Matt Lauer is “embarrassed and ashamed” and has, “no words to express my sorrow and regret” for the pain he caused women he now professes to admire. Lauer said, “Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized…” and “I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish.
Russell Simmons experienced, “great anguish” when he learned how Jenny Lumet recalled a night with Simmons in 1991. He made clear in his so-called apology that he’d, “never been violent” but had been, “thoughtless and insensitive” in many relationships over decades and, “humbly apologized.”
Harvey Weinstein is, “trying to do better” and has hired a tutor to assist him in that effort. He spoke of the culture when he came of age in the 60’s and 70’s when we are to assume that everyone was doing it. He’s since learned, “that’s not an excuse.”
Roy Moore and Donald Trump both claim to be victimized by the dozens of women that have come forward with all too similar tales. They say the women are all liars.
There are two narratives being pushed that I find fault with. The first is that we should feel the pain of these men who have been hurt so badly by their own actions. Except for Mark Halperin who claims to have realized he had a problem while he was at ABC News, got treatment, and didn’t repeat his behavior according to him. None of the rest seemed to be experiencing any of the overwhelming guilt, pain, and anguish, until the day their stories were made public. Their actions demonstrated a total lack of concern for the women then and their self-serving shaping of the stories show they don’t care now. These men are not to be pitied, but ostracized and in some cases jailed.
The second narrative is that this is primarily the province of powerful men. Bosses and those with great sway in close-knit industries. Sexual assault, pedophilia, harassment, rape statutory and otherwise, is more widespread than the narrative would have you believe. Those that mumble, “I believe the women” while demonstrating that they do not are trying to be seen as the solution but are part of the problem.
While the account of the relative, a family friend, co-worker, pastor, teacher, is always considered to have more credibility than the woman or child, this will go on. As hard as it is to speak out against powerful people, it is no less hard to speak out against those whose only power is that they gain from abusing you.
One of the constant deflections used to defend the accused is the time elapsed since the harassment or abuse. “Why didn’t they come forward then instead of waiting?” They suggest their stories would have been more believable had they been contemporary. The truth is, women weren’t believed when the events were 40 years old, 4 years old, or 4 days old. In addition to the apologies of those who committed these heinous offenses, maybe society owes the women an apology for refusing to believe them nearly enough.
Originally published at: Medium@WilliamSpivey