Harvey Weinstein, fidelity and the public gaze.
It would seem Harvey Weinstein has left a trail of destruction in his wake following the revelations of his unbridled sexual predation. Survivors are coming out of the woodwork at such a rate of knots there is nowhere for Weinstein to go except therapy and – possibly – gaol.
He has done untold damage to the lives of many women, not least his wife.
Public discussion surrounding Georgina Chapman has centred mainly around whether her fashion brand Marchesa – given a boost under Weinstein’s auspices – should be boycotted. It seems harsh to punish the wife for the sins of the husband, regardless of their ‘marital arrangement’.
However, the issue of fidelity has barely rated a mention in media reports of the Weinstein case.
I’m a fan of monogamy – I don’t deny it – but I accept it’s not for everyone.
If it’s not for you, then we shall remain friends and I’ll seek a partner elsewhere. Simple as that.
But I take exception to the proposition that infidelity does no harm. The world and his dog may know about Mr Jones’ affair with his secretary but I’m betting in many cases Mrs Jones doesn’t. I may not make it my business to inform Mrs Jones, but I don’t underestimate the devastation that infidelity wreaks.
Your tectonic plates shift.
You see yourself for the fool you are; the fool everyone else has known you to be for weeks, months, years. Regaining trust – not just in potential partners, but in those around you – takes a very long time. And then it happens all over again. I sometimes wonder whether those who regard fidelity as overrated have experienced it in all its bone-rattling, earth-shattering ignominy.
Women who stay and make their relationships work have my admiration. Those who stay and don’t make their relationships work have my sympathy. Women who leave have my support. They are the collateral damage often overlooked when we look away from the behaviour of men like Harvey Weinstein.
Whatever your opinion of the #metoo movement, it has given many women a voice for the first time in their lives. Speaking up is something women should never be afraid of doing. It is what binds us together and helps us form networks from which lasting friendships are sometimes made. And friendships, support networks, self-help groups – whatever works for you – are what sustains us in good times and in bad.