If Harvey Weinstein is considering abandoning the United States to find a more welcoming home, perhaps he should consider Russia. As it would seem on the streets of Moscow at least, Harvey still has the support of the people. Of course in this case by people, I actually mean five mostly naked Slavic women and a man in a bear costume. See for yourself here in this picture below.
The image was taken as part of a promotional campaign being launched in Russia in support of Mr. Weinstein. For most Americans this must seem insane. As how could anyone defend the actions of a man who seems to have been unanimously labeled a monster by the American press? Don’t these Slavic women know they are being bad feminists?
One likely reason the women participating in this campaign aren’t choosing to be overly sympathetic to Harvey’s alleged “victims” is that modern Russian culture doesn’t really view these women as victims in the first place. As more and more information confirms that Harvey’s actions were a well-known occurrence behind the scenes in Hollywood. It’s obvious that any woman who got involved with the man likely knew on some level what to expect, and the likely price to be paid in return for him helping launch their careers. To the average Russian woman, these famous rich celebrity “victims” are just spoiled Western brats. Girls who used their bodies to get money or fame and now are complaining about the price they once chose to pay for it.
Russian women unlike their American counterparts seem to remember that no one was forced to work with Harvey. For example, Russia’s Miss World candidate Polina Popova had this to say regarding the women now accusing Harvey of misconduct. “Everything depends on how a woman behaves around a man. You need to keep your distance, and everything will turn out fine.” This sentiment was even echoed by Polina’s fellow model and the countries Miss Universe candidate Ksenia Alexandrova who stated, “Russia would never experience anything like it, thanks to President Vladimir Putin.”
In general as this Foreign Policy article puts it, “Russians don’t understand why anyone is upset with girl crazy Weinstein.” A popular Russian TV host even asked of the women in question, “What prevented you at that moment from taking a step back to say, ‘I will never work with this person,’ or ‘Danger!’” While sexual abuse and assault are certainly wrong, it’s important to remember no one is really accusing Harvey of assault. Instead just that he allegedly used his power and influence to encourage sexual favors.
In the end, these famous women who stayed silent for so long all willingly agreed to some type of “exchange” early on in order to help their careers. Which leads me to one final point. That in some ways isn’t the Russian attitude towards Harvey, actually the stronger Feminist stance? As it holds women accountable for their own actions, as independent equal adults. As powerful women responsible for their own choices, and not some lesser creature so easily manipulated by a man.
The American outrage seems to treat women as creatures who can’t possibly be expected to deal with the consequences of their own actions and choices. To the average Russian woman, this is a silly idea as most would quickly and openly take advantage of Mr. Weinstein or a similar powerful mans sexual appetite to better their own situations. What modern Western Feminists seem to have forgotten that many Russian’s oddly remember, is that even when dealing with shady figures like Harvey, personal accountability still matters in the end.
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