Donna Karan Defends Harvey Weinstein’s Abuse of Women

In what can only be described as two lunatics enabling each other’s warped logic, fashion designer Donna Karan is defending movie executive Harvey Weinstein.

During a red carpet interview, she offered up some truly shocking ideas, claiming the victims of Weinstein’s sexual harassment and abuse were “asking for it” and stated: “You look at everything all over the world today and how women are dressing and what they are asking by just presenting themselves the way they do. What are they asking for? Trouble.”

This is really hard to believe when she is known for designing extremely provocative clothes and underwear. The fact that she also pretends to care about women’s rights and empowerment, yet defends a decades-long serial abuser, is laughable.

If Donna Karan was interested in dressing modestly, why didn’t she devote her career to making that type of clothing? The answer should be obvious. Her only interest is enriching herself financially, not helping women around the globe. To sell sexy clothes and then blame the buyers, telling them that they’re “asking for it,” is not just hypocritical, it’s sick.

After the Bill Cosby trial, one of the jurors said he doubted the accuser because she went to Cosby’s house wearing a shirt that had a bare midriff. This type of “Blame the Victim” thinking is so pervasive, even in the year 2017, that I seriously doubt it can be completely overcome, especially when celebrities and other influencers keep promoting it.

Let’s be clear, once and for all: No woman asks to be sexually harassed, sexually abused, and/or raped. It doesn’t matter what she’s wearing, if she agreed to a date, if she was drinking, if she’s big busted, if she was flirtatious…it just doesn’t matter! A woman’s body is not public property. She alone can decide who touches her.

While I am extremely disgusted by men who promote and condone this type of bad behavior, it’s even worse when a woman does it. Don’t tell me Donna Karan has never been in a situation that made her feel objectified and/or uncomfortable. Every woman has! She should be standing up for other women, that don’t have her money and status, that are truly vulnerable and have no voice. Instead, she sides with someone who deliberately abused his power, offering career advancement in exchange for intimate touching and sexual favors. (According to many sources, even famous actresses like Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan were caught up in his web of terror.)

As a society, we need to beat the drum that sexual harassment and abuse is not a joke, is not insignificant, and is not okay. This type of crime creates lifelong scars in victims that may never go away. Women deserve to feel safe in their own bodies just like men do. We shouldn’t have to agree to a Hollywood casting couch mentality, that judges women based on their looks alone. A job should be based on talent and marketable skills, not how well a woman performs between the sheets.

I applaud the victims for speaking out and Donna Karan should as well. Instead of judging other women, we need to embrace each other and be more loving and understanding because this issue threatens every single one of us.

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The Meshuga Nutcracker! (Hanukkah Musical)

What do you get when you combine Hanukkah with a classic ballet? A new family-friendly movie called “The Meshuga Nutcracker!”

Here’s some info from the website:

“The Meshuga Nutcracker!” is a full-length musical comedy that showcases eight stories that pay tribute to the first celebration of Hanukkah in the new state of Israel. It features the wonderfully silly sensibilities of the folklore of Chelm (a fictional town of fools) underscored by an invigorating Klezmer-ized orchestration of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite,” including original lyrics.

“Judah Maccabee’s triumphant saga and accounts of perseverance during the Holocaust emerge with a genuine sense of wonder as the Chelmniks pay tribute to the holiday. Add in dancing dreidels, singing sufganiot, and surprise guest stars and you have the perfect recipe for a holiday outing.

“It’s a show that’s really never been done before,” says Susan Gundunas, one of the stars of the ensemble cast. “Not just because there’s finally a big, beautiful show about Hanukkah in the same way there are big, beautiful shows celebrating Christmas, but also because the cast is singing an amazing challenging score that was originally intended for musical instruments. We get to sing the piccolo line and clarinet line of melodies you’ve had in your head forever but that have been wordless for hundreds of years. It’s a real treat to sing such melodious, grand music.”

The film is set to debut in movie theatres nationwide on December 19. I have always loved watching The Nutcracker ballet on TV every winter and I’m really curious to see what a Jewish version would look like. Very intriguing…

Books I Love – Botticelli’s Muse

While I enjoy learning about history, many books about the past are so incredibly dull and dry, it’s nearly impossible to finish them. Weaving actual events into a story with engaging characters is much more entertaining. That’s why I loved reading Dorah Blume’s new novel Botticelli’s Muse.

Botticelli’s Muse is the first of a three-volume series that takes place in Italy during the 1400’s. It focuses on Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli, his association with the Medici family of Florence, and the woman at the heart of his paintings.

At that time, patrons would commission artists to create specific works. If an artist lost their patron, they could no longer support their art, so finding and keeping one was a big deal! Botticelli learns this firsthand when he falls out of favor with his patron and has to then work with another whom he doesn’t care for that’s only half his age. This difficult situation hurts his creativity.

During a visit to a convent where his sister is a nun, Botticelli finds a weaver, Floriana, who is being held as a captive. Her only crime? Refusing to denounce her Jewish faith! Captivated by her beauty, she becomes his muse and inspires his famous painting La Primavera.

Due to the turbulent political climate, near stranglehold of the Catholic church, and the intense personalities of the two lovers, their relationship is extremely rocky.

Sounds incredibly juicy, right? And it is! Not only are the characters depicted in an intensely detailed way, the writing itself is almost lyrical. One sentence that really sticks in my mind reads: “The young woman heard the cry of locusts pulsating in the scorched air.” So amazingly vivid!

One would imagine that such a book would be difficult to write and I found the backstory to be almost as interesting. According to Dorah, Botticelli’s Muse took her over 20 years to complete, with the original seed being planted all the way back in 1963 during a trip she took to Italy at age 19. 

To accompany the novel, there are 5 free coloring pages available which are a lot of fun, too.

Anyone who enjoys historical fiction should definitely pick up a copy of Botticelli’s Muse. Learn more about the book and connect with the author on her website.