Dear Lupita… it’s your fault

Dear Lupita,

We read about your encounter with Harvey Weinstein and we are sorry but we just do not believe you despite our best attempt to empathize.

First of all, we don’t have daughters, sisters, mothers or other close female relatives therefore you can understand why we find it difficult to view women as human beings undeserving of unwarranted male aggression. Further, your realities as a woman especially one that is a victim of “sexual assault” do not match our realities therefore the rational thing to do is to deny in strong terms that your experiences are valid.

Going into the nitty gritties of the matter at hand, your encounters would have been believable if you had come out with the allegations earlier because, as you know, the truth has an expiry date. We are sure if the allegations were made in a timely fashion, people (not us) would believe you. Therefore, we don’t buy into your basic excuse that your reason for staying silent was your unfounded fear that people would not believe you even though patriarchy has given us a more powerful voice and secured our dominant access to every communication channel to subdue you and the voices of the few that will believe you. Besides, why wait until other women have come out for you to come out? Smells like a witch-hunt to us. (Apologies. We had to use the term “witch-hunt” because there is no word that specifically describes the targeting of men purely because they are men).

Furthermore, it seems to us that everything that Mr. Harvey did, allegedly, would not have occurred if you stayed at home and kept yourself busy with women things like cleaning, emotional labour and unrequited love and support for your male partner. It is common sense that consenting to existing in the same spaces as men is by extension consenting to their excesses and their aggression. Therefore, when you decide to insert yourself in spaces where men exist, you should anticipate male aggression and it is your responsibility to find ways to keep yourself safe from rape and other forms of male-perpetrated violence. By the way, you conveniently forgot to tell us what you were wearing all those times you encountered Mr. Harvey which is a material factor to consider in these cases.

Anyways, Mr. Harvey invited you on several dates and you gladly accepted the invitations. Everyone knows that when you agree to go on a date with a man, by extension (again), you have agreed to everything else that may occur that night, specifically sexual intercourse. Therefore, what Mr. Harvey did does not amount to sexual assault to us because that would mean that many, if not all, of the encounters we have had with women qualify as sexual assault or rape, which is irrational. From your narrative, Mr. Harvey was presented with several opportunities to have his way with you but he did not. Therefore, you should be grateful that he decided to let you go instead of attempting to ruin his career which is, either way, safeguarded by institutional patriarchy.

Finally, like you said, Mr. Harvey is a powerful producer in Hollywood. Why would he have chosen you, a black woman, over all the beautiful white women in his circle? Based on this alone, we believe Mr. Harvey entirely when he denied the allegations you have made against him. Either way, shouldn’t you have been flattered that a rich, powerful, white man considered you worth his time? And assuming your allegations are true (doubt it), shouldn’t you have tapped into your “black woman strength reservoir” and found ways to deal with it? Surely, black women amongst other women are not strangers to unwarranted male aggression.

Basically, what we are saying is the whole encounter is entirely your fault. It is your fault that you existed in the same spaces as men. You are to blame for Mr. Harvey’s inappropriate behavior towards you because irrational and aggressive behavior is to be expected of men. It is your fault that Mr. Harvey mistook your consent to several dates as consent to engage in activities of a sexual nature with you.

In closing, all is not lost. One day, we will have our own daughters when we will come to the sudden realization that women are human beings. Specifically, because I desire to have at least 2 daughters, I will in future have a minimum of 2 respects for women. But until then *shrugs*



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