3 Ways To Identify The Harvey Weinstein In Your Life
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Politics and Activism

3 Ways To Identify The Harvey Weinstein In Your Life

Don't tell me to calm down.

3 Ways To Identify The Harvey Weinstein In Your Life
The Hollywood Reporter

Harvey Weinstein was once at the top of the entertainment industry. He was co-chairman of The Weinstein Company, co-founder of the entertainment company “Miramax”, a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and film producer and executive to countless American films. As we found out earlier this month, he used his fame to coerce women into doing sexual acts with him. He would offer women roles in his films if they agreed to his requests; if they didn’t, he often verbally or sexually harassed them, telling them that “this is how the business works”. He purposefully placed himself in a position of power and incited fear on his victims.

Although Harvey is an extreme case, people like him are unfortunately not hard to find in everyday life. Because of the way we are socialized, men often believe that they are entitled to women’s time, jobs, and bodies. Even if they aren’t outright about these beliefs, their actions can sometimes speak louder than their words. Here’s some things to be on the lookout for to identify the Harvey Weinstein in your life.

1. Interruption.

A recent study from the Journal of Language and Psychology found that men interrupt women 23% more than they interrupt other men. According to Columbia University, “female students are more likely to be interrupted when they speak or to have other students answer questions that were directed to them”. I could cite hundreds of studies, but the more important discussion is WHY this so often happens. Sometimes interruption can simply be a sign of disrespect, dismissal of a woman’s ideas, or as a way to display or gain dominance in conversation. I would like to think that men don’t actively think along the lines of, “I’m going to speak over this woman to establish my dominance”. However, since males are often much more naturally insecure than they seem due to toxic masculinity, he may subconsciously portray this insecurity in the form of interruption.

2. "Calm Down."

This is a command that is too often spoken from a man to a woman. Although it may not seem like a big deal or that it is influenced by gender, I believe that it is. People are told to “calm down” when emotions take shape in the physical form. Since men are socialized to endure pain and to not show their emotions, they naturally coach their female counterparts to do the same, (even though women are socialized to be emotional). This reinforces toxic masculinity while also invalidating the feelings of women. In addition, women and members of any other oppressed group naturally have more stressors and dangers in their daily lives. They have countless more reasons to be angry/upset: rape, harassment, dismissal, more strenuous work environment, violence, etc. Sometimes you have to be loud to get people to listen, and that shouldn’t be written off by a simple “calm down”. This may as well be translated to, “I have more privilege than you and I don’t care what you’re saying.”

3. "You Should Smile More."

Excuse me, what? Since when am I in charge of making sure that my face is aesthetically pleasing to you? If you are a woman, you most likely have had this said to you at some point. If you’re a man, it’s likely that you’ve said it to a woman! When is the last time, however, that you heard this statement said to a man? It almost never crosses our minds to tell a male to smile more, because we simply don’t expect men to smile the same way that we expect women to. Women smile and laugh more because smiling and laughing expresses subordination. When men don’t receive this validation from a woman, they immediately turn to insecurity and make comments such as this. Men feel a sense of entitlement to our smiles the same way that they feel a sense of entitlement to our bodies. While a man may be trying to “flirt” with a woman by telling her to smile, he’s actually attempting to exert control over the woman and her actions. Men need to understand that they have no control over our smiles just like they have no control over our bodies.

These three things are somewhat everyday occurrences. They are characteristics that can be tied to the actions of Harvey Weinstein - he took advantage of women because he felt entitled to them. Interrupting women, telling women to “calm down”, and simply telling women to “smile” all reflect a similar characteristic of male entitlement. Although they don’t seem like a huge deal on the surface, they reflect much greater issues in gender inequality and cannot be tolerated.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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