Trump vs. Weinstein: The Double Standard

Logan Van Lindt , Reporter

“I just start kissing them… I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything… grab ‘em by the p***y,” 45th President Donald Trump stated in the 2016 Access Hollywood Tapes. 23 women have accused President Trump of sexual assault, yet he remains free of consequences.

Around the one year anniversary of these tapes, Harvey Weinstein, a hollywood producer, lost his job, social status, and respect after the first 2 women accused him.  It is inspiring to see so many victims speak up about their experiences with such a terrible man. Weinstein has been rightfully ruined.

So why hasn’t President Trump suffered any consequences?

Because the accusations and tapes occurred before his Presidency, I do not find his power and privilege to be a valid excuse.

Let’s look at the disconnect between the two cases- The White House defended President Trump by saying the women are “lying”, and President Trump has served almost a year in office without being reprimanded. Weinstein’s legal team denied the allegations as well, and his life was ruined. To find out why this double standard exists, I did my own research.

The timeline for President Trump starts on Oct. 6th, 2016. The now infamous Access Hollywood Tapes showed President Trump bragging about doing whatever he wants to women. This prompted numerous women to speak up about President Trump’s harassment, starting with Jessica Leeds, just six days after the tapes were released. Leeds, now 75, said that in 1980 President Trump groped her on a plane. “He was like an octopus…his hands were everywhere” Leeds said.

This was published in the New York Times. In response President Trump slandered the paper, saying that the “entire article [was] fiction”. Since then, 23 women have accused President Trump of similar incidents, and President Trump has said they were desperate women searching for “10 minutes of fame” and claimed they were paid by Hillary Clinton to sabotage his campaign.

The timeline for Weinstein starts on Oct. 5th, 2017. The New York Times published an article containing allegations from multiple women, including actresses like Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd. The article included stories of Weinstein forcing women to watch him commit lewd acts.

Since the initial story, Weinstein denied the charges, his lawyer resigned, and many more women have shed light on their own stories regarding Weinstein. Women have said they turned down millions of dollars in turn for their silence. Some have even shared their stories despite accepting money for silence.

Bill Clinton was accused of sexual assault multiple times and has made settlements out of court to silence women. He never suffered any consequences, much like President Trump. With this information at hand, I have determined it was a matter of publicity and political power.

After all, much of President Trump’s campaign was spent attempting to discredit his opponents. His supporters were much more receptive to him blaming the accusations on Hillary Clinton than if he admitted to assaulting those women.

Since President Trump was constantly on the news about the many controversial things he said, the allegations were lost amongst the constant media coverage. In contrast,  Harvey Weinstein was not a big figure in the news until the allegations came out, meaning for many, their first impression of him was that of a horrible person.

It has been over a year since the Access Hollywood Tapes were released, and President Trump has not suffered any consequences.