inexperienced. Mr. Weinstein targeted ingenues, and young staffers. But there were some women who escaped Mr. Weinstein’s grip, and developed successful careers.
Many of those successful women, some who claim to have had no idea and others admit they knew, also finally came out and condemned Mr. Weinstein, after he was fired.
Meryl Streep called his actions “disgraceful” and an “abuse of power.” She also says she had no idea it was happening. An odd ignorance, considering her friend was a leading supporter of allowing Roman Polanski back into the U.S. She then appropriately lauded the women speaking out against him (before it was safe), as heroes.
Rosanna Arquette and Oscar-winner Mira Sorvino both rebuffed Mr. Weinstein’s advances, and both women feel that it contributed to a stall in their careers.
Actress Rose McGowan is the hero of this story, and was calling attention to this over a year ago on social media. Her complaints, widely believed to be about Mr. Weinstein, were made before it was fashionable. She also has not had Angelina Jolie’s or Jennifer Lawrence’s career.
Ms. Lawrence says she had no idea of Mr. Weinstein’s behavior, while Ms. Jolie says she was sexually harassed by the mogul and did try to warn others who were working with him.
Yet Ms. Jolie has been among Hollywood’s most successful and powerful women for years. As her power and independence grew, still nothing was said publicly that may have helped end the predator’s decades-long career of sexual harassment, alleged sexual assault, and now some alleged rapes.
Is it acceptable for rich, powerful and successful women (and men!) who know what’s happening, to say nothing for years, because it allows their work to proceed unencumbered? Are these people, who know what’s happening, abandoning untold numbers of other women to the monster, brave and heroic and feminist to come out once the charade is exposed?
Gwyneth Paltrow was lauded by Jake Tapper on Twitter as “courageous” for admitting she was harassed by Mr. Weinstein. Tweeter Lola Ramona was concise: “It’s not courageous to jump off a bridge when your landing will be cushioned by the people who jumped first. She’s not brave.”
Yes, the maniac is Mr. Weinstein, but even monsters like him are stopped when women speak up. Asking powerful women to use their power isn’t an insult, it’s a necessity.
The elite in Hollywood are super-upset about all of this, so will George Clooney, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence and Angelina Jolie refuse to work until Rose McGowan, Mira Sorvino and Rosanna Arquette are offered roles and paydays worthy of them?