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To read more about Episode 207, visit the main episode page.
Michael Moore [00:01:08] This is Rumble with Michael Moore, and I am Michael Moore. Welcome, everyone. Last week, we aired part one of our conversation with Rebecca Traister of New York Magazine, and if you listened last week, you know that we had quite a discussion about her recent piece in New York Magazine about Joe Biden’s first 6 months in office. But as we were wrapping that up during the taping of that podcast, I had to ask her about the Me Too movement and her thoughts on the progress or not progress that we’ve made since 2017. And I did this because she has been one of the most thoughtful writers on this subject. But also for years, Rebecca has done important journalism on gender and feminism.
Michael Moore [00:02:07] And to have her on my podcast, I thought, well, this is an important opportunity to talk about an issue that I think all of us agree, we should continue to talk and do things about, especially in this week of Andrew Cuomo. But it’s not just Andrew Cuomo. As we know, there’s 1,000s of little Andrew Cuomo running around everywhere in this country, on this planet. So that’s why we have to keep this as one of the discussions that we have, and one of the action items that we all have to agree to do front and center. So anyway, so I was just having this conversation with her on last week’s podcast about Biden, which was what we had intended the entire episode to be about, and then I just randomly, I just wanted to ask her about, you know, since all this writing that she had done leading up to 2017 and Harvey and all this and and since then, what did she think?
Michael Moore [00:03:10] What did she think about where we’re at right now? And this question turned into an unplanned and revealing 40 minute discussion and not just about Me Too, or Harvey Weinstein. It is about that, too, but but also just about the sexual harassment that we, she, and I, and you out there listening to this, that we’ve all been witness to. For so many years. But in her case and in my case, the sexual harassment that we’ve been witness to in our so-called progressive or liberal media. That we don’t talk about too much. Because it’s not a pretty story. You know, a story about how the left and liberals often don’t want to discuss what we all know to be going on, so we just dove right into it, and since this ended up being its own conversation for 40 minutes, we here at Rumble world HQ decided to air it as its own episode and to do that sort of as a part two of Rebecca Traister on Rumble. And that’s what we’re doing today. After you listen to this and I encourage you to please give it a listen, because things are said, important things are said, and revealing things are said about…she and I as two of many witnesses to what has gone on and in one particular case that I was privy to in our so-called liberal progressive media.
Michael Moore [00:05:05] Now, when we’re done at the end of here, at the end of the episode, I will share with you some final thoughts that I’ve had since we recorded this and about what we all need to do to keep paying attention to this very important issue. So you will hear that at the end of today’s episode.
Michael Moore [00:09:56] You know, you have been such an important part of the thinking and the writing of what we now call the Me Too movement, but you were Me Too before there was Me Too. You were writing about these things and about as you put it back I don’t know where I was just going through some of your old material here today, the lecherous powerful men that determined how things ran and especially in the media. But your writing on this was so powerful so that when Harvey Weinstein, when this whole thing happened, you were such a good place to go to for all of us, I think, to kind of wrap our heads around, you know, what do we do about this? This happened so fast, it seemed, although it was 100s of years in the making. But there you were with this. And I’m just curious because, you know, they extradited him, Harvey Weinstein, to California here. And he’s now going to be tried out there. He’s got 23 years in prison that he’s got to do in New York State and now with both rape and sexual assault in California, they’re going to put him on trial there.
Michael Moore [00:11:18] I’m just, you know, you had written I remembered about, you know, your own personal run-ins with him. And I think any of us who are in any whether we’re in entertainment or film or journalism, especially if you are based in New York City, you know, it seems like everybody’s got a Harvey story. But where were these stories? Men, all of us have to accept our share of the responsibility, even if it was our ignorance or not seeing it now or just, you know, I lost a job back in the 80s, I had become the editor of a magazine. And one day the women, the staff, the female staff came in, shut the door to my office. And I don’t know, there were a dozen, 15 of them. And they said that they were going to do a walkout because of the way that they were being treated by this one particular executive. And then they told me these stories and I said, oh, jeez. I mean, I’d only been on the job like three weeks. And I said, don’t hang on, just let me go over, I’m going to get in a taxi and go over to where the owner of the magazine lived. I called him before I left and said, I need to come over and talk to you. And I went over to talk to him, came and I told him what women had said, the way that they’re being treated, the way that they were being used and abused. And he said to me, what are you doing listening to these women, they’re always complaining about something? Oh, and by the way and then he adds this weird thing, he says he’s agreed to go to counseling. And I said, well, for what? You just said that there’s nothing to worry about. And then you’ve got him in counseling. I mean, there’s something very wrong here and you’re going to need to fix this. And he said, no, you are management, you are management. You’re the editor of this magazine. And you are to do what we say. And they have a union. They can go to the union. I left there, I was so stunned by this and I was fired maybe a week or so later. I’m one of the reasons they said it was because of I was collaborating with the union and all I was trying to do was listen and try to fix this thing that just being this young person from the Midwest and being who I was. But man, Rebecca, any man who’s listening to this now knows none of this is new. This has gone on for so long. And most men, good men, decided the way to handle it was to turn the other way.
Rebecca Traister [00:14:21] So the story you just told begins to get at the question that you posed at the beginning, which is: How did Harvey, how were there all these stories? But for so many years there wasn’t a public story. Right? The question, the story you just told about your experience at that magazine begins to get at that, because so much of this is about power. But I would also say that you did see some of this behavior, because there is we’ve the conversation around Me Too has gotten so like the period in which and again, I think it was a window that was opened and sometimes it gets opened a little bit again, but then it closes again. Right? Because I know as somebody who’s reported on this stuff, like one of the horrors of this is that what’s actually been written, it feels like there was this flood of stories about zillions of people. Right? Most not all of them men. And yet, truly, when I tell you that when you look below the surface, the number of stories that that many of us know in life, but also as reporters who’ve I mean, it’s just it takes your breath away. Like, how much about many, many other people just can’t be reported. Right?
Rebecca Traister [00:15:34] There still, there are people out there who are Harveys who like people know about and have lots of stories, but there’s a degree of reportability, right? There’s a degree of how can you get people to go on the record? And because these stories are fundamentally about power abuse and the abuse of power by the powerful people who control paycheck’s, control raises, who you know, and then the people whose paychecks are controlled by the powerful have families and have medical bills and need health insurance because our health insurance in this country remains connected to employment in horrible ways, like there are so many. The way the systems all conspire to silence people. And that’s before you even get to the sort of common practice of NDA’s. But it’s all about power abuse.
Rebecca Traister [00:16:23] And while the conversation about Me Too, which again, is like only a corner of the conversation that needs to be had, but yet people still feel overwhelmed by it and tired of it. Right? But the conversation about Me Too got so much better at talking about sexualize power abuse, but we haven’t completely reckoned with how that kind of abuse of power with like like material ill effects on human beings and on systems, corrosive effects isn’t just limited to the kind of Harvey Weinstein serial violent rapist category of abuser, right? And that it is also, I mean, I wrote a long story earlier this year about Cuomo and the sort of and I think that there was an attempt to understand a lot of the stories that were being told about Andrew Cuomo is just through the lens of like a Me Too sexualized power abuse and not the way that in fact and there are some stories about him that fit that model. But, in fact, there are so many other stories that were just about how we understand power, which is he yells at people, he’s a bully, he plays hardball. He’s hard knuckled. Right. The kind of stuff that you understood to be normal about Harvey, because we are raised to really dangerously connect nasty, damaging, cruel behavior from the powerful to the less powerful as not only normal, but somehow admirable a signal of authority and in some cases, genius, greatness. Right? Like, oh, he’s an eccentric movie mogul. He throws a stapler at somebody.
Michael Moore [00:18:03] And you can see this around the reporting around Scott Rudin and people like Cuomo and whether or not the accusations about those people also entail, as they did with Harvey, violent, sexualized assault. Right? And so the broader question that we need to get better at having and it’s far more uncomfortable because it’s in all realms of our lives, it’s many more of our politicians, it’s the bosses at the companies, it’s our partners, it’s our friends. It’s our colleagues. It’s sometimes ourselves. Right? It’s like how have people who have accumulated power also been taught that the way to build their power is to diminish everyone else’s? Right? And it takes a million forms, but that is a deeper and more uncomfortable inquiry. And that is not to take away from the absolutely crucial work around specifically sexualized assault and harassment. Right? But I would argue that the things, lots of, the violent rape was not public. And there were reporters to be clear, there were reporters who tried to get that story for decades, just as there are reporters right now as we speak trying to tell stories similar or equivalent or comparable about many other powerful people, but it is incredibly difficult to get those stories and to tell them, safe to protect those who are taking risks in coming forward with them, right? There’s a lot of work that journalists have to do to be responsible, not only to readers, but to the sources who are taking real risks. Right? Challenging powerful people comes with real risk.
Michael Moore [00:19:57] Right, right, well, but the story I told you what, I mean, I know this is many, many years ago, but what could I, I was brand new there, I hardly knew everybody’s name, and I lost my job – and then I’m just asking myself right now, why aren’t you saying the name of the magazine?
Rebecca Traister [00:20:19] Why don’t you say the name of the magazine? Tell me the name of the magazine?
Michael Moore [00:20:23] Mother Jones. Mother Jones. And so when I was fired, I came to New York to see if I could get a job. And so I went in and met with people, editors, publishers of the top liberal, left magazines in New York – The Nation, Village Voice, etc. And finally, the person at The Nation said to me, look, there’s no way we could hire you because Mother Jones is the largest circulation liberal left magazine in the country. And we need their mailing list to get new subscribers. And I’m just gonna’ be honest with you and we can’t lose that. And so it’s just not gonna’ happen. I’m sorry that you’ve had to go through this?
Rebecca Traister [00:21:12] Was this Don Hazen? I mean, he’s since been, this is I mean, I’m just curious because in fact, there has been incredibly powerful reporting on Don Hazen. I don’t know what years you’re talking about here.
Michael Moore [00:21:26] Yes, it was Don. He was the publisher and women on the staff had come in and said that they were going to walk out, not work at Mother Jones any longer and have a very, very loud and visible strike because of his treatment of them and, you know, you had to be a certain way and do certain things if you were going to, you know, I mean, they laid it all out. It was just awful. And when I laid it out to Adam Hochschild, the owner of the magazine. And he was like, why are you listening to them and not dealing with this? And he’s getting help and et cetera, et cetera.
Rebecca Traister [00:22:11] And what year was this?
Michael Moore [00:22:17] 1986.
Rebecca Traister [00:22:17] So, you know, so did you follow the reporting on Don Hazen during Me Too? Right, yes, so and the NPR episode of This American Life with the five women who tell their stories about Don Hazen is an incredibly powerful piece of radio. I mean, it was just I think about it all the time.
Michael Moore [00:22:36] It’s very powerful.
Rebecca Traister [00:22:38] So that’s an example, right, of exactly what we’re talking about. ’86. You knew this about Don Hazen, and it sounded like you were going toward the question of like, what could you have done differently? Right? Is that what you were going to ask?
Michael Moore [00:22:50] Well, yes. And I went to these other magazines. I told them the story. They would just, they wanted me out of the office as quick as possible. And then I’m unemployed for the next half year. But, yeah, this is what I was asking you, I think, because I think people listening to this right now and I wrote this when the Harvey piece came out in The Times, and I think it was October of 2017, I said, am I on Facebook?
Michael Moore [00:23:22] All of you men and women, I’m certain, especially talking to you men, have witnessed the treatment of women in the office and at work over the years, but we now all have a camera in our pocket. And you can take that camera out at any time when you see this kind of behavior, when you hear the kind of language, when you see that inappropriate touch, you can film that and post it. And I encourage you to do it. And this needs to be exposed and it needs to continue and it can’t just stop with Harvey. But I just thought there’s something we can all do about this and not just let this just, as you say, be reduced to just the Me Too thing or, you know, any time something happens now, well, that’s a Me Too thing and it’s like it’s reduced…
Rebecca Traister [00:24:12] Right but that’s the whole desire. The reason it exists to begin with is because we don’t want to think about it, because we’re taught that this is how power works and it’s much easier to not have to deal with it because it’s hard. Like it is incredibly daunting and depressing and deflating. And it makes you feel bad. It doesn’t, there’s not, you know, and so people don’t want to think about it and they want to say, oh, Me Too. And they want and there’s, I mean, but this is all part of how we get that’s how – these are the level of forces at work. The one thing I would say, though, as far as what can a single person do, I often get asked because I’ve written because I wrote a book about the role of anger. And specifically there’s all kinds of roles of anger that are really powerfully damaging. My book was about, you know, the kind of progressive anger, you know, anger at an inequity and anger at injustice and how that anger can shape culture and politics and the value of protest and the value of fury in terms of making change.
Rebecca Traister [00:25:24] And very often people ask me that kind of practical question, that you know what should I do in this situation and very often it’s women saying: What do I do, I’m so angry, I learned I’m being paid this and should I go in to my boss, and then often the question is, is it my job? Is the thing to do here to challenge the boss, write a version of what you say you did in this situation. Write. And I can never like my role here is the opposite of prescription, I’m not good at giving advice. I would never tell anybody ever in any circumstance that the correct or moral thing to do is to challenge authority, because it’s dangerous. Right? There’s a reason you’d never tell somebody like you, no matter how correct they are, to challenge a person, to challenge a person who makes them vulnerable. And so it’s just right, you get fired. And if you’re in an economically precarious situation, you have people depending on you for money that you’re going to lose like these are, there’s real peril here. You can’t telling somebody to challenge a cop who arrests them for no reason, like that’s endangering a person’s life. So you never tell somebody, I never, ever in a million years also, because it often doesn’t work. Right? Because the person has power and when they’re directly challenged by an individual, great. They can fire you. They have power over you.
Michael Moore [00:26:54] The only thing I can say that’s remotely prescriptive because I’m terrible at any advice and there’s often not a good solution. Right? There’s often not like, well, the correct path…Was this right? No, if there were a correct path, a lot of us would have figured out what it was and I guess we would have fixed this. But one of the only ameliorative things you can do is to form connection with others, right? There’s a reason that coalition building, that there’s power in a union, right? So it’s often, I find, the power comes from communication and building networks of support among those who either experience being on the wrong side of power or are standing in solidarity with those who are on the wrong side of power, on the lesser side of power. Right? And because with those women and coming to you, that was an example of that. In fact, for them to some degree at work, they alerted you to the situation. They were coming to you together. Right? You might have reacted very differently if it was one person who had come to you. And so the job for a lot of us, including those of us, whether you’re a guy, whether you’re a white person, whether you’re a woman, who herself is a boss. And, you know, a lot of it is standing in coalition and great if it’s effective path. It’s not necessarily an individual challenge.
Rebecca Traister [00:28:24] It’s find the beginnings of organizing in coalition because that’s the only time tested method where those who have less power can gain power is by working together. And even if it doesn’t, by the way, the other again, going back to the sort of models of how to how to navigate injustice and not get destroyed or burned out, it’s like you’re also finding support with those other people, so that even if you don’t find the path to victory, you do find community.
Michael Moore [00:29:03] Yeah, I agree with that, and I’m thinking back to that time, even though I went to people that I thought would be understanding, these are, this is the left, we’re talking about liberals, you know. Why did you ask me about which year that was? Did you know him?
Michael Moore [00:29:23] No, I was curious because I know so much about the…Yeah, yes, and he did have this very terrible reputation for a long time before those stories came out, but I just was curious about how long, because when we started this portion of the conversation you were talking about, like, oh, there’s many years that Harvey was doing this and yet it was never public. And I was wondering about the year that this happened because it was like, right, that’s 1986 and yet he continued to have power in left media for decades after that. And so many other women experienced his behavior and suffered for it and professionally suffered for it, not just like oh they suffered emotionally, like you know, left the media.
Michael Moore [00:30:12] Right, people that might have been great reporters, writers, editors themselves, we’ll never know, we’ll never hear their stories because of that abuse that, you know, I learned of after only a few weeks there and then I was sent out to pasture, never to be heard from again. And I saw the stories when they came out and I thought, well, people have done the job here that needed to be done a long time ago. I told the people at The Nation and I told people in the Village Voice and I told others – and nobody and this is again, this is the mid 80s, and you may you may think that we were way down the road to Enlightenment by them, but to the younger people listening, I’m sorry to tell you that. And just, you know, looking back and again, this is like a very Harvey-like situation, not in terms of abusing women, but, you know, I was on Charlie Rose enough times to see how he treated people. I was on Matt Lauer enough times. He was the worst in terms of treating people. I’m not talking about, you know, his assaulting and other behavior, sexual abuse behavior. But just to staff, just to human beings, these are awful, awful people.
Michael Moore [00:31:44] And each of the ones that I have encountered because I’ve been on their show or because, you know, whatever, nothing surprised me in the sense, I didn’t know what I had learned through the reporting, wonderful, great reporting that was done, but nonetheless, it just has I wonder to this day: How much more of that obviously continues to go on, who is afraid to speak? And I think that was a great answer you just gave, that sense of community and doing it with others provides enough protection. Interestingly enough, as far as I can remember this, none of the women on the staff who came to me with all of this evidence lost jobs. We wouldn’t dare fire them because it became an issue and eventually some people wrote about it, but it wasn’t the focus. It wasn’t on this and it wasn’t on the anti-labor attitudes, etc. So I just don’t know. You know, I’m so glad that you came on my podcast today and it has made me think a lot about what else needs to be done on this issue, because what women today that work in the media, in film, in whatever, and of course, all other jobs and professions have to deal with this on a daily, weekly basis…
Rebecca Traister [00:33:18] And I want to say something also, because this portion started with you talking about Harvey being extradited. You know, I think a lot and, you know, during the sort of height of Me Too in the winter of 2017, you know, there was a lot of conversation about consequences, and obviously Harvey’s in jail, in prison and being extradited to face more charges. But I have really and I’ve always said that I’m not, I hate the burden of what are the consequences, but I always think with Harvey and and others, him being in jail isn’t fixing this, right? And I have my own sort of always changing thinking and coming being very, very persuaded by the prison abolition movement and my own thoughts on criminal justice reform that I have become less and less enthusiastic about the idea that sending people to prison does anything…And it certainly and Harvey is a great example. Harvey went to prison and there are still, like we haven’t, so many of us still haven’t done the work of thinking about how we continue to support this behavior. Right?
Rebecca Traister [00:34:54] And you can’t just solve it by sending everybody who engages in it to prison, because so much of the engagement, so much of the power abuse isn’t going to take the form of Harvey violently raping people. You know, and it’s something I think about all the time, because that’s another question that I get asked all the time. Like how and you know? Prison isn’t the answer, right, and you can’t can’t send everybody to prison. This just gets to a real point of upset for me. Because I think that we too often turn to a criminal justice system, and I do too, I haven’t, like my thinking on this has changed, I remember even within the past couple of years, I think gosh, was it in 2018 around the same time that Kavanaugh was convicted, I remember myself taking comfort in a different strain with the conviction of that Chicago police officer who killed Laquan McDonald. Like that was some kind of, I don’t mean, I didn’t revel in it, but like I remember feeling some kind of like, well, at least there’s accountability or something.
Rebecca Traister [00:36:11] And I’m like, my thinking on this changes all the time. And it’s certainly not my area of expertise at all. It’s something that I’m just sort of learning and in the process of being persuaded about, but I think about this with Harvey all the time. I remember the day that Harvey was sentenced to prison. And of course, I have so many friends and colleagues who are very involved, who felt some measure of joy, and I remember walking through the streets, getting out of the subway that day, I was meeting somebody for lunch and I saw people, like it had just happened, and there was like this weird joy. And I was like, I feel nothing here. I feel no joy. I feel no satisfaction that this guy’s going to prison, because I don’t think it’s going to fix anything.
Michael Moore [00:36:57] It’s not going to fix the main problem.
Rebecca Traister [00:36:58] And it just means another person in prison.
Michael Moore [00:37:01] It’s just another person in prison.
Michael Moore [00:37:03] And also because of the the sort of, you know, I remember him asking me to attend the amfAR benefit to raise money and to look for a cure or some help, HIV and AIDS, and I went there and there were other filmmakers, directors, people there, and Mathilde Krim Crem, who I don’t know if she founded amfAR, but she was the head of it, she was the driving force to try and save people’s lives. And she said to me that: you know, Harvey, here, for all of his bluster and his ways and whatever, he’s raised over a quarter of a billion dollars for us, and if there’s any like one person who’s more responsible for us, finally they were just developing the whole cocktail of drugs for people with HIV, and the reason that you and I and others have not been to a funeral…
Rebecca Traister [00:38:15] I have been, but yes, ok.
Michael Moore [00:38:21] A friend because of this? I’m so sorry. But, you know what I mean…
Michael Moore [00:38:28] When I first came to New York, it was every other month, I was at somebody’s funeral. I’m sorry I didn’t mean to be dismissive.
Rebecca Traister [00:38:35] No, no, no, no.
Michael Moore [00:38:44] Seriously, my condolences, I really feel bad having said that.
Michael Moore [00:38:46] But her point, she wasn’t saying it, this is all before he was arrested and all that, but it was like, she said, you know, there might be millions of people alive today and in the future because of what he’s done. And you know, really, I think, the world we live in and that and the people who do horrible things…And I said this to a friend, I said, well, you know, he was just doing that AIDS thing to make himself look good. It was a cover. I said, yeah, maybe, and then and then and then it’s kind of like, but whatever it was, the head of the organization is saying he is responsible for saving lives because of this and and just kind of trying to come to grips with that as a person, who I do believe we should abolish prisons – and that how do we deal with people like this in our society? Because we have to protect the other people, the victims, the vulnerable, etc. from people like him. We have a responsibility to do that, but do you get it, do you understand what I’m saying here?
Rebecca Traister [00:40:11] Well, this is this is about the stuff you’re saying about the kind of, the good that he did in the world via where he put money gets to one of the hardest things and this is the hardest, is that it’s not just the cartoon villains, right? It’s also, you know, and obviously Democrats have had to reckon with this during this whole period too and that’s one of the reasons we would rather just throw some cartoon villains in prison. Right? Then do the work of acknowledging that the good guys can also be the bad guys.
Rebecca Traister [00:41:00] And this is like, it’s ok to talk about those things and be honest about them and the complexity of it, but that’s also how power works. Like what you said to your friend about how he was doing this to cover it up, like he was giving, ok, lots of people do good work for all kinds of complicated reasons and we become dependent on people, whether they’re our bosses and whether they have us sign an NDA agreement or whether they like win us an Oscar and therefore we can’t ever tell the story about what they did to us or our friend or our girlfriend. Right? Like there is that kind of dependency and then there’s ideological dependency. Right? Look at the kinds of harassment and racism happening in your story about Don Hazen right within a left world, within unions, you know, it’s from people whose work changes the world in good global ways and whose behavior is part of a pattern of systemic discrimination and does horrifying damage to individuals and structurally within institutions and professions.
Rebecca Traister [00:42:20] You know, those can coexist. They do. And it’s really hard to unpack that. It’s really hard to unpack that. It’s one of the reasons Me Too is so uncomfortable for people like me to it’s because you’re looking not just at the cartoon villains, you’re looking at the lower level forms of abuse, harassment and discrimination and acknowledging that it’s not just the outsized movie moguls. Right? The Louis B. Mayer disciples, like Harvey Weinstein, who is like, oh, he’s larger than life. It’s your colleagues who you’ve, your own system working. The guys you have lunch with. Right? The people you came up with who also. You know, I don’t know, put their hand on their professional subordinate’s leg. And it’s not brutal rape, but it’s harassment and it’s part of why, you know, it’s part of all the systems that conspire to leave us with just 25 percent of women in Congress. Right? Like it is, are all parts of much bigger patterns that extend across professions and extend into all corners of our lives and our familial lives and our social lives and our work lives and our political and ideological lives.
Rebecca Traister [00:43:46] And it’s really hard to unpack because there’s not a simple path and there’s not a simple answer. And there’s not a simple like, what should I do in this situation? And it’s profoundly uncomfortable and it leaves us all implicated. And so nobody wants to do it. So it’s much easier to say. Oh, it’s another Me Too story or this is cancel culture or I’m so glad Harvey is in jail, that fixes it, right? Like there’s just we turn to the simpler fixes because the real fix is not easy and not right in front of us and not even necessarily available. And it requires deep introspection, all of us. Right? And reassessment of our place in the world and the very systems and people we hold dear and and feel strongly for.
Michael Moore [00:44:45] Wow, I didn’t. And then we’re going to get into this.
Rebecca Traister [00:44:55] Sorry, this is what you get. You get very tired Rebecca.
Michael Moore [00:44:57] No, I am so grateful for you. Long before this conversation, because I meant that when I said that, I love reading what you’ve written over the years. And it’s not just on this issue, but, you know, the things that you’ve said here and the things you’ve said when you’ve written these pieces, they are inspiring in the sense that all of us try to find our courage because we know what’s ahead for us if we if we decide to. You know, to speak out, and I always thought, well, someday I’m going to make a movie about this because this is, jeez, I had this executive producer, I had to fire him because he just kept making the men that like to make these kind of they like to tell sex jokes what they call jokes. They’re not jokes at all. And we were in the edit room, a couple of the women there and him and he was suggesting that we take a clip from this movie called Lipstick with Margaux Hemingway and Mariel Hemingway. And it’s a movie about rape. And he said we need a we need a good rape thing in here. It’s not bad rape. It’s a good rape. We just need a good rape joke or something here. And then I said, you know, it’s over. You have to leave. And I had to go through so much of whatever, we’re out, we’re out of time here, I’m going to talk about it at this point…
Rebecca Traister [00:46:41] And yes, that exists across the ideological spectrum. And that’s the hard part.
Michael Moore [00:46:46] Yes, that’s right. It’s on our side, too. And not just too, maybe especially, because it’s…
Rebecca Traister [00:46:54] Because it’s cloaked in something that supposedly smells better. Yes, I think that’s a mixed metaphor.
Michael Moore [00:46:59] No, no, that’s a perfect metaphor. A great one to go out on. I really thank you for coming on my podcast. But I think people, I hope will take away, especially what you said in terms of how to fight power when power is not good and evil and that the sense of community, there are other people there that share your feelings, that are going through what you’re going through. Organize, right. Organize, come at them because there’s more of you than there are of them. There’s always been more of you than there are of them, and you know, I want to live in a better world and I’m happy with some of the progress we’ve made. And I know how much of the fight that exists that’s ahead of us. So thank you for being there for us and for writing. Rebecca Traister, a great writer, now appearing in New York Magazine. But also, if you get a chance to read her books or go back and I’m going to Rebecca, I’m going to put a couple of links on this site. And you know what I think I’ll put up the link to This American Life.
Rebecca Traister [00:48:10] The Five Women link. It’s great.
Michael Moore [00:48:12] Yeah. The Five Women. Yeah, so people can hear this about the person, the publisher I was referring to. And silence is not an option.
Rebecca Traister [00:48:24] So thank you so much for having me. It’s been a pleasure.
Michael Moore [00:48:27] Thank you very much. Keep doing this excellent work. We need you.
Rebecca Traister [00:48:31] Bye.
Michael Moore [00:48:31] All right, be well.
Rebecca Traister [00:48:32] You too.
Michael Moore [00:48:34] Wow, so that was part two of my conversation with Rebecca Traister. As I mentioned at the beginning, I will add all those links that we discussed in this conversation that will be in the description page here of this episode. So if you want to read or listen to the back story, especially the This American Life piece on Don Hazen, that will be right there for you to click on and to listen to. I want to share, though, before we close a few final thoughts about all of this, about what you’ve just heard and maybe, you know where we go from here with it.
Michael Moore [00:49:44] So, listen, before we go, I just wanted to say just a few final words and there’s so much more to be said about this. There’s so much more. I know Rebecca has dealt with this issue for so many years and has written about it, and has investigated it. And I think anybody who is alive really has been a witness to sexual harassment, has been a victim of sexual harassment, and as men either have been sexual harassers, or stood silently by while women in the office, in the factory, wherever they were being mistreated. And I guess I didn’t plan on doing this today, but because she was here, I thought this is the perfect person to have this discussion with.
Michael Moore [00:53:22] And what do we do about it? And I thought that was very powerful, what she said about that when we band together. When women band together, when men band together with women as their strong allies. We have a way of fixing this, we have a way of making this better. And, you know, we live in a country where our Republicans in the Senate have once again blocked the reinstating of The Violence Against Women Act. This political party is intent on making sure that there is no law that protects women against men in a very specific way. It’s absolutely incredible the rest of the world looks at us like we are just out to lunch.
Michael Moore [00:54:26] Well, whether it’s this particular law, whether it’s all the other things that would benefit women, how about just putting the word woman in the United States Constitution? The way that it is in other democracies, but not in ours. So we still have the Equal Rights Amendment sitting there already with the 38 states it needs, that’s voted its approval and it’s still not part of our Constitution. And you know, I’ve talked a lot about that on Rumble, and we’re going to keep talking about it. But this just won’t happen with us just talking about it. And it was really powerful to hear Rebecca say that if we are just sitting back thinking, oh, we got Harvey in jail, problem solved. Who are we trying to kid?
Michael Moore [00:55:17] There’s a lot more to be done about this and frankly, we were talking to each other afterwards, we’re kind of tired of talking about it. We want real action taken and we want men, some of you, if you’re listening to this or if you know of these men in your family, at your workplace, in your neighborhood, you gotta’ call them out and you got to explain to them that those days are over. Sorry, I know I heard Cuomo, yeah, it’s how I was raised back in the day. You know, you gave her a little peck. No. No. Yeah, back in the day was pretty bad. And yes, most men were raised with attitudes that they had to change at some place along the line, we as men, all of us had to address this, still have to address it, and still must always acknowledge the privilege that we have still as men and especially as white men. How easily that door still opens for us, no matter what door it is we want to go through. I’m fed up with it, I don’t want to live in that world, I won’t live in that world, but I’m not going anywhere. So that means the world has to change. That has to and I have to be one of those change agents, as do all of you. Especially guys who are listening to this right now, come on. Come on. Come on. Enough.
Michael Moore [00:57:09] Enough of this, please. I’m going to revisit this, I have other stories to tell and I’m going to tell them and I’m going to name names and I’m sorry for where the chips fall, but I’m not and I’m not on some high horse here. Believe me, I’m not just running around pointing the finger. I just think it’s time, it was a long time ago for the silence to end. But we have to actively, proactively make it and I have a lot of thoughts this week as we go into the final weekend of the Olympics about our gymnastics team, about the way the women were treated. In our state, in Michigan and Michigan State University by a doctor there who raped them. As a doctor with our tax dollars, my money, your money, if you’re a Michigander, and I’m not going to get into that right now, but I started writing, I stayed up, I stayed up a couple of nights ago, because I wanted to see how she was going to do this, feeling so bad for her, for what she’s had to put up with, Simon, I’m talking about Simon Biles, and I started writing something that I will share with you in the next week or 2 here. I just can’t go on. Right? Not on my watch, not on your watch. The end. The end.
Michael Moore [00:58:56] God bless her and her courage, and shame on us for allowing all of this to go on for so long. My thanks to Rebecca Traister for being my guest here these past 2 weeks on Rumble. Great conversation. Hope to have her back on again and stay tuned in the coming couple of weeks because it’s time to blow this out of the water, not just this on this particular subject, but a whole bunch of other things. Silence is not an option.
Michael Moore [00:59:30] As I’ve said before, I want to save the America that we’ve never had. Thank you, my friends, for listening. Thanks to our executive producer, Basel Hamdan, editor and sound engineer Nick Kwas. And to all of you who listen to Rumble and who are supportive of my work, my gratitude, we have important work to do, and I am personally looking forward to it. Take care. I’m Michael Moore. This is Rumble.