When you read that Times article and others about Weinstein — and then you read Kate Aurthur’s BuzzFeed interview with Rose McGowan, how McGowan seems to hint that she experienced violations by Weinstein as a kind of death the age of 23 (“It alters the course of your life”), and then you imagine all of the women and men whose lives were altered or whose careers Weinstein stalled out or ended (based on what? A moment of hesitation or disgust? Some sign that they were actual human beings with wills of their own?) it becomes clear that Weinstein and everyone who colluded with him and empowered him over the course of the two decades have just offered us a frightening picture of exactly how we lose our grip on this beautiful world forever. For the powerful, it’s simple: You say whatever you want, and they let you. You grab what you want, and they let you. And the people around you stand by and they roll their eyes and silently back away — or they pat you on the back as you do it.
What’s most shocking of all right now might be the chorus of voices saying “We knew all along, and wondered when the truth would come out!” The truth doesn’t come out until someone is very brave. In this, the Year of the Sociopathic Baby-Man, we have no more excuses. We know this villain pretty well now. We have lots of very vivid examples of his kind. We know what he’s capable of. We all have to be brave now, and speak the truth to power. Because he might be a dinosaur, but he’s far from extinct, and he’s more than a little bit dangerous.