“In a room where
people unanimously maintain
a conspiracy of silence,
one word of truth
sounds like a pistol shot.”

Unfortunately, unlike the Las Vegas massacre, the truth appears to have become sparse ammunition. How else can men like Harvey Weinstein have gotten away with their behaviour?
In working with Making Good Men Great, I am constantly aware of the depth of the conspiracy of silence that allows patriarchy to continue almost unchallenged by the majority of men.
Back to Harvey Weinstein: it is Important to recognise that he does not have a mental illness, nor is he an addict. He, like his kind, is a PREDATOR. To see this man in any other light does a gross injustice to all who really suffer from a psychological disturbance, addiction or mental illness.
In my view, and from the MGMG model, his behaviour is the result of the arrogance that many powerful men dress themselves in every day they get out of bed and simply assume that they are better than others.
The ‘one word of truth’ was the original disclosure of Harvey Weinstein’s predatory behaviour. It has opened the flood gates enabling many more women to admit to having been victims of not just inappropriate sexual interactions and harassment, but also sexual assault.
Some of these women are very successful and powerful actors who have stayed silent for decades. A question that needs to be asked is why did they not speak out before this? I believe that the answer lies at the very core of Patriarchal power. All of these women had been in a position of needing Harvey Weinstein’s influence within the industry that they wanted to be part of and successful in. He used this power differential to take advantage of them, to fulfil his desires for sex without freely given consent.
This is no different from the way in which men in Patriarchal societies now and in the past, have used their power over women to exploit them sexually. In this case, the women’s opportunity for success in their chosen occupation was at stake. They obviously felt they could not refuse Harvey Weinstein’s demands. The fact that Harvey Weinstein made these approaches, and succeeded over several decades in forcing these women to accept his behaviour, demonstrates the power of the idea that women are a commodity to be exploited by men. And as such are subdued into silence.
Patriarchy creates an idea of masculinity that is dominant and controlling with a narcissism that leads men to believe that they are intrinsically better than women. Hyper masculinity and narcissism create an illusion of superiority. This allows men to not only reject contradictory information, but to fail to even recognise that there is any evidence, that they are wrong in the way that they see the world and their place in it.
Patriarchy’s influence on our understanding of leadership and positions of authority means that many men, not just Hollywood Producers, believe that being in a position of power entitles them to dominate everyone lower than them in the hierarchy. Instead of seeing the organisation as a team of people who all bring their talents and expertise to the enterprise, men like Harvey Weinstein see those they work with as tools to be used for their own purposes. In this instance his own sexual gratification.
The conspiracy to collude is the fourth layer to this story. There must have been many people besides Harvey Weinstein and the women he assaulted who were aware of the situation. And what about the men who worked with Harvey Weinstein, like the board of his company? Surely this must be the ‘bro’ code at its very worst?
The only way to see this is that it involves a Conspiracy of Silence.
Therefore any man in our community who professes to value inclusivity and equality must ask themselves is:
‘What will I do to end the silence?’

Another Making Good Men Great Mentoring Group is being set up. Interested? For more information please call Rebecca on 02 9999 0429 or email rebecca@goodmengreat.com.