I kind of feel badly for Harvey Weinstein. I worked with someone like him. He was gross too, but I always kind of felt sorry for him.
When I was in my twenties I worked for a broadcasting company. The person in charge of our office was a man named Gerald. He was married and had two daughters. He also liked to say and do very inappropriate things to most, if not all the young women, in the office.
Gerald would not be offered any modeling contracts. He probably wasn’t very popular in school. He had a big pot belly, because he used to race to a bar every day at 5p.m. to drink. I’m not sure he was taller than me when I was wearing heels. I’m 5’3”.
He struggled to say words correctly. He said things like, “the atmospear around here isn’t good.” He was always asking one of the young women in the office to go have a beer with him after work. When a new twentysomething started, we would see him flirting, stopping by her desk, joking with her. He was so predictable.
Of course, each of us had our day where his flirting became more serious. He always used the same pickup line, “do you want to come back to my house and listen to music?’ Obviously, he always waited until his wife and kids were out of town.
We all called him Geraldo. He was a joke to us. We though he was a dirty old man (at 43 years old,) we had to put up with in order to keep our jobs. We all compared notes about his very unoriginal playbook of inappropriateness at work. We all found polite ways to rebuff him and still keep our jobs.
These men, these Gerald’s and Harvey Weinstein’s are sad to me. Men in a position of wealth and power who act the way that Gerald and Harvey do, all share the same delusion: they all believe the young women they are flirting with are actually interested in them.
A neighbor once told me he felt men and women trade commodities. Men trade on their wealth and power. Women trade on their attractiveness. He could cite many examples of men, like Harvey Weinstein, who would not necessarily be considered attractive by the world’s standards, having a gorgeous woman on their arm.
I always feel badly for the guy in that equation. What must it be like to only get a girl by drawing on your wealth and power? How awful it must be when you actually get the girl and know you must sustain your position and your bank account to keep her.
Harvey did horrible things. Gerald was a nightmare to have in the office every day. Still, they both seem pathetic to me. Somewhere inside, they both felt that abusing their position of power was the only way to get women to like them.