The Predator Amongst Us
On Harvey Weinstein and sexual predators, wilderness and civilization, conveyed through metaphors of the untamed.
The wolf conceals itself mysteriously in the thick, dense, lush element of its habitat — the wild green grass is tall and rabid enough for the wolf to tuck himself and his threatening aura to hunt for its prey. The stagnant air above is momentarily livened by the panic stricken birds but the wolf remains unbothered, focused on its prey: a deer, in all its innocent oblivion, chewing from the grass a hazardous length away from where the eyes belonging to the wolf are peering from inside its green lush. The scent of that deer to the wolf is promising — moments before tucked into his hiding spot the wolf in all its slyness has slowly maneuvered its way through the bush leading itself closer to that deer. The wolf lingers patiently for the propitious moment to escape his hiding to lynch upon its prey. He is not one bit intimidated by his circumstance — confident in being able to catch that prey. The odds are all in his favor; the deer won’t fight back, because they aren’t aware of his presence. This system is a secret known only to the wolf. There is no chance that the deer could escape this scenario alive what with the ability of speed in favor of that wolf and the lack of speed (and awareness of the wolf’s presence) the deer simply does not possess: that wolf has found a weakness he will exploit. So he leaps out from the denseness of his spot aiming flawlessly upon its prey, starting with its sharp teeth, continues to chew on its flesh, devouring the full control and dominance it has upon its target. That moment for the predator is filled with certainty, of satisfaction. A predator continues to prosper in the wilderness.
There is a reason as to why God — the higher power, the universe, whatever you will — created the predator-prey relationship on Earth. That is undeniable; the roles of predator and prey are instilled in our psyches — marked onto us, stamped on our foreheads like labels. The obvious answer is for the thriving of that predator; that prey is the fundamental basic need for their hunger, and in a more wider sense: life. That prey is a necessity. And this process or system of life so happens make up a civilized society. How unfortunate! But it is an unfortunate truth. Why should there be a demographic in the civilized society that is taken advantage of, exploited, for that environment to flourish? Who will take care of the prey? These are thinking, feeling, living things that process emotions. But the predator continues to prosper in his environment at the cost of the prey(s) he is willing to lynch upon.
When Harvey Weinstein and his allegations became the foundation of the #MeToo movement there uncovered an entire history of power abuse, unwanted sexual advancements, exploitation — dried prey blood, splattered on the walls of a corrupt industry he has created. He would lure his preys like a skilled predator; mimicking that wolf, searching for the weakest from the herd: actresses just taking off with their careers, female journalists presuming they were privileged enough to converse with a Hollywood mogul, businesswomen hoping to pitch a deal with a predator disguised in the cloak of a businessman, female directors and producers looking to work with an Oscar magnate — his prey were women. And he would put on differing facades to approach these women but all with a similar system: luring them into a private corner, behind closed doors, concealing his dominance, searching and waiting (im)patiently for that propitious moment: to devour the full control and dominance he has upon his victims. His victims would describe how he lured them into that corner of the blood stained wall: he would invite women into hotel rooms, ‘he was calm and collected about it’ knowing his dominance up against the victim’s vulnerable position, asking for massages — it makes you think: why was one victim not enough?
And it is rather degrading to identify these female victims in the analogy as a herd of deers but it is important to note that through this imagery could we distinctly see Weinstein as that apathetic, ruthless wolf that thrives off of greed; an insatiable beast. His dominance rooted firmly in the foundation of that industry. How was he able to do it? The money and fame was one obviously known factor for it but when a group of female victims become taunted by the torments of one predator it seems impossible that his money and fame was the only means responsible for the splattered blood on the walls of that industry. With the power this predator possessed he was able to create an ecosystem that protected him — an environment that enabled his behavior was what continued decades worth of traumatized women, tormented by the horrors of a mass predator. There is a pack of wolves present in that industry, driven by the same greed, being fed blood money from this dastardly predator. And were there no efforts to eliminate him? Like the panic stricken birds livening the air above that mysterious wolf on his hunt in the wilderness, the predator will remain unbothered — this led to lawsuits filed, employees fired and sound individuals threatened with non disclosure agreements. Weinstein’s unending supply of power was able to shoot the chattering birds dead in order for him to continue his hunt for more prey.
For the wolf that exists in the wilderness food could become difficult to find as he is required to forage hundreds and thousands of square kilometers of its natural habitat in the wild if it was to be successful — and that eventually becomes the basis of the wolf’s being: a world set out to hunt and consume lives. And this is what predators of the wilderness attempt to achieve: success. Success in lynching its prey, it is what sexual predators in their own environment they thrive in look forward to; only with success could they continue their quest. In a civilized society the fundamental element is a successful individual or group of people. This forms the base of that society. There is a need for their success in order for the society to function and that functioning environment is based off of the successful individual’s predatorial behavior, exploitative events and inhumane decisions. However, their preys look to succeed too! Initially they will look to succeed in persisting in that ecosystem, but once they are aware they are being pursued by a predator the prey will undoubtedly look to succeed to escape it. It is a predictable and mundane goal that the necessity for an individual is to succeed. This is simply what everyone desires which enables civilization.
It is obvious now that in a civilized society there is a predator that will exploit and use its power against its prey, but the known sexual predator however was successfully thrown into prison after an entire cultural movement. This took numerous attempts for his victims to overcome — but like a herd of deers knowing how to react around the emergence of a wolf, that wolf starts chasing its target but soon more deers from the herd will amalgamate themselves into hunting after that wolf, eventually surrounding themselves around the predator, the hooves of the deers stomping on the ground of what once was the wolf’s declared habitat, composing their own chorus of vibrations on the ground and the wolf is now terrified: the deers have successfully captured him.
It took a cultural phenomenon claiming #MeToo, hundreds of sexual abuse victims, dismissed evidence, and innumerable amounts of trials to finally remand Weinstein into prison in February 2020. His participators of a great current of corrupt civilized connections versus the chorus of victims that accused him of his crimes delayed a long overdue conviction, but just like the wolf encircled by the herd of deers a predator will be caught.
An article from Vulture in mid-April (2021), a month curated for sexual assault awareness headlined an update of the predator from the slammer: ‘Harvey Weinstein has Lost 4 Teeth in Prison.’ It makes me ponder: what would a sexual predator need his teeth for in prison? He has used it far too many times when he was free. Or is there more victims for him to scavenge and prey upon in his cell? I say remove his remaining teeth! For even the pain from that torturous act won’t compare to the trauma and suffering his victims have to live with for the rest of their lives. As the audience of his work, movies that receive Oscar buzz and someone from the crowd of au courant followers of the #MeToo movement, Weinstein created a ‘civilized’ society at the expense of his preys; he was a successful mogul in the movie industry he partly created.
To people who hold a significant amount of power, exploitation is a necessary element for civilization, it stretches back into history: colonialism. And the successful group of people will make sure they triumph in doing what they do so long as they succeed — the means and lengths would not matter to them, even at the cost of the wellbeing of other parties which they would not care to consider and empathize on. There is an uncanny resemblance from wildlife to how humans civilize themselves; an exploitative principle amongst humans that are predatory. Some (or most) societies thrive on the predatoriness of it all, and the civilized society persists. To consider all instances of the sexual predator and the wolf that lingers in the wild, the insatiable greed they possess, the dominance they conquer in their own ecosystems and the prey they taunt and horrify, the presence of these entities prove that both wilderness and civilization share the same element of the untamed.