I have a lot of mixed feelings about this Weinstein fellow. I had never even heard of the old guy before last week. But now his face is plastered all over the media and somehow my thoughts seem to drift his way. My feelings are probably the minority, but I suppose I’ll still share them anyway.
I don’t feel any need to hashtag my “me too” self to bring awareness of sexual harassment to anyone who cares to listen. I’ve been raped twice, but rarely speak or think about it. I don’t want to feel like a victim. I’m not. It happened and I’m over it. Maybe I’m lucky but I have no lasting concerns, no permanent damage, no triggers or flashbacks or anxiety in the night. I sleep just fine. For me, it certainly wasn’t a life changing event, my worldview didn’t become distorted. Life just moved on. Not like I want to minimize someone else’s horrific experience, but it just wasn’t the case with me.
What I did do was go to the police, filed the requisite paperwork, and completed the invasive exams. Not so much with the intention of punishing the guy for what he did to me, but more for the piece of mind that he may not be able to do this again in the future. It was very uncomfortable. Surely I didn’t want to do it. But I did, I did it, not for me, but for the girls to come.
I hear all these stories about people coming forward now, 25 years later being deemed as brave. I don’t think what they are doing is brave. Maybe it would have been brave to have come out when it happened, when there wasn’t a plethora of cheerleaders in your corner, when there was little hope you would even be recognized or believed. That might have been brave. When you could have prevented the scores of other women from going through the same nightmare. Now, I don’t feel sorry for you. I don’t think you are brave. But thank you for your story all the same.
Not to seem flippant, but maybe a little perspective here. Things like this happen all the time. Is it right? Maybe not. But what is life other than a constant exchange of quid pro quo? I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine. I can’t imagine a person walking the planet who hasn’t used someone to get what they need or want. Maybe this case is more serious. Maybe cause it involves sex. Maybe because it involves the powerful. All I know is that as vile as this guy is portrayed, I’m sure that is not all he is. And if I had the public limelight shining down on my every flaw, I’m not sure I’d be in a much different boat.
Life isn’t fair. Bad things happen to good people. Good things happen to bad people. But in the end, we are just people. Worthy of second and third and fourth and 99th chances of forgiveness and do overs. Life isn’t fair. A series of tragedies and triumphs.
I am sure his life has been turned upside down. I am sure that most people say he deserves it. But I have never been an eye for an eye kind of person. More of a turn the other cheek and then the other and then back again. Maybe I am naive and maybe I am weak. But who am I to judge that one person’s inequities are greater than another’s. And when it boils down to it, we are all just sinners living among sinners trying to make the best of what we have here. Life is too short to be angry, to hold grudges. So to the two men out there who have taken something from me that no woman should ever be forced to give away. I forgive you. I hope you are happy, that your families are strong, and that somehow you were changed and didn’t repeat this behavior. But you are forgiven and you are not hated. You are still my neighbor and equal. And to Harvey Weinstein, I hope you see the error of your ways, I hope you are able to repent and find peace. I hope you will be able to forgive yourself. And even though I am not in a position to grant absolution, I forgive you. I forgive you for the pain you have caused and the terror you have inflicted.
I don’t know what bravery is. Risking your own wellbeing for the greater good maybe. If any greater good will come of this at all. Meanwhile, decidedly unbrave I will pray for these woman, I will pray for Weinstein and his family. I will pray that all of us trudging together bounded by humanity will learn to love more, to forgive sincerely, and always keep moving forward.