Sexual Harassment … Why Do They Do It?

CRIMES OF INTIMIDATION-With all the current stories about endemic sexual harassment in the entertainment industry from the likes of Harvey Weinstein, Bill O'Reilly, and others, I find it surprising that one critical point is never discussed in the media: What Weinstein, O'Reilly, and others have engaged in has little to do with sex and everything to do with criminal assault, battery, and other crimes of intimidation by men with profound feelings of inadequacy. 

Given the power that Harvey Weinstein wielded in the motion picture business, does anyone really think he couldn't have had his choice of the most beautiful and ambitious women in Hollywood – women who would have done anything to advance their careers, even if it meant sleeping with an obnoxious fat slob like Weinstein? 

There's an old joke about a guy -- call him Bill O'Reilly -- who asks a woman if she would go to bed with him for $1 million. Without hesitation, she says, "Why sure." To which he responds, "How about $50? To which she responds, "What kind of a girl do you think I am?" He then says, "Well, we already know, we're just negotiating the price." But I don't think anyone would argue that O'Reilly would have had to pay a million, let alone $32 million to get laid, which is how much it cost him to settle just one case, while at the same time doing irreparable damage to his career. 

While all sex doesn't have to be about love, good sex by its very nature is about intimacy, something that anyone who has ever it can tell you. It's not about intimidation. 

Sexual harassment in Hollywood has probably been the worst kept secret of all time. But it has been allowed to continue because, as long as those exhibiting this deviant behavior made their corporate bosses money, the bosses continued to turn a blind eye. 

And finally, there is another delicate issue that the mainstream media ignores by failing to report the deviant violent behavior that is still glossed over as merely sexual. And that is the disproportionate number of minorities -- be they Jewish, like Harvey Weinstein in search of a shiksa goddess, or gay, like Kevin Spacey fulfilling a promiscuous gay stereotype, or black, like Bill Cosby who sought out mostly white women since Black has been regarded as anything but beautiful in America for the last 400 years.  

I firmly believe this phenomenon underlines many of the perpetrators’ chronic inadequacies and this helps to explain what is still allowed to sneak by as merely regrettable macho behavior. 


(Leonard Isenberg is a Los Angeles, observer and a contributor to CityWatch. He was a second generation teacher at LAUSD and blogs at perdaily.comLeonard can be reached at Lenny@perdaily.com.) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.