“If you want to test a man’s character…”

Much is being revealed about the predatory sexual behaviors over the years of a famous and extraordinarily powerful film producer. If you are new to this story, or have seen only fragments of it (and shouting on social media), I would recommend – yes, really – reading his Wikipedia page. It is being updated about this it seems hourly.

And now, questions are also being asked by some as to why no one “spoke up” about him before:

My response to a question like that?: Because he was one helluva powerful SOB, that’s why.

It is that simple. From a distance some strongly criticize the decades of silence from even those believed to be the most powerful of actors, men and women, and who supposedly knew about his behaviors. Yet regardless of what they may have known, the fact was he was massively more powerful than even they.

If any of those “big stars” had “spoken up,” he could have smashed their careers – any of them. His ugly alleged behavior was also utterly unoriginal. It was as old as Hollywood’s proverbial “casting couch” – on which young actress hopefuls were taken advantage of sexually by more powerful men.

At times like this, I recall this observation by Abraham Lincoln:

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.

Weinstein and so many others who behave similarly display their lack of “character” on a regular basis. But that they do so hardly matters to them. For possessing Lincolnesque character is of no importance to them.

A man like that doesn’t see that young woman as potentially his daughter. He doesn’t think in such terms (and indeed may engage in abuse even within his own family, too). He simply revels in wielding the power over her.

[Stock photo.]

It is easy for us to declare, “She shoulda told him to f-ck off.” In reality it is not that easy and we should not judge: he has the power to make her “a star” (which she wants to be), or he can destroy her acting or performing dream and she can go back to waiting tables. It is entirely up to him. In any other situation, she would likely not give him a second glance; but given his power he can make her endure pretty much whatever he wants.

Power has mostly rested with men historically. Yet even power among men is held by only relatively few men. Most men have little power compared to a Weinstein.

Most men command no one. They can boost no careers. They can grant “no wishes.” Thus why we sometimes see similar behaviors within the home that are not unlike Weinstein’s: spousal abuse and/or taking it out on the children – those few individuals who are even less powerful in the world than he is.

[Abraham Lincoln, 1863. Public Domain. Wikipedia.]

We need many more Lincolns among all men, and far fewer Weinsteins. However, when we have something like this hit the headlines at least it causes us to consider the issue afresh. If from today some young woman going into an audition, or even arriving at her ordinary workplace, is NOT targeted by some other powerful man in a way she might have been a week ago before this was splashed all over American and European media, perhaps some good has come from it after all.