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Cinefamily & Fairfax Cinema: Masha Gessen on Punishment vs. Justice

On the somber one-year anniversary of #MeToo, The New Yorker’s Masha Gessen reflected on changes we’ve seen thus far, and changes we have yet to see. Gessen distinguishes between individual bad actors and the institutions protecting those actors; even today, those institutions stand largely untouched:


There may be something satisfying — even necessary — about tearing down abusers. But this game of “whack-a-mole” alone is not sufficient: “it is impossible to punish all the powerful men.”

More profoundly, Gessen argues, “the deposing of offenders” does not by itself “constitute justice.” Justice demands that we address our structures and institutions, that we push for transparency and reparations, that we struggle, collectively, to break the cycle. Dan and Sammy Harkham, along with Erin Hensley and Kate Rouhandeh, suggest that by deposing some of Cinefamily’s most egregious offenders, the work is done and the path is cleared for Fairfax Cinema. There is much hard work yet to do.


Read the full piece here.