Contradiction Between Men & Women in Brit Marling's Essay "Harvey Weinstein & the Economics of Consent": [Essay Example], 1570 words GradesFixer

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Contradiction Between Men & Women in Brit Marling's Essay "Harvey Weinstein & the Economics of Consent"

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After decades of harassment and assault, women began to stand up and say ‘time’s up’ for sexual abuse in the workplace as the “Me Too” movement swept across the nation in late 2017. These women comprised of some of the most prominent names in television, film, music and politics, and proved that abuse exists even among the most famous and wealthy. Most importantly, the #MeToo movement, originating on Twitter, showed that no woman is ever alone in the case of sexual abuse. Brit Marling, an actress, writer and producer, detailed her own traumatic experience with sexual harassment in her October 2017 personal essay published in The Atlantic, titled “Harvey Weinstein and the Economics of Consent.”

Throughout this essay, Marling describes some of the reasons as to why this “imbalance of power” exists among men and women, specifically in the film industry. In her essay, Marling effectively conveys the message that the demographics and representation of the film industry must change in order to put an end to the exploitation of minorities and fully reach equality, by tapping into the audience’s emotions, providing logical, common sense solutions, and using anaphora to stress the importance of diversity. Through the careful use of rhetorical techniques and strategies, Marling allows the audience to both relate to her, and draw inspiration in order to make a difference themselves.

In the essay “Harvey Weinstein and the Economics of Consent,” Brit Marling stepped forward regarding her personal experience with Harvey Weinstein – one of the most notorious men of the past two years. It was revealed in October 2017 that Weinstein, one of Hollywood’s most famous film producers and executives, had sexually abused over eighty women in the film industry after they began to publicly accuse and expose him. After news of the scandal erupted, not only was Weinstein expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and stripped of accolades and honors, but many more women became comfortable and confident in sharing their own stories of sexual assault and rape on social media using the #MeToo hashtag. The “Me Too” movement propelled many women of all occupations to share their own experiences with sexual assault, dubbed as the “Weinstein Effect,” and eventually evolved into the “Time’s Up” movement, signifying that it is time to put an end to this issue (Harvey Weinstein Timeline: How the Scandal Unfolded).

The “Time’s Up” movement was popularized and promoted at events worldwide, including award shows in which celebrities would wear all black, or white roses, to symbolize their solidarity with the movement and show their support. As detailed in her essay, Marling’s experience with Weinstein seems all too familiar in light of the events that unfolded over the past two years. As a result, Marling is able to effectively convey the use of pathos through hitting the audience’s emotions, as well as adequately providing her own resolution to the issue through her use of logos, which resonates with the audience and acts as a call to action. Throughout the piece, Marling delivers a powerful appeal to the emotions of the audience, using her experience with Weinstein as an example, in order to effectively get several points across. First of all, Marling expresses the fear that herself and many of the other dozens of women who were abused by Weinstein felt, offering an emotional appeal to the audience. Marling recalls the emotional story that many other women in her shoes faced, including being asked if she “wanted a massage” and being “paralyzed by mounting fear when [Weinstein] suggested we shower together” (Harvey Weinstein and the Economics of Consent).

Marling relies on the strategic use of imagery here to advance her use of ethos by successfully painting pictures in the minds of her audience, as if they were the ones in that situation themselves. Similarly, Marling taps into the emotions of her audience by stresses how, as she was on the verge of being raped, her only thoughts being fear of upsetting Weinstein – a powerful man who was abusing his position. She recalls feeling helpless, wondering “what could I do?” and how to “not offend this man who could anoint or destroy me?” (Harvey Weinstein and the Economics of Consent). By displaying how powerless and weak women feel when put in this position, Marling is able to connect to her audience successfully and allow them to think for themselves how they would feel if they were in the situation themselves. Additionally, Marling relies on her use of logos, or appeal to logic, to successfully compliment her use of ethos. She does so by issuing a series of facts that could lead to an end of the imbalance of power among men and women in the film industry, which will contribute ending the masses of sexual assault being experienced today.

To begin, Marling provides a background on the term ‘consent’ describing it as a “function of power” (Harvey Weinstein and the Economics of Consent). Marling continues by pointing out the harsh reality of consent, being that in many cases, women “do not have that power because their livelihood is in jeopardy” and because “they are the gender that is oppressed by a daily, invisible war waged against all that is feminine” (Harvey Weinstein and the Economics of Consent). This ideology is able to resonate with the audience being that any females listening could easily relate. Additionally, Marling provides the reasonable resolution to the problem: diversity in film. This solution is desperately needed, as Marling points out, “women and men in power need to turn around and hire more women, especially women of color, especially women who have not grown up with economic privilege,” in order to put an end to this extreme imbalance of power we see daily (Harvey Weinstein and the Economics of Consent). In order to convey her use of logos effectively, Marling points out the facts: as of 2017, women make up “only 23 percent” of the Directors Guild of America and “only 11 percent are people of color” (Harvey Weinstein and the Economics of Consent). Additionally, Marling explains another common sense solution to this issue – stop supporting gender oppression on the big screen.

Marling challenges her audience, saying that if they “don’t want to be a part of a culture in which sexual abuse and harassment are rampant, don’t buy a ticket to a film that promotes it,” and calls on the audience to imagine more films that “don’t use exploitation of female bodies or violence against female bodies as their selling points,” as films with a gender and racial balance “better reflect the world we all actually live in” (Harvey Weinstein and the Economics of Consent). This also delivers an important point from an economic stance, as we unknowingly contribute to supporting this imbalance by paying to see these films. By calling on her audience this way, Marling is able to effectively communicate directly through logic, which will not only undoubtably get her point across clearly, but also lead to action among her audience. Moreover, Marling successfully implements the use of anaphora to relay the importance of diversity in the film industry.

Throughout the essay, Marling emphasizes “straight, white men” by saying the phrase repeatedly. In doing so, Marling is proving her point that these types of people are the ones leading not only the film industry, but the majority of occupations in the world. Because of this, women, people of color, and other minorities seem silenced. At one point, Marling explains how “straight, white men tend to tell stories from their perspective, as one naturally does” showing that women, for example, will not see their own representation (Harvey Weinstein and the Economics of Consent). Furthermore, Marling recalls auditioning for roles titled “Bikini Babe 2” and “Blonde 4,” demonstrating that women are typically seen as secondary, or used simply for “advancing the plot” (Harvey Weinstein and the Economics of Consent). This shows that while women may be represented on the big screen, they are still stereotyped or shown in a different light than men. Similarly, women being casted as secondary characters are showing viewers that women cannot amount to more than that. Overall, the repetitiveness of the phrase “straight, white men” in this essay allows the audience to take note of the prominence these types of people have in the industry, as well as their own lives – something that must change to create a more inclusive world.

Ultimately, throughout Brit Marling’s essay “Harvey Weinstein and the Economics of Consent,” several important points are successfully delivered through the use of persuasive and powerful rhetorical techniques. The potent use of emotional appeal generated by Marling allows her to successfully connect with her audience on a personal level, further allowing them to understand and relate to her story. The similar use of logos in the essay, in which Marling described the logical way to end the issue, inspires the audience to take this newfound knowledge and make differences themselves. Finally, the strategy of repeating “straight, white men” enables Marling to subconsciously deliver the most important point of the essay: diversity is desperately needed in the film industry, and elsewhere in order for change to occur.

In summation, Brit Marling successfully uses a multitude of rhetorical strategies and techniques to convey her significant points regarding the need for diversity in the film industry, which, as she believes, will ultimately put an end to the imbalance of power among sexes, races, and sexual orientations in Hollywood.

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Contradiction Between Men & Women in Brit Marling’s Essay “Harvey Weinstein & the Economics of Consent”. (2020, April 30). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 28, 2021, from
“Contradiction Between Men & Women in Brit Marling’s Essay “Harvey Weinstein & the Economics of Consent”.” GradesFixer, 30 Apr. 2020,
Contradiction Between Men & Women in Brit Marling’s Essay “Harvey Weinstein & the Economics of Consent”. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 28 Jan. 2021].
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