Today’s quote came to us from famed fashion designer Donna Karan. But read on to understand why I put her quote in the past tense.
In Ms. Karan’s effort to explain away Harvey Weinstein’s brutally disgraceful behavior (decades long – and now several women have come forward to claim he raped them), here is what she said:
‘I think we have to look at ourselves. Obviously, the treatment of women all over the world is something that has always had to be identified. Certainly in the country of Haiti where I work, in Africa, in the developing world, it’s been a hard time for women.
‘To see it here in our own country is very difficult, but I also think how do we display ourselves? How do we present ourselves as women? What are we asking? Are we asking for it by presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality?
‘And what are we throwing out to our children today about how to dance and how to perform and what to wear? How much should they show?’
Does Donna Karan have a point?
Albeit made for the wrong reasons/in support of the wrong person, yes she does. The more sensually a woman presents herself the more she is likely to generate prurient interest. And the younger the girls are who wear suggestive clothing….you can figure out the rest.
But is this a justification for Harvey Weinstein’s apparently non-stop sexual harassment and maybe even rape, of countless women over what appears to be a decades-long period of time? Absolutely not.
If you leave your wallet on a table and walk away for a few minutes, you’re certainly increasing the likelihood you will be robbed – i.e. “asking for it”. But that doesn’t change the fact that, if it happens, it’s robbery.
In any event, Ms. Karan either quickly came to her senses or was read the riot act by one or more acquaintances (maybe a PR professional among them), because she has now disavowed her statement, on the grounds that – get ready for a surprise – she was taken out of context.
In a statement Monday, Karan said her remarks were taken out of context and don’t represent her feelings. She says she believes “sexual harassment is NOT acceptable and this is an issue that MUST be addressed once and for all regardless of the individual.”
Karan says she’s “truly sorry to anyone that I offended and everyone that has ever been a victim.”
Translation: “Uh…sorry, Harvey. I hope the bus wheels don’t wrinkle your designer shirt.”
Donna Karan wins Quote Of The Day “honors” for parlaying her amazingly obtuse defense of Harvey Weinstein with an amazingly trite and stale disclaimer. Two amazings, however negative they may be, are enough to get her the “win”.