Dear Harvey

Thank you.

Thank you for being so incredibly terrible.

I mean it.

If you had not harassed and assaulted so many women, we might have believed you.

If they had not been such A-listers with a public platform, we might have believed you. I mean, people pay attention when Gwyneth Paltrow says anything, and you don’t get much more articulate than Sarah Polley, so thank you for your lack of discretion in who you targeted with your behaviour

If you’d only stuck to harassing women with complicated pasts, we might have believed you. You certainly did give it the college try when you tried to cast doubt on Ashley Judd’s initial statement by bringing up her experience with sexual abuse and depression about which she’s been courageously open. Usually that “woman be crazy and can’t be trusted” thing flies so well. So thank you for messing that up too.

If your behaviour had not been so blatantly egregious, over so many decades, we might have believed you. It was particularly helpful that you also had a reputation as a tyrant – with men. So thanks for being so awful to so many.

Thank you for being such a triggering force this week that you inspired the whole #metoo hashtag. Because, of course, me too.

Thank you for inspiring other powerful women with platforms to share their own stories of other predators like you. Suddenly a whole lot of us who have been walking around with dark secrets feel so much less alone.

And thank you for trying to play the good guy. That fascinating apology invoking Jay-Z lyrics, and your Bar Mitzvah, and your mom, was enlightening on so many levels as it opened a window into how guys like you operate. When you said “I so respect all women” and then promised to focus on the NRA and funding women directors, you almost had us believe that you were this liberal good guy who just wanted to make your mom proud. I happen to know a lot of wolves in sheep’s clothing who tell us they are good sons, and good citizens, and even good Christians. Thank you for pointing out that sometimes behind all of the do-gooder rhetoric lies the heart of a snake.

I’ve been having trouble processing things since this story broke. And it drove me into connecting with my girlfriends and reading. I finished Holley Gerth’s gorgeous book, Fiercehearted, and in it there is this passage:

We will all have days when we’re white-hot mad we have to go another round. We will all have moments when we want to run right on home. We will all have seasons when it seems easier just to take it. But that isn’t our destiny. We are tree-swingers and babyrockers and mountain-movers. We are girls. We are women. We are daughters of Eve in a fallen world. This means we will never stop being under attack. But it also means we will never – Dear Jesus, may we never – stop fighting back.

Thank you, Harvey, for shaking off the complacency, divisiveness, and fear among the sisterhood. Thank you for showing us how pervasive the problem is. Thank you for being so disgusting in your actions that it is causing our men – our brothers in this life – to review their own participation in this process and for them too to declare, no more.

And thank you for causing the other monsters out there, who have hidden for far too long, to lose a little sleep.  Woody Allen says he fears a witch-hunt and he should.

The shoe is about to drop and it’s a stiletto.

 

4 comments

  1. Thing is this was the biggest open secret that everyone knew so what I want to know is what the hell he did to really piss someone off or what screwed up thing he must have done behind the scenes for the story to go official and public? Sad thing is he will only make a comeback in a few years as an example blah blah blah. It is all quite dispiriting the whole mess.

  2. I agree. I also wonder what the tipping point was. The cynic in me thinks that he was simply no longer the goose laying golden eggs and lost any power he had wielded in terms of threatening to destroy people's careers or sue. I suspect that's what sunk Cosby too. It comforts me to know that these guys are acutely aware that they are only able to get away with this stuff if they continue to be successful, and as soon as they grow old and irrelevant, the stories tend to come out. But dispiriting for sure. xo

Love to hear from you!