I Am Not Embarrassed by Harvey Weinstein

 

WeinsteinAnne Bayefsky’s article on Fox News suggested: “Harvey Weinstein is an embarrassment — for Jews, for men, for Democrats, for Hollywood, for humankind…. Harvey Weinstein’s mug is literally the poster face of every anti-Semite’s favorite Jew. Fat, ugly, and unkempt. Not to mention greed, narcissism and gross over-indulgence written all over it. Hollywood makeup artists couldn’t have done it any better.”

As a Jew and a man, I am not “embarrassed” by Harvey Weinstein. He doesn’t represent me. Never did. From a distance he looked like someone I wouldn’t ever want to know.

Anne is very active and supportive in the Jewish community and I respect her work. But her concern over how some Nazi losers would use Weinstein to confirm their idiocy is misplaced. The bigger issue is why she would assume because we happen to be the same religion or gender, I should feel uncomfortable.

I never gave permission to anyone to talk or act on my behalf simply because we were born the same gender, race, or religion.

I never felt embarrassed as a man for the things Trump said on that bus. I wouldn’t say them myself.

I never felt embarrassed as a man for what Bill Clinton did in the Oval Office. As a man, and certainly, if a president, I would have never done those things.

I never felt embarrassed as a Jew because of the evil Bernie Madoff perpetrated.

On the flip side, I take no ownership of Steven Speilberg, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, or the guys that founded Google.

Harvey Jewish? There wasn’t anything remotely Jewish about what he did for decades to those women. As a Jew, we are taught to respect others, to treat all with dignity. To use one’s power over others for self-gratification goes against every lesson taught in the Talmud.

Harvey a man? No man I know would ever do this to a woman. I was raised by a man, a real man. That man fought his way through his WW2 anti-Semitic attacks in the poverty-stricken rabble of East London. His Father, my Grandpa was a Prisoner of War in Nazi-occupied France for four years. He came home a ruined shell of a man. And with all that death, violence and hunger, they still treated all women with respect.

This association we give ourselves to a specific group, whether it’s gender, race, sexuality, or age, has damaged our civil union. This is the cumulation of decades of identity politics whereby to answer perceived racial, sexual or gender injustice we lock ourselves in our own racial, sexual or gender-specific bubble. We speak only from that perspective.

How contradictory is it that to combat bigotry, we support individuals because of their race or religion?

Maybe people will wake up and realize that attaching yourself to another person simply because of a common ethnicity, gender or religion means you give them tremendous power.

Human beings are all fallible, and some, like Weinstein, even evil.

There are 22 comments.

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  1. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    I think you’re on the money placing at least part of the blame at the feet of identity politics.  If you’re black, why would you identify with Michael Brown, unless you’re also a thug?  But two generations of black people have been taught that they should.

    • #1
  2. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Thank you for tackling this, Dave.  The idea that individual members of any group are somehow emblematic of the group at large is positively insidious.  I’m not going around apologizing for Whitey Bulger.

    • #2
  3. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman
    @DaveSussman

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    Thank you for tackling this, Dave. The idea that individual members of any group are somehow emblematic of the group at large is positively insidious. I’m not going around apologizing for Whitey Bulger.

    Yes, but we’re still waiting for someone’s apology for Johnny Depp’s portrayal. ;)

    • #3
  4. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Dave,

    Bayefsky’s piece is weak on two counts. First, embarrassment is really the wrong word to be using in the context of Weinstein. Some of Trump’s alleged antics could be classed as embarrassing but Weinstein’s alleged behavior is way beyond this and is patently criminal. Thus her main point becomes diluted by the emphasis on just embarrassment. Second, her commenting on Weinstein’s unappealing image makes it sound as if the same behavior from a really great looking guy would be OK. I don’t think this is what Anne wants to say.

    Maybe Anne just had a bad day.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #4
  5. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    I’m not embarrassed by Weinstein. I am embarrassed to read all the different accounts. And at a certain point, I just shut it down.

    • #5
  6. Melissa Praemonitus Member
    Melissa Praemonitus
    @6foot2inhighheels

    Real Americans define themselves as individuals with unique character, neither beholden to, nor defined by any group.  You’ve said it beautifully, Dave

    • #6
  7. CarolJoy Coolidge
    CarolJoy
    @CarolJoy

    James Gawron (View Comment):
    Dave,

    Bayefsky’s piece is weak on two counts. First, embarrassment is really the wrong word to be using in the context of Weinstein. Some of Trump’s alleged antics could be classed as embarrassing but Weinstein’s alleged behavior is way beyond this and is patently criminal. Thus her main point becomes diluted by the emphasis on just embarrassment. Second, her commenting on Weinstein’s unappealing image makes it sound as if the same behavior from a really great looking guy would be OK. I don’t think this is what Anne wants to say.

    Maybe Anne just had a bad day.

    Regards,

    Jim

    I was going to  point out that really good looking guys don’t have to be coercive to obtain sexual favors. All they need are their looks and charm. But then I remembered Ted Bundy. And that shot that theory to hell.

    • #7
  8. Ray Gunner Coolidge
    Ray Gunner
    @RayGunner

    Well said, DS.  If you tie your social/moral status to the conduct of your fellow tribesmen on the good days (hey, look at all of our Nobel Prize winners!), you are going to get burned by tribalism on the bad days.  Why even bother?  Better to take others one at a time (regardless of tribe), and work at being a better person to others (regardless of tribe).  That’s enough to keep us all busy.  (Besides, when J-Day comes, tribe ain’t gonna matter.)

    • #8
  9. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Superb post, thank you!

    • #9
  10. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    CarolJoy (View Comment):

    James Gawron (View Comment):
    Dave,

    Bayefsky’s piece is weak on two counts. First, embarrassment is really the wrong word to be using in the context of Weinstein. Some of Trump’s alleged antics could be classed as embarrassing but Weinstein’s alleged behavior is way beyond this and is patently criminal. Thus her main point becomes diluted by the emphasis on just embarrassment. Second, her commenting on Weinstein’s unappealing image makes it sound as if the same behavior from a really great looking guy would be OK. I don’t think this is what Anne wants to say.

    Maybe Anne just had a bad day.

    Regards,

    Jim

    I was going to point out that really good looking guys don’t have to be coercive to obtain sexual favors. All they need are their looks and charm. But then I remembered Ted Bundy. And that shot that theory to hell.

    A Weinstein isn’t an evil on the scale of a Bundy, obviously. But I’m going to point out they had in common that neither of them were interested in obtaining sexual favors.

    From “new-morality” women, if sexual favors had been what Weinstein wanted, he would only have had to do one of two things: (1) Say to a woman profoundly true things about people and life, in a way that makes her laugh, while simultaneously convincing her he finds her fascinating and beautiful (If he had been looking for lovers, and had done that, his only problem would have been the number of women fighting with each other to replace Mrs. Weinstein.) or (2) hire a professional, pay her well and refrain from being excessively, genuinely angry and physically violent with her.

    Women appreciate male beauty, but it’s not as big a thing with them as female beauty is with men.

    Weinstein and Bundy probably both employed charm just long enough to get women to place themselves in dangerous situations with them.

    • #10
  11. Chris Campion Coolidge
    Chris Campion
    @ChrisCampion

    I guess it’s OK to say Weinstein represents every man on the planet, but if some jihadi nutjob shoots up a nightclub, hey, lone wolf.

    Let’s refrain from the sweeping pronouncements based on the very small sample size.

    • #11
  12. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    Yeesh. That [that is, that Weinstein is Jewish] never crossed my mind. Irrelevant.

    Incidentally, Weinstein isn’t all that ugly. By which I mean: if he was a wonderful, kind, decent, noble, brave human being,  I would think him beautiful.

    And George Cluny’s undoubted good looks do not excuse his enabling of a predator.

    • #12
  13. Sash Member
    Sash
    @Sash

    I think the only people who should be embarrassed are the Democrats, the ones who pretend to be feminists… he actually marched in the silly parades where they wore their genitals on their heads… not really surprised he must have thought that was pretty cool.  That entire Party is just sick.

    • #13
  14. Sash Member
    Sash
    @Sash

    James Gawron (View Comment):
    Dave,

    Bayefsky’s piece is weak on two counts. First, embarrassment is really the wrong word to be using in the context of Weinstein. Some of Trump’s alleged antics could be classed as embarrassing but Weinstein’s alleged behavior is way beyond this and is patently criminal. Thus her main point becomes diluted by the emphasis on just embarrassment. Second, her commenting on Weinstein’s unappealing image makes it sound as if the same behavior from a really great looking guy would be OK. I don’t think this is what Anne wants to say.

    Maybe Anne just had a bad day.

    Regards,

    Jim

    It just shows how shallow the left is.  What Harvey did was the opposite of virtue signal… it’s all about the message it sends to them.  Not about the lives damaged.  Such a compassionate bunch.

    • #14
  15. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    Re: comment #13

    The philosophical outlook and goals of the left are more sheltering to power abuse, I think.

    • #15
  16. contrarian Inactive
    contrarian
    @Contrarian

    The suggestion that Jews or men should share in Weinstein’s shame is just ridiculous. His Judaism didn’t cause or facilitate his horrible actions. This isn’t like the treatment of women by religions that still engage in deeply misogynistic traditions, or the victimization encouraged in LDS groups, or the cover-ups in the Catholic church. In fact, if Harvey had actually been devoted to his Jewish faith, maybe he could have made himself into a better person. You can’t expect a belief system to be tarnished by bad acts if those acts weren’t in any way encouraged by those beliefs. Heck, I’m a lifelong atheist, but I don’t want people to assume I’m a smug jerk who likes to bash people of faith because of Richard Dawkins.

    Additionally, the idea that men generally should feel somehow connected to Weinstein’s behavior, which has really been pushed hard by the feminists the last few days, just helps to show that the people who make such arguments aren’t rational. Their current iteration has them embracing all ‘marginalized’ groups rather than just women, and as a result they contradict themselves. In their original framing, men committed more violent crimes than women, and that proved that women are more noble and end up victims to brutish oppressive men. Now that feminists also look at the world through the lens of race as part of their intersectional approach, what do they say about the fact that black men commit more violent crimes than white men? Somehow, in this case the same relationship leads to the opposite conclusion. Similarly with sentencing disparities for  crimes committed by black men vs white men and sentencing disparities for men and women who commit the same crimes. It’s not just that looking at people in terms of the aggregate behavior of a group to which they belong is a bad world view because it doesn’t recognize people’s inherent individuality: it’s that even if it weren’t a bad approach, it can’t hold together logically.

    On the other hand, elites in Hollywood and to a lesser extent in the Democratic Party, probably should feel embarrassed, not because they belong to a group that included Weinstein, but because there’s evidence that their actions either enabled or helped to cloak his wrongdoing.

    • #16
  17. Knotwise the Poet Member
    Knotwise the Poet
    @KnotwisethePoet

    contrarian (View Comment):
    The suggestion that Jews or men should share in Weinstein’s shame is just ridiculous. His Judaism didn’t cause or facilitate his horrible actions. This isn’t like the treatment of women by religions that still engage in deeply misogynistic traditions, or the victimization encouraged in LDS groups, or the cover-ups in the Catholic church.

    I know this is getting off-topic, but as a Mormon I have to ask- “victimization encouraged in LDS groups”- can you clarify what you’re referring to here?

    • #17
  18. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    He’s also a white male.  Maybe that’s why he’s such a pig.  And a businessman.  Maybe that’s it.  He’s not black and he’s not Muslim, so those groups are off the hook.

    • #18
  19. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    Lefties do not recognize the existence of individuals.  Everyone is merely a member of some identity group.  All identity groups get designated as “oppressors” or “oppressed.”  Bad conduct by an oppressor simply proves that all members of that oppressor group are bad.  Bad conduct by an oppressed simply proves how terribly damaged they have been by the oppressors.  As with global warming, anything that could possibly happen automatically supports the leftist world view.

    • #19
  20. Patrick McClure Coolidge
    Patrick McClure
    @Patrickb63

    Knotwise the Poet (View Comment):

    contrarian (View Comment):
    The suggestion that Jews or men should share in Weinstein’s shame is just ridiculous. His Judaism didn’t cause or facilitate his horrible actions. This isn’t like the treatment of women by religions that still engage in deeply misogynistic traditions, or the victimization encouraged in LDS groups, or the cover-ups in the Catholic church.

    I know this is getting off-topic, but as a Mormon I have to ask- “victimization encouraged in LDS groups”- can you clarify what you’re referring to here?

    I’m guessing he means the FLDS cults.  I saw this and the Catholic church reference, and was taken aback by both.  But I realized Contrarian was likely talking about the bad behaviors by some w/in the groups.  Or at least until I learn otherwise that’s the impression I’m going with.

    • #20
  21. PHCheese Inactive
    PHCheese
    @PHCheese

    I learned about  bigotry in reference to cats. As a child I grew up in an all white Christian community. No one to hate. However a neighbor boy was throwing rocks at a stray cat.I asked him why. He replied he hated cats, they were sneaky. Well I had cats and liked them. I asked him why he thought they were sneaky. His dad said they were ,he said. I took him home and introduced him to my cat. He liked it but still thought they were sneaky. I learned a couple life lessons from that  incident .

    • #21
  22. YouCantMeanThat Coolidge
    YouCantMeanThat
    @michaeleschmidt

    CarolJoy (View Comment):
    I was going to point out that really good looking guys don’t have to be coercive to obtain sexual favors. All they need are their looks and charm.

    And/or (perceived) wealth and/or power. As Mr. Trump observed. For which observation he is still getting crucified.

    But then I remembered Ted Bundy. And that shot that theory to hell.

    How so? Good looks certainly made his avocation more easily indulged, did they not?

    • #22
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