By Andrew Keith
Harvey Weinstein. Bill O’Reilly. Bill Cosby. Roger Ailes. Kevin Spacey. Mark Halperin. The list continues and will continually expand as time goes on. Sexual harassment allegations are becoming increasingly more common and are exposing a dark side of the celebrity limelight the American people have never seen. What do all of these men have in common? What binds them all together at their core?
The majority of the sexual harassment allegations thus far have been directed at men of significant fame and popularity. It all began with the overthrow of one of the most powerful men in Hollywood and the country: Harvey Weinstein. The man who has practically controlled Hollywood at least since him and his brother co-founded Miramax in 1979 from which has come some of the most popular movies in modern cinema: Pulp Fiction, Gangs of New York (a personal favorite), and No Country for Old Men, just to name a few. It is no secret that Weinstein is incredibly powerful in his industry and his influence spreads well beyond just the backrooms of Hollywood. Why is his influence and power important? Because power is a catalyst to corruption. We can look beyond sexual harassment to see this ring true. When a man yields a favorable amount of power, his likeliness of abusing that power for his own pleasure will be exponentially higher than that of the average business owner in your local community. Not to say that there is no sexual harassment in smaller location, but it is far easier for a man who holds the keys to the door labeled “Your Future” to wield that power in unjust and selfish ways.
The problem that I see with the allegations is that they aren’t going deep enough. They aren’t cutting the issue down to its core. There is no doubt that there is a major sexual harassment issue in Hollywood and the media business where the Celebrity Machine continues to pump out star after star with no end in sight, yet this is not so in regard to their individual careers. Celebrities, particularly (but not exclusively) young women, are motivated by the desire for the same wealth and power that drove these men to commit the heinous acts that would spell ruin for their careers and, in some cases, their lives. The business is all about power. How do you get power? You earn a lot of money. How do you earn a lot of money? By playing nice with the biggest, most powerful executives in the business. If by getting the big break you need to boost your up-and-coming career means you’ll have to put up with a perverted, overtly sexual encounter (or encounters) by that powerful someone who seems to be dangling the keys to Heaven right in front of you, then sure why the Hell not.
One of the biggest reasons I do not believe these allegations are getting to all the issues it possibly could is because there is an issue with sexuality in the culture. Our culture promotes the idea that traditional marriage and traditional dating is old school. Modern love means moving in with each other a few months into the relationship where you can more easily continue that physical bond you’ve shared since the beginning. Modern love means living like you’re a married couple through living together, arguing with one another, and even having children, all before you ever decide to get married because marriage is that old-fashioned thing your parents did. If we want to fix the issue of sexual harassment and the abuse of power that comes with it, we have to put the power back into the traditional Judeo-Christian values of respect and modesty. We men need to start respecting women for the infinite blessings each individual woman provides for us and the community at large. Women, on the other hand, must also realize that to refrain from being put in those horrible situations, you must check your priorities and find your moral compass which is paramount to living a life you believe is worth living.
This idea of casual sexuality in our culture is starting to reveal itself as a growing problem and the only true solution to it is to start renovating how the culture views sexuality. We must decide whether or not the issue of casual sexuality is something Americans should consider questioning, and we had better decide quickly.