(TW: mention of rape, sexual assault)
As popular as this book was when it dropped last year, I didn’t have a burning desire to read it. I’ve volunteered before with a group that does arts and advocacy against rape culture so I know firsthand how difficult it is for survivors, especially those of marginalized identities. I had read the major pieces of Ronan Farrow’s (stellar) reporting and figured that was enough.
A few weeks ago, I saw this in the library and figured What the heck? Finally time to read the detailed account of the story.
And damn. Damn. This reads like a 70s paranoid conspiracy thriller only its too real.
Farrow thoroughly details his pursuit of the Harvey Weinstein angle for NBC, a network he would later come to learn was actively harboring predators and watches as the story gets stonewalled and finally stopped. Thank God for the folks at the New Yorker. Farrow does a great job of recounting his harrowing experiences at trying to get this published but never lets us feel specifically for him. He centers those who came forward with their stories after having been bullied and threatened to silence for years, some for decades. He’s not a crusader; he’s just trying to get the story out.
And the process of doing so is frightening. This book will lay bare how powerful men are protected, from sympathetic network heads to ex-Mossad corporate espionage agents. #MeToo is a great start but this kind of violence will require a much broader reform that I’m not sure our patriarchal society is capable of. All I can say is: believe survivors.