Anthony Bourdain Has Advice Every Man Should Follow in the Wake of the Harvey Weinstein Scandal

On the heels of the Bill O’Reilly and Harvey Weinstein scandals and the social media campaign #MeToo, New Orleans restaurateur John Besh stepped down this week amid charges his company ignored claims that he and other men had abused their female employees. His resignation merely confirmed what women already knew: misogyny happens every day, in every industry. So what’s the right way for good men to speak out?

Slate asked Anthony Bourdain for his views on Besh and the spotlight that's been placed on prominent predators. Bourdain, the star of his own show on CNN, is a longtime critic of what he calls the “institutionalized meathead culture" in the restaurant industry. He’s also become involved in the story in a very personal way: his girlfriend Asia Argento, an Italian actress and director, accused Weinstein of rape in Ronan Farrow’s New Yorker expose.

Bourdain’s opinions on the subject are enlightening:

“I never wanted to be part of bro culture. I was always embarrassed. If I ever found myself, and I mean going way back, with a group of guys and they started leering at women or making, 'Hey, look at her. Nice rack,' I was always, I was so uncomfortable. It just felt, it wasn’t an ethical thing; it was that I felt uncomfortable and ashamed to be a man and I felt that everybody involved in this equation was demeaned by the experience.”

He further elaborated:


Yes, yes, Anthony, a thousand times, yes! What’s so refreshing about Bourdain’s introspection is that it’s a far cry from the positions many men feel they have to take amidst the sexual assault conversations: defense of their own behavior, or overly protecting the women around them to the point where they become male-saviors. As writer Helen Rosner wrote in the above thread: “It is so simple and so profound: If marginalized people in your life aren't talking to you about their unease, it's because you're part of it.”

If Harvey Weinstein, #MeToo and the surrounding controversies accomplish one thing, may it lead men to reflect on their own possible complicity in these kinds of crimes. 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.