She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey
Published by Penguin Press on September 10th, 2019
Genres: Feminism, Non-Fiction
“But this was what everyone in the room, and more people beyond it now understood: If the story was not shared, nothing would change. Problems that are not seen cannot be addressed. In our world of journalism, the story was the end, the result, the final product. But in the world at large. The emergence of new information was just the beginning—of conversation, action, change.
I, like many people in the world, were captivated once the truth came out about Harvey Weinstein’s disgusting treatment of women over the years.
As someone who used to write entertainment news and have always been fascinated by Hollywood, I had read about the rumours of his behaviour. I paid attention to the jokes said by awards show hosts and the quips about him in scripted TV shows. But I had no idea about the horrors that would come to light.
In She Said, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey outline their investigation into the prominent Hollywood producer for the New York Times. During months of confidential interviews with top actresses, former Weinstein employees, and other sources, many disturbing and long-buried allegations were unearthed. And a web of onerous secret payouts and nondisclosure agreements was revealed.
This book tells a thrilling story about the power of truth, with shocking new information from hidden sources. Kantor and Twohey describe not only the consequences of their reporting for the #MeToo movement, but the inspiring and affecting journeys of the women who spoke up—for the sake of other women, for future generations, and for themselves.
Wow. She Said and Catch and Kill (I haven’t read this one yet, but I just bought it!) are probably the two most important non-fiction releases of 2019.
Even people (like myself) who are sympathetic to the victims of Weinstein have no idea what these women have to go through to tell their story.
It’s not just about trusting journalists to tell their story right. It’s being able to survive the aftermath of idiotic and ignorant people who threaten them for speaking up.
But what She Said also revealed is the hardwork of editors and journalists committed to exposing a gross abuse of power. And it was riveting to read about the painstaking labour that goes into vetting sources, scouring through documents, getting sources to trust them, and having faith that the sources won’t back out.
This book isn’t easy to read. It’s hard to stomach reading the accounts of the sexual harassment, assault, and rape. But what made me feel even worse was reading about all the people who enabled him. The people who protected him and actively worked to muzzle victims.
Despite the heavy subject matter, this is a story that immediately draws you in. You can’t stop reading because you eagerly await Kantor and Twohey to unlock more information to finish the puzzle.
Little by little, you watch as they connect the dots and slowly break down Weinstein’s protection.
And that final showdown between Weinstein, his team, and the New York Times? In one word: Epic.
To nitpick, I have to say I didn’t like the inclusion of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh near the end of the book.
It felt like a very abbreviated account of the complaint and how the hearing went. I think that is a story that deserves a book on its own. Although I do recognize Ford’s story was included since she’s included in the interviews at the end.
I will be seeing Twohey in conversation at the end of the month and I’m very excited to hear more about the process and what she has to say about what she’s seen in progress since.
I definitely recommend this book to anyone who’s tapped into the #MeToo movement. It’s an important puzzle piece to these stories we always read about in the news. I have nothing but respect for the people who worked on this story, but most of all, Kantor and Twohey’s persistence to pursue the truth. And this is why we can’t have people in office who threaten free press. After all, democracy dies in darkness.