The man who became a symbol of women’s battle against sexual harassment and abusive workplaces is facing the might of the law. There is no knowing how the legal case will pan out but the very fact that the movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has been brought to face justice is a great victory, especially for the 75 women who came out in the open with their stories. The Hollywood biggie was a mobile casting couch who had “invaded” the bodies of countless starlets and stars in serial offences that were revolting for the brazen manner in which women in cinema were harassed, abused, lured and raped. He is wanted on the other side of the Atlantic too for similar crimes against women in the UK. The role of newspapers like the New York Times and the New Yorker in exposing Weinstein is commendable.
The Hollywood producer has already lost everything — his company, his job, his wife and his membership of the Academy. Even then there can be little sympathy for a compulsive predator from whose clutches some Bollywood stars were fortunate to escape. It is in the most devious way that he has helped the world and that is in becoming the foremost symbol of the #MeToo movement. The women’s uprising is promising to change the lives of all of them for the better for having exposed the chicanery in men using their position, power and money to lure young women and exploit them sexually. If the workplaces of the world, including those of the glamorous world of cinema, are a better place beginning with the day on which Weinstein was arraigned, the fight would have been worth it. This might be just the start of a culture change with such well-entrenched abusive male behaviour on its way out.