What do these men have in common?

Here are a few names I want you to think about for a few seconds. What do Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, Roger Ailes, Jeffrey Epstein, Larry Nassar, Jerry Sandusky, Richard Strauss, Barry Bennett and numerous Catholic priests have in common? There are two things – they have been accused or convicted of sexual assault or misconduct and they have enablers who helped cover up their chronic abuse or infidelity. It is the enablers I want to focus on.

The enablers may have been more focused on protecting the reputation or brand of the entity, such as a university (Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State) or an organization (Catholic church, UK football, or the US Olympic Gymnastics). Yet, they did not step up to uncover what was going on or explained things away. Or, they just did not want to stick their neck out.

Legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno (lovingly called Joe Pa by fans), apparently knew of accusations of Jerry Sandusky’s predatory sexual tendencies with young boys, but enabled him to continue by not using his considerable gravitas to stop him. Other coaches and university officials were aware and did nothing or not enough.

Similar stories can be found in every sexual assault case involving a university or organization. Even Congressman Jim Jordan denies being told by several wrestlers on his team of Richard Strauss, the Ohio State medical doctor who fondled hundreds of male athletes. Yet, more than a few wrestlers, some who admired Jordan, said they told him. And, the Catholic church covering up for its pedophile priests is in its own league given the volume of priests.

Yet, the enablers who were involved with big name people, the bosses who sexually assaulted women as they had the power to make or break them, are also bothersome. These enablers did not just look the other way, which many also did, but some went out of their way to make the accusers’ stories vanish. The boss and his enablers would threaten people to acquiesce to a non-confidentiality agreement for a monetary settlement.

HBO is airing an excellent documentary on Ronan Farrow’s podcasts where he speaks with the reporters who helped him break the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault story. Weinstein could make or break a rising starlet’s career. Weinstein knew that and wielded that power like a weapon. He would threaten young women into sex or banish and bad mouth them to other studios. What finally broke him after twenty plus years was a few brave women who lost much, but went on the record along with a handful of others who shared their stories anonymously. And, one who kept a recording of him attempting a second assault.

Weinstein is a classic narcissist who bullied people for business or sexual acquiescence. One of the reporters who helped Farrow wrote Weinstein would “rape” business partners over testy financial concessions. He said the term rape was used by the other executives who felt cheated by him. Weinstein is not alone. This was common practice in the entertainment world. Yet, what is more troubling is it happens every day with men who abuse their power from retail store managers to military commanders to customer service center bosses.

And, politicians. Two former presidents are mentioned above. The latest former president in his pre-presidential career has been accused of sexual assault by about two dozen women along with a few consensual extra-marital affairs he did not want made public.He had a fixer who would enable him by making the accusation or story go away through confidential settlement. The other two-term president was a known womanizer who had more than a few extra-marital trysts when he was governor of Arkansas and president. While not accused of assault, his trysts would surface from time to time with the more famous one causing him to lie under oath.

The enablers must cease helping these folks. One of the biggest accused enablers, Ghislaine Maxwell, will be standing trial for “finding” girls (some under age) for her boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual parties for guests. Three people of note that knew Epstein include the two presidents above and Prince Andrew. So, this trial will get much notoriety

These predatory or overbearing men have taken advantage of their positions and power. Yet, the enablers have aided and abetted their efforts. These folks are equally concerning as they should know better.

12 thoughts on “What do these men have in common?

  1. I fully agree … the enablers should go down in flames along with the abusers for they are, in my eyes, equally guilty. Ghislaine Maxwell is a piece of work … I saw a few snippets of a documentary about her that my daughter was watching recently and frankly I don’t know how she could live with her conscience. How do these people get to sleep at night???

    • Jill, I agree with all of your points. From what I read, Maxwell used her gender to befriend these girls and young women as their confidante and then took advantage of them. The one thing she is right about is with Epstein’s suicide, prosecutors may have more zeal toward her crimes. Keith

      • That was my understanding too, which makes her, in my book, a traitor to women worldwide. Even today, she wears a haughty expression, a smirk. Yes, Epstein’s death likely put her more in the crosshairs, but she deserves every bit of it for her role.

    • Joy, I am so sorry for what happened to your daughter. You and she have more reason than others to feel ill by the actions of the enablers that aid and abet these predators. Keith

      • Thanks Keith. I feel for the way too many out there , like my daughter! The statistics are soo high! Its 1 in every 4 females and 1 in every 6 males that suffer sexual abuse. Horrible!

  2. Note to Readers: I mention above the men who are not famous who do every day what these men do. A predatory manager of a large employer in a small city uses his power to control women under his oversight. Being able to control the work schedule is held over women. Retailers have a higher propensity of employee relations risk than other employers because of these fiefdoms.

  3. Note to Readers II: Each of us likely know someone who has been sexually assaulted. And, every women has been sexually harassed at some point. We men cannot conceptualize that. I know two women that have been assaulted, one who was felt up as she walked through double sets of glass doors to the parking lot during work hours and one who was raped in a store parking lot. Although years ago, the latter still bears the scars and worries as her husband does travel on business. They can afford living in a gated community, as she does not know how she could be on her own otherwise when he is away.

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