Ignorance, sexual predation, and the Weinstein effect

It wasn’t long ago that, in medieval Europe, fathers married off their hapless daughters to forge geopolitical alliances. Girls were pawns in the power games of their families. It mattered not that many of them were mere children. The boys didn’t have a lot of influence about whom they married either, while women and girls had none. All of this didn’t really stop until the beginning of the twentieth century. But treating women as chattel to be traded and used actually didn’t stop; it just changed venues. It moved into brothels, and the Hollywood casting couch. You could even argue that trafficking women has only recently become a crime, one that’s quite difficult to prosecute or stop, according to the Toronto police. They actually have a special unit devoted to finding the girls and prosecuting the men who live off them. According to a CBC special, the police set up complicated sting operations and follow up with lengthy interviews with some of the young women.

One of the lucky ones who got out and lived to tell the tale of how she got recruited by promises of ‘fun’ and easy money at age 16, confessed that at the time, she had no idea what was happening to her: she didn’t even know that there was a word for it. Just a nice girl who was ignorant and easily beguiled. Who wanted attention. The rest of the story covers the various ways the police try to combat the problem by working with community outreach groups. Everybody is working very hard to make this ugly modern slave traffic go away.

But there was a curious omission: Not once does the story mention ‘education’. Not a word about teaching young women to be alert to the wiles of the traffickers, nothing about reaching out to schools who could, presumably, offer after-school workshops in what it means to get lured into the business. There is a blind spot here, a very large and ugly one that speaks of unconscious assumptions. For example, we don’t want to scare the young women, or get too graphic about what might happen to them. And we certainly don’t want to tell them about the perhaps unconscious message that their skimpy clothes send out, either. That’s old school; we are so much freer than that now, free to ape the slutfest that is held up as the way to dress by so-called celebrities. Mothers, who presumably know better, have all but abdicated to this toxic, demeaning culture. Sexuality as a commodity and the commodification of female bodies has been with us for so long that it has become ‘normal’. That’s also the reason why there’s so much porn; it too has become normalized.

The only thing that is changing is that women have, finally, found their public voice.

We are currently living through what has become known as ‘The Weinstein Effect’, and it’s great. I hope it isn’t just a moment, but a movement that will grow in strength and challenges not just the sexual predation rampant in our culture but also the out of control oppression of the many by the few, in the name of profit. Capitalism with its rigid hierarchies and brutal worship of ‘success’ enables the predators among us. It put a sexual predator in the White House. And if that doesn’t get your attention, I suggest reading Chris Hedges, one of the most radical voices for equality in the US today. If someone like that is taking the Weinstein effect seriously, you can bet that something major is shaking down. He says it better than I can:


If our collective Weinstein moment becomes a movement and results in real changes in the workplace and at home, then young women won’t need to be educated about being wary and careful in their dealings with men. They won’t need to learn the meaning of ‘female trafficking’.

It can’t happen soon enough. The change we need has begun, the old promise of feminism to liberate everyone is in our sights again. Equality is the goal, and we can get there if we’re clear about what we want: we’re tired of having some guy and sometimes, some woman, tell everyone how to live. We want freedom and equality and no more sex trafficking. Is that too much to ask? It may well be, but if we don’t try, we’re going back to the Middle Ages. And they were nobody’s idea of equality.

4 thoughts on “Ignorance, sexual predation, and the Weinstein effect

  1. These women were not children when they were accosted. We are treating them like victims that had no choice. They were all old enough to make a conscious choice. I think this is allowed to be forefront in the media in order to overshadow the pedophile and Satanic Ritual abuse toward children that underlines most of Hollywood and upper society.
    That is a far more serious problem then women at the age of consent falling into a trap of The Weinstein effect in order to obtain the notoriety they have been brainwashed to believe is important. Children don’t have the mental capacity to make those choices. They are the one that are victims.

  2. Point taken. But we have a serious problem with sexualization and inequality nonetheless. And I don’t think you are saying that trafficking girls is okay. At sixteen one isn’t really an adult and saying they ‘had a choice’ doesn’t make it okay. Yes , they did have a choice, but they were also ignorant and needy, thus ready for exploitation. Child trafficking is even worse, but it’s all part of a hideous syndrome that cannot be tolerated. This is a complicated problem without simple solutions. Doing away with capitalist exploitation isn’t going to be a walk in the park.

    • You are right trafficking anyone is unacceptable. Your article seems to make this about how awful some men treat women yet there are just as many young boys and men being exploited and trafficked as there are women. It is just covered up and operates on a deeper level. Look at the Cory Feldman case and research Pizza-gate and The connections to pedophilia in the royal family. It soon becomes clear both men and women contribute to the problem. This rabbit hole goes far deeper than most people could ever imagine. We need to be careful about making this another male bashing rant which only serves to divide the efforts rather than fostering cohesion between men and woman to solve the real problem.

      Through women’s liberation And the sexualization of both sexes at an early age we now have millions of young girls thinking it’s ok to have babies without a solid family foundation, an of course an equal number of deadbeat fathers that have been brainwashed to believe the more women they sleep with the more of a man they are. Kids that grow up in these homes normalize that behavior and it just gets worse.

      Make no mistake about it this has been choreographed right from the start and we have all been brainwashed to make it a man versus woman discussion. The age old strategy, pit one side against the other and you control the outcome.

  3. I know very little about pedophilia, but you are correct: it’s part of the bigger problem of a highly sexualized, you might say, pornographic, culture. The writer who has captured this evil and is now totally forgotten is Timothy Findley. His novel, Headhunter is difficult to read but while I did, I had the feeling I wasn’t reading fiction. It’s a brilliant and very troubling read. And it makes your case in the way only fiction can. It’s paradoxical, but only fiction is able to tell the whole ugly truth. I will think about writing a follow up blog. And you are right about pitting one side against the other; it’s an ancient strategy of the ruling classes.
    Thanks for following my blog!

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