Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Kathy Gyngell: We are all victims now – thanks to Harvey the Horrible


We (yes, that’s you and me) feminists are having a field day. I think Harvey Weinstein deserves his very own Nobel Peace Prize for services to the cause. I can’t wait for him to be nominated. Where would we be without him?

What an opportunity! Isn’t this just the catalyst we’ve needed to reveal our years of silent suffering at the hands of our male tormentors?

Finally, the me, me, me (goodness me, I must remember to be a me too), ladies can finally come out into the open! We are on a roll – yes, the ‘#MeToo’ hashtag movement has taken off. It’s gone viral. Are you surprised? Who can’t dredge up at least one dastardly or creepy guy who’s had the audacity to come on to us, that we were too traumatised to tell about; for fear of his power, you know, what else? Yes. It behoves us to remember that men, despite 50 years of feminism, are still all-powerful – and bad; that we are the victims. I can’t think why anyone goes on about Muslim women. That’s cultural. Have they looked at what we have to endure? They’re joking if they think we’re equal. Men still need cutting down to size.

Now Harvey’s making it happen. He’s made it open season on shaming men.

Let’s not forget brave Emma Thompson, ready to stand up and be counted. Without her stunning Newsnight performance, how would we have known that the horrendous Harvey was by no means a one-off monster, but one of many lurking behind all of Hollywood’s shower doors? Was she surprised by the flood of sexual abuse allegations coming out? Not she. Nor were we. She said what we secretly knew: ‘it’ is endemic everywhere, and that ‘this has been part of women’s world since time immemorial’. She’s right. Thank goodness someone has finally dared own up to what we poor wimmin have been putting up with all these years. A crisis in ‘extreme masculinity’, is what she said it was – yes, that must be it.

Who coined that phrase, Emma or Rebecca? No matter, that’s the shocking truth of it and the time has come to challenge it.

So where would we be without Harvey? Without him, how could the truth about sexual predation (by men on women of course; do be quiet, you over there – this isn’t about female teachers having a bit of fun with young lads in their class) have ever come out? Who’d have known of the scale of the epidemic, not just in Tinseltown, but over here too, or that it’s an insidious and wide-ranging problem?

I’d never have known, for one. You’d think with all those human relations and sexual harassment officers, and the cost of the out-of-court settlements . . . but who knows? You never do.

And just think of the poor comedians too frightened to fess up about male predators on all those Leftie comedy shows! Not even daring to make one joke at their disgusting expense! I can’t wait to hear from Pam Ayres and the Vicar of Dibley – she’s got a mine of stories!

No, really, you just wouldn’t have known. But you can take it from Arabella Weir that it’s true. British TV and film (radio too?) is rife with sexual bullying.

‘It’s the backdrop to many women’s lives. We are numbed by it because to think about it all the time would immobilise us.’ Ahh, I see, that’s why she could never speak out. She was immobilised.

Well, all that immobility can go out of the window now – with all the brilliant #MeToo proof rolling in, we are all empowered. At least 37,000 allegations by the end of Tuesday! I am sure it’s tripled by now!

Thanks, too, to Suzanne Moore for dramatising the awfulness of it all. She didn’t lose a minute to expose the ’till now’ hidden shameful behaviour of British men and to instruct us to break our silence. MeToo is another hashtag with good intentions, Suzanne says. It really is. And this time it’s all about us – the me culture girls, the silent sufferers, when we are not on our iPads or fixing the world to get on the BBC 100 women list, not just those poor kidnapped Nigerian girls (whatever happened to them, by the way?) It’s about the ubiquity of sexual assault, here, at home, that we’ve been victims of!

As Suzanne says, we feminists must really start to speak up for ourselves and tell how our lives have been marked by sexual harassment. It’s the mission Harvey has set us off on (thank you Harvey) to dig deep into our past memories for #MeToo. Lady Gaga and Monica Lewinsky are the latest. I don’t suppose Monica had to dig that deep. It’s a bit unfair. How can we possibly compete? Best remember what your mum said: It’s the taking part that counts, not the winning.

And Suzanne is right. Your ‘reaction to the Weinstein harassment allegations’ depends on who you are. For some, it comes as ‘a sudden anger, for others a slow burn’. I must be one of the slow burn ones. Or could I be suffering from repressed memory? Oh dear. What am I going to tweet? That bottom pinch in the park?

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Kathy Gyngell
Kathy Gyngell
Kathy is Editor of The Conservative Woman. She is @kathygyngelltcw on GETTR and is back on Twitter.

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