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March 12, 2020 Uncategorized No Comments

As the catchphrase ‘ Words can make a difference’ used to highlight the writers in the NZ Festival of the Arts  in Wellington at present, the book  Catch and Kill surely is one where this truth is illustrated. So it  is timely to comment on Ronan Farrow’s book as Harvey Weinstein faces a lengthy jail term for his predatory attacks on women. The title explains the way a crime can be caught and the facts killed by unscrupulous men (Lawyers). It gives a good insight into how Old boy networks and other factors can repress justice.

Ronan Farrow, an investigative journalist began researching and interviewing woman in the light of many rumours about this Hollywood mogul. In the process he was followed by private investigators and lost his job at the NBC the TV network where he was an anchorman.  Despite this he continued to pursue this story until it was eventually broken in The New York Times.

How powerful men can avoid justice.

From the threat of slut shaming  the woman if the story was made public to the use of his influence to ensure woman who did not accede to his unwanted advances, lost any career opportunities. But what disturbs me most is the system where the use of large pay outs, in this case women, are forced to keep their silence. Non-disclosure agreements may give a degree of redress but gag orders allow the abuse to continue.

I see this as an issue that not only allowed Harvey Weinstein to evade prosecution for so many years but I can see how many times these gag orders in our societies have allowed unfair practices to continue. After reading this book I believe that this way of dealing with issues should be totally outlawed.  Sure recompense can be appropriate but non-disclosure orders do not make for good justice.

Congratulations Ronan Farrow for this book, you did deserve the Pulitzer  Prize along with Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey  for making this abuse public.

So join us at the book club in the Library 10am on March 13 th.  Words can make a difference!

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