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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2060

Presence of Harveys in Our Midst: are men programmed to be predatory?

Hemantha Abeywardena writes from London...

The ever-growing web of ‘men-hunt’ to capture the men, who had been engaged in testosterone-fuelled misadventures in the past, has begun netting the wrongdoers beyond entertainment industry.

Even some of the British politicians are now under the spotlight, with Sir Michael Fallen, the former Defence Secretary being the first scalp to be claimed by the unstoppable phenomenon.

The tendency, however, is no welcome distraction for Harvey Weinstein so that he can stay out of focus; on the contrary, the growing list of women who come forward with disturbing tales at the hands of big Harvey shows no sign of abating.

With the latest accusation of rape of a woman in New York, there is a strong possibility of Harvey Weinstein even being arrested on the charge, according to police sources.

At the height of the scandal, Mr Weinstein said that he would go into a clinic in Arizona for rehabilitation, admitting he needed help. Ten days later, he was out the clinic, claiming that he had been ‘cured’ of the addiction to sex; it was as if the combination of diagnosis, remedy and the giving the green light for being cured was done by Mr Weinstein himself, mimicking a Hollywood movie line, something he is quite familiar with.

As accusations against Harvey started mounting in dribs and drabs, Hollywood bashers, the usual suspects, dismally tried to link the trend with the institution, but to no avail.

At the very early stage, for instance, an Indian actress claimed that there were Harveys in India too; there may well be Harveys in Sri Lanka, Pakistan and other South Asian nations too. In short, Harveys are everywhere.

harvys

The pattern that emerges from the existence of ‘Harveys’ in our midst is that some men in power do exploit women as if it was their god-given right, inextricably linked to the position they hold. The ugliest side of this trend, as things started unfolding, is how the men in question use threats, blackmailing and even ostracising to achieve their carnal goals and then just dump the victims like dirt.

The actresses, who had been fallen victim to men of Weinstein’s calibre, have to make a living, exactly like the rest of us do, with the career they have chosen; they enter the profession with a ‘sell-by-date’ written over them; so, naturally they try to make the best of it in a relatively short span of time, perhaps putting up with mild misdemeanours, gentle banter and flirtation of men in authority in order to secure their place in the industry.

The tales that we hear on daily basis since the scandal broke out show that the behaviour of Harveys in exploiting their predicament has made them bitter and even vindictive, with no room for forgiveness in their battered psyche. Against this backdrop, Harvey’s one line defence – the encounters with accusers were consensual – is no way robust enough to keep the tidal wave of disgrace at bay; it is a futile attempt to salvage what is left of his reputation.

While Harvey has been cornered by women to explain himself, Kevin Spacey has been forced to fight his corner by the men who claim that the actor abused them at various locations. With Netflix leading the campaign to abandon him, his movie carrier appears to be heading towards the point of no-return as well.

With the self-imposed curtain of individual inhibition in exposing the men in the wrong, when it comes to sexual exploitation, at an end, the news is not good for men in all walks of life, if they indulged in activity in one form or another; they will have no place to hide any more.

The antics of Harvey and the men nearly on the same wavelength have triggered off an intense debate about male sexuality, while asymmetrically bisecting the general opinion of the women on the issue, with one group slightly showing a form of compassion for men, who indulge in this sort of activities, while blaming it on something, handed down by the evolutionary process.

Evolutionary or not, the other group is full of feminists who are becoming emboldened by the hour in proportion to the growing list of scandals. They see Harveys as opportunistic men who habitually exploit the vulnerable to please themselves without a care for the abused.

They are becoming more and more vocal and at some point they could get militant too; this is pretty bad news for men in general, if they view all men in the same kaleidoscope of exploitation.

If the men who brought ‘men-kind’ into disrepute fancy of being excused on the grounds of inevitable evolutionary urge, judging by the harrowing tales of women, the former haven’t shown even the elegance of a fearsome predator, which lifts its hind leg against a bush in marking its territory.

In this context, there is no wonder why people in England chose Harvey as the effigy for the Bonfire Night yesterday. Harvey may not have thought in his heyday that he would personify the event that he has been associated with to the core at present.

- Asian Tribune -

Presence of Harveys in Our Midst: are men programmed to be predatory?
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