‘This Doesn’t Mean He’s Not Guilty’: An Interview With Rowena Chiu, a Survivor of Harvey Weinstein

When Harvey Weinstein’s conviction was overturned by the New York Court of Appeals, the decision reverberated far and wide. For many survivors, the unraveling of the conviction proved, once again, the failed promise of criminal justice. This failure was felt most deeply by the more than 100 women who have accused Weinstein of assault and harassment. Among these women is Rowena Chiu, whose account helped expose Weinstein’s predations. 

In this moment of setback, I wondered whether Chiu would feel—understandably—defeated. Just the opposite is true. As Chiu told me, beautifully and powerfully, “There’s work to be done and we roll up our sleeves and we do it.”

Keeping Score: Abortion Bans Drive Away Young Workers; Far-Right Groups Mobilize to Suppress Voting Rights; Biden Has Confirmed 200+ Judges

In every issue of Ms., we track research on our progress in the fight for equality, catalogue can’t-miss quotes from feminist voices and keep tabs on the feminist movement’s many milestones. We’re Keeping Score online, too—in this biweekly roundup.

This week: Young workers are avoiding states with abortion bans; 70 percent of likely voters support a ceasefire in Gaza; far-right groups are mobilizing to spread election conspiracies; potential new abortion restrictions in Louisiana; an update on Flint, Michigan; over 80 percent of men of color support abortion; Justice Samuel Alito is under fire for flying a “Stop the Steal” symbol; the Louisiana state legislature rejects a bill that would have allowed rape and incest victims aged 16 and younger to have an abortion and moves to add abortion pills to the list of controlled dangerous substances; and more.

How Rowena Chiu’s Story Helped Expose Harvey Weinstein—From ‘Credible: Why We Doubt Accusers and Protect Abusers’

Rowena Chiu began working for Harvey Weinstein in 1998, assisting in the London office with his European film productions. Later that year, at the Venice Film Festival, she found herself at a late-night meeting with the producer. There, she recalls, Weinstein told her “he’d never had a Chinese girl” before attempting to rape her.

After signing a nondisclosure agreement, Chiu spent nearly two decades in what she describes as “constant fear”—“fear of Harvey’s abuse, control and power; that the story would come back to haunt me; that I would inadvertently slip up on my promise to never speak of this.” She was finally inspired to speak out by the powerful testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, whose decision to “speak up” about Brett Kavanaugh in September 2018 made a lasting impression.  

“I can briefly glory in the relief that I am no longer sitting on a sickening secret,” she wrote. 

The Hypocrisy of a Post-Roe Mother’s Day

This Mother’s Day—like the countless that have come before it—conservative politicians who fancy themselves members of the party that upholds “family values” will send out social media posts praising the moms among us. They’ll wax poetic about the “decision” to become a mother and how it’s the “most selfless, most important job in the world.” Some may even go so far as to task their speech writers with crafting some moving message about how vital mothers are; how we’re raising the next generation of prolific thinkers and world leaders; how we should be revered “not just today, but every day.” 

And in the post-Roe world they created with their anti-abortion policies that have forced people into motherhood, attacked IVF and fertility treatments, and left doctors terrified to treat pregnant patients to the point that women are slipping into comas, miscarrying in hospital lobby bathrooms and enduring unnecessary C-sections instead of receiving common abortion care, it will all be one big, giant pile of bullshit.

Elder Care Law Is Not Designed for Working Mothers in the Sandwich Generation

Being a working mom of children doing virtual school during the pandemic, also in the middle of a graduate degree, and suddenly caring for a delusional and aggressive senior parent, while being forced to educate every single business on what guardianship legally appointed me to do was overwhelming.

Why do businesses expect a senior citizen diagnosed with an irreversible disease of the mind to make financial or health decisions? Why wasn’t the court order enough? Because a woman with legal power isn’t enough. 

Working mothers and adult daughters who make up the majority of the sandwich generation need the ability to also care for their own mental and physical well-being to avoid burnout. 

The Tradwife’s Catch-22

How is it that an independent business executive goes from a full-time position in the C-suite to a full-time position in the kitchen, out of submissive devotion to her husband? If you’ve recently spent time on TikTok or Instagram, you may have wrestled with this question.

Tradwife influencers are right to point out the emptiness, precarity and dissatisfaction of neoliberal life, and the appeal of the alternative they offer is clear. But much of the rosy picture they paint exists only on our iPhones and not in reality. Domestic labor is neither slow nor peaceful.

The Best and Worst States for Family Care Policies

In 2021, the Century Foundation published its first care policy report card, “Care Matters,” which graded each state on a number of supportive family policies and worker rights and protections, such as paid sick and paid family leave, pregnant worker fairness, and the domestic worker bill of rights. The 2021 report card revealed the tremendous gaps in state care policies and a fragmented and insufficient system of care workers and families in most states.

This year’s update, co-authored with Caring Across Generations, takes another look at how states are doing.