Home > Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Musings, Philosophy sans Sophistry, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism > An Explanation for the Odd Behavior of Harvey Weinstein: Oct 15, 2017

An Explanation for the Odd Behavior of Harvey Weinstein: Oct 15, 2017

As regular readers know, I have previously written two posts (Link 1, Link 2) about this topic. Both were a mixture of some news items about this still developing topic as well as initial speculation about why others in the industry remained silent for so long. To make a long story short, it is very likely that similar behavior is common in the entertainment industry and Harvey Weinstein is unlikely to go down without a series of nasty fight- which might end up exposing other prominent figures in that industry.

We are, however, still left with the unanswered question about the real motivation behind his actions. I mean.. what would motivate a very rich, famous and powerful guy to chase down often unwilling women of far lesser means just to expose himself and jerk off in front of them. While it is certainly possible that the majority of women he propositioned in that manner did indeed go along with the ‘script’ and have sex with him. Why not just hire super-attractive escorts or make an explicit sex-for-money arrangement with women he fancied?

The method used by Harvey Weinstein to proposition known and aspiring actresses/models was not especially efficient in addition to being significantly riskier than just purchasing sexual services from them. What makes his choice of method especially odd is that he seems to be an especially smart, rational and pragmatic guy in his long and very successful professional life. There is also the question as to what pleasure he was obtaining from jerking off in front of often disgusted women.

Conventional feminist-influenced explanations for his behavior ranger from obviously unrealistic to sublimely absurd. There are, for example, theories centered around his behavior was yet another example of “male entitlement”. The people who peddle these theories do not however explain why most men are not turned on by the idea of jerking in front of unwilling women. Others want to blame industry ‘sexism’ for his behavior. But that still does not explain why he did things that way when he could have simply offered those women money for sexual acts.

There is however a different, and far more rational explanation, for his behavior.

Let us start to by asking the simple question- when he did he start propositioning women in that manner? Well.. as far as we know, to date, he was propositioning women in that manner since the mid-1980s. In other words, Harvey Weinstein was propositioning women for at least a few years before he became really famous. In other words, his behavioral pattern was established before he became famous. Subsequent public acclaim and successes simply brought him more opportunities to indulge in that pattern of behavior.

So how did it all start? For starters, he was born to a fairly average middle-class Jewish family in NY. It seems that both he, and his brother, appeared to be smart and driven- even as kids. But his overall upbringing and rather non-elite educational background (SUNY- Buffalo) must have been shared by many tens of thousands of kids- none of whom grew up to be Harvey Weinstein. So what made him the person he ended up becoming?

Part of the answer to that question might lie in an unusual and somewhat tragic event which occurred when he was 10 years old. Long story short- he lost one of his eyes in a playground accident. It took him about 6 months to recover from the accident and it was during this time that he first got seriously interested in the entertainment industry. Basically, a series of events resulting from his losing an eye is what drove Harvey Weinstein to the career which would make him rich and famous.

And this brings us the next question- What other effect did losing an eye at that age have on him? Well.. for one, it would not have helped his social life in school or university. Between his general appearance, lack of inherited money and lack of one eye- his normal sexual advances towards women were likely met with scorn, contempt and very high degree of failure. To put it another way, he likely suffered a lot of humiliation from women during the earlier part of his life. Maybe, he never forget that humiliation.

Given that his behavior towards all those women was largely about humiliating them (through exposing himself, jerking off in front of them or making them have sex with him), it is very likely that he saw it as payback for what he had received before he became wealthy, famous and powerful. That is also why he preferred to impose himself on women rather than quietly pay for sex. It was about redressing his perceived grievances with women. It is also telling that he went after attractive women irrespective of their overall body type, race or fame.

His behavior was, therefore, less about sex and more about payback for all the rejection and humiliation he had received from far less attractive women in the past. And that is also why he started doing it so early on in his career. He just wanted to dish out what he had received, albeit on a far larger scale. To summarize: his behavior was a peculiar manifestation of vengeance and payback, maybe not exactly legal or “nice”- but rational nonetheless.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. P Ray
    October 16, 2017 at 12:33 am

    Harvey Weinstein knew he was the gatekeeper,
    and every gatekeeper exacts a toll.
    Women do the same thing (want a guy to provide entertainment, utility, protection and bailouts) …
    but can’t be made to reciprocate if they welsh out of the deal.
    That’s why “having women friends” is usually pointless:
    women will do favours for men who are powerful, for free …
    and won’t return favours to the “weak” men who help them out.

    It all boils down to the “ability of the man to retaliate, in a way that will hurt the woman’s future”.

    • P Ray
      October 16, 2017 at 12:37 am

      The price of
      women will do favours for men who are powerful, for free …
      is being able to name-drop and influence others that she knows the powerful man.
      It helps women get ahead, that kind of networking.

  2. Wilson
    October 16, 2017 at 5:54 am

    Don’t know if whores are actually practical in his position, there is a risk of blackmail, and he has no leverage or legal solution to get them to go away

  3. Yusef
    October 16, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    “But his overall upbringing and rather non-elite educational background (SUNY- Buffalo) must have been shared by many tens of thousands of kids-”

    I wish you’d share your reasons for saying SUNY-Buffalo is not elite. It is one of — maybe the— premier research universities in the U.S. In any event, if you say you graduated from SUNY-Buffalo most people in the know are impressed. It’s not Harvard or in the Ivy League, but hey, do you really think those schools are the only elite schools in the U.S.? I hope not. Weinstein’s graduation from there is actually another indication he’s a very smart and talented guy– way above average. In my opinion, this alma mater is a better choice than “an elite” name school because it is likely much more bang for the buck. That’s smart. That”s astute.

  4. Yusef
    October 16, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    I also don’t think Weinstein’s jerking off is abnormal by Hollywood standards. It isn’t what requires an explanation. He lost an eye– and that made him great? Are you kidding me? Maybe I’ll poke my kid’s eye out so he’ll become a movie mogul when he grows up. He’ll hate me now, but he’ll thanking me later. I think you’re in a phase of weakness. Maybe you’re distracted or something.

  5. WarOnDrugs
    October 16, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    Of all the women who have come forward to accuse Weinstein of misconduct, I estimate there are anywhere from 2 – 5 times as many who have not made accusations publicly. This could be for various reasons: 1) They wish not to be involved; 2) They are not famous enough to matter; 3) They fully consented to his advances and thus have nothing to complain about. How does it feel knowing that this unattractive, obese man fucked over a hundred prime starlets and models without spending a dime (directly)?

    I was not aware of the condition related to his eye. His behavior was probably deeply satisfying to him, and he craved having this level of status and power over these women.

  6. hoipolloi
    October 17, 2017 at 1:00 am

    @WarOnDrugs: I am in agreement with, “They fully consented to his advances and thus have nothing to complain about.” This probably is the case with 90% of the women HW tried. Otherwise he would not continue doing this for three decades. A senior A-list actress came out with a statement condemning Weinstein soon after the NYT revelations, but saying she worked with him all these years but had no problems. It looked like a statement prepared by HW’s PR team and released for public consumption. This is fake disdain.

    In a similar vein, Jaffrey Katzenberg, the once chairman of Disney when they bought Miramax, came out a few hours ago with a statement that HW is no doubt a monster. Then he falls short in his honesty. He said he had hundreds of meetings with HW over the years and never had an inkling about his nasty behavior. I want to submit that this last statement is fake. It looks like he is trying to protecting his kind, both professional and ethnic. The HW thing is in the air for the last so many years for everyone to see. Courtney Love said years before when on a red carpet interview that she would advise the young girls in Hollywood if HW calls for a meeting alone in his hotel room, don’t go.

  7. masculineffort
    October 19, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    It might be a simple case of a fetish, not necessarily wanting to revenge himself on hot chicks

  8. October 23, 2017 at 11:53 am

    In other news, catcalling could become illegal soon. Check out France!

    • hoipolloi
      October 24, 2017 at 10:28 am

      I am surprised it is not illegal already.

      • October 24, 2017 at 4:17 pm

        The article discusses France. They are trying to pass in in NY, in addition to this stupid “manspreading” law, that video with that female idiot “walking in NY for 10 hours” and idiots jacking off on subway stations…

      • P Ray
        February 11, 2018 at 8:23 pm

        As I understand it, Title IX for the USA says the “offended person” – and absolutely nobody else – has full license to decide what is catcalling and offensive.
        Which basically makes it an “ugly guy talked to me and must be punished” law.
        Feminism is a cancer … men refusing to participate in MentorHer is the cure.

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