As Harvey Weinstein made the short walk from his car to the entrance of a New York police station this morning a man standing behind a row of policemen and metal barriers—serving to protect Weinstein—shouted, “Harvey, what took you so long? What took you so long to surrender, Harvey?” I think the answer to this question is simple enough: men accused by women of sexual harassment and/or sexual misconduct typically deny the accusations as long as possible and then defend themselves as best they can, typically with more lies. It’s a timeworn modus operandi. The real question is: why did it take the justice system so long to deal with the man accused by over 70 women of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct? It has been over seven months since some forty women came forward alleging he sexually harassed or sexual assaulted them. Some of the women allege that he raped them. For me the answer to this question is also simple enough, but fixing the problem will be as arduous as moving mountains. The reason it took so long for the justice system to deal with Weinstein is that we live in a sexist society where women are treated as second class citizens. Men routinely get away with sex crimes against women, and it has always been this way. That is the short answer. If Weinstein had committed a crime against property he would have been immediately dragged away by the police and dealt with promptly. In our societies, however, women count less than property.
This morning Weinstein spent roughly one hour in a police station after turning himself in. He was arrested and charged with rape, criminal sex act, sex abuse and sexual misconduct for incidents involving two separate women. He will be released on bail. This is the extent to which the American justice system deems a man accused by dozens of women of violating them should be punished seven months after these women came forward. Weinstein is a 66-year-old white male who has been enjoying an inordinate amount of privilege for decades, and it does not appear that this privilege has been lost yet.
This morning the BBC reported that “[p]rosecutors in Los Angeles are reviewing several cases involving accusations against Mr Weinstein after police investigations, and London's Metropolitan Police are also assessing a sexual abuse allegation against him.” It is certainly taking them a long time to get organized. Weinstein will eventually get his day in court and will hopefully serve time for his crimes. What is amazing is that he enjoyed so much freedom in spite of his crimes and was dealt with so generously by the justice system in the interim.
 BBC, Harvey Weinstein charged with rape following New York arrest, May 25, 2018
© 2018 Alline Cormier