BOSTON (CBS) – The fall of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein after reports of his serial sexual harassment of female co-workers has followed a familiar pattern of stories of this type.
The charges and the denials, or in this case, the non-denial denials. And the inevitable political finger-pointing, as hyper-partisans demand that their adversaries denounce their allies with the same vehemence they used to denounce their foes. But in this case, there was a line from Weinstein’s statement that hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves.
In the course of a smug effort to change the subject and absolve himself, Weinstein wrote: “I came of age in the 60’s and 70’s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different.”
Mr. Weinstein is just a few years older than I am, and while I wasn’t producing rock concerts during that period like he was, I feel safe in saying that the “rules” about how men – or, at least gentlemen – were supposed to treat women they worked with weren’t very different from what they are now.
I don’t know what kind of household Weinstein was raised in, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who was taught to respect women, to regard them as if they were someone’s wife, mother, sister or daughter and to treat them the way you would want your own wife, mother, sister or daughter treated.
One thing is different now. What Weinstein’s victims say he did to them might not have gotten you fired 40 or 50 years ago. But as a son, brother and father, I would call that change for the better.
Treating people with decency and respect is a timeless value, no matter how the likes of Harvey Weinstein want to rewrite the script.