Xavier Toby

With the Weinstein Company now broke, where to for #metoo?

With the Weinstein Company filing for bankruptcy, I say it’s time for #MeToo to evolve and move to those who saw something and said nothing.

 

 

The Weinstein Company was touting how profitable and covered in gold coins they were in order to push potential investors into popping out the most dough for the disgraced organisation. That was, until courts ruled their wealth can be used to pay off lawsuits against Harvey Weinstein, and now, they’re broke.

Seems legit.

…Or a disgusting abuse of the rights of every victim, which the broken legal system is powerless to stop… as Harvey Weinstein continues to have thousand-dollar three-course dinners, quietly proving that he doesn’t get his just desserts.

Another reminder karma is bullshit, nothing is fair, and while it does matter if everyone knows you did an awful thing, what matters far more is how much money you have.

Full disclosure – I’m a middle-class, straight white male, so have zero firsthand experience of the institutionalised sexism, power disparity, and depth of emotion damage suffered by anyone who’s said #MeToo.

All I have is my perspective, and personally, I don’t get what the fuss and furore is about. Not on the #MeToo side, but to anyone who claims it’s unnecessary, there isn’t a problem, or it’s a problem that doesn’t need to or cannot be addressed.

As with feminism, all people are seeking through #MeToo is equality and all the innumerable tiny privileges that are so ingrained in my life as a straight white middle-class male I’ve never noticed them.


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Weinstein claims he never assaulted anyone, as do many of the high profile #MeToo perpetrators, and I suspect that most of those who’ve apologised still believe they’re innocent. The powerful have exploited everyone else for so long they’ve forgotten it’s wrong.

It is not the legal system but the press that has been the righteous instrument of #MeToo, and my worry now is for everyone who has been tormented by someone who has no profile. The victims who need their job to eat, and have only Human Resources and a useless legal system to help them. Avenues are available, but is it worth risking your livelihood to pursue them? For too many, the answer is obviously still no.

One group that has so far avoided focus but needs to do more are the bystanders. Those not actively involved in the abuse, but who knew and did nothing, said nothing, or even helped by what in their own minds I’m sure they justify as simply doing their job.

The bystanders are the facilitators who say nothing for the same reason as the victim. The potential loss of an opportunity, job or career. The knowledge they’re doing the right thing and protecting future victims they’ll never meet so far hasn’t been enough for them.

So, do we enact harsher penalties for those who knew but said nothing? Or do we work to insulate them from punishment from the powerful? In today’s world, it seems that no time soon will we be able to do either.

If I were ever in the bystander position, I pray that I would be able to stand up, but without ever having that burden, I cannot say for sure. So, despite my emotional urge to lock them all up, I am reticent to judge too harshly.

While I support everything about #MeToo and want to keep the momentum building, I worry about what’s next when men like Weinstein are still avoiding their just desserts.

 

Xavier Toby

Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian. His debut comedic non-fiction book about six months on a mining site 'Mining My Own Business' is available through UWA Publishing (http://uwap.uwa.edu.au/books-and-authors/book/mining-my-own-business). For more writing, upcoming performance details and some embarrassing photos check out his website.

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