Harvey Weinstein Is Gone. But Hollywood Still Has a Problem.

When I read the recent allegations that Harvey Weinstein had sexually harassed women for decades, I thought — well, of course. Mr. Weinstein was a famously swaggering bully, and while I hadn't heard about the specific charges of sexual abuse by women working for him, such behavior fits the movie industry's pervasive, unrepentant exploitation of women. And then on Tuesday, The New Yorker revealed that three women, including the Italian actress-turned-director Asia Argento, said that "Weinstein raped them."

The revelations in the New York Times investigation into Mr. Weinstein repelled me, but The New Yorker's article made me weep. Since then, I have been thinking a lot about all the women I know who have been assaulted and harassed, and I've thought about my own experiences, some ugly, others absurd — like the time in New York when a director lurched at me while I was interviewing him. I jumped out of the way and calmly kept talking. I chalked the episode up to male sexist business as usual. In the moment, I didn't see his behavior as characteristic of the movie industry; he was just another man trying to wield power over a woman. It wasn't traumatic — it was ordinary.

It is the perverse, insistent, matter-of-factness of male sexual predation and assault — of men's power over women — that haunts the revelations about Mr. Weinstein. This banality of abuse also haunts the American movie industry. Women helped build the industry, but it has long been a male-dominated enterprise that systematically treats women — as a class — as inferior to men. It is an industry with a history of sexually exploiting younger female performers and stamping expiration dates on older ones. It is an industry that consistently denies female directors employment and contemptuously treats the female audience as a niche, a problem, an afterthought.

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