“Not all that glitters is gold”. Certainly that rang true when once and for all, accusations against a powerful Hollywood mogul broke open the floodgates of sexual assault claims. Until recently, Harvey Weinstein enjoyed relative anonymity as he assaulted one female after another, but in recent months, the disgraced film producer has retreated out of public view as his victims and their supporters have taken front and center stage.
Weinstein’s downfall began on October 5, 2017, when the New York times published a story detailing many of his crimes against up-and-coming actresses and his employees. The offenses ranged from lewd acts to sexual assaults. With lightening speed, more victims came forward, peers praised and supported the accusers, and Weinstein’s lawyer resigned. In less than a week, countless more victims came forward, his own company fired him, and his wife announced she would leave him. You can read more about the allegations and timeline of events here.
I was stunned and amazed when the story broke. I myself experienced sexual harassment as a young airman in the military. Even in this closely monitored government atmosphere, sexual harassment and assaults were not uncommon. Women I’ve known through the years would relay their experiences in the civilian workplace while I shook my head in dismay. However, for some reason, knowing that Hollywood starlets have been suffering the same dirty shame at the hands of powerful, influential men was shocking. The knowledge that these misdeeds were not uncommon among us joined us in an unfortunate type of sisterhood.
Just like in the civilian world, Weinstein’s Hollywood victims spent years suffering in silence. Those who did not give in to Weinstein’s demands would suffer professionally. Director Peter Jackson said he was told not to hire Mira Sorvino and Ashley Judd by Weinstein’s people. Certainly, their careers were derailed because they said, “no”.
And yet, the NY Times ripped the duct tape off the collective victim and we can now hear the chorus of voices against other powerful celebrities who used their fame and fortune to cover their unacceptable behavior. Those coming under the microscope now include Kevin Spacey, Matt Lauer, James Franco and even our current President.
What does this mean for women now? It should mean CHANGE!! It should mean that a woman is not frowned upon when she embraces her femininity. It should mean that a woman is praised when she chooses to be a stay-at-home-mama. It should mean that a woman has equal chance to be the breadwinner of the family in the workplace and that her pay is equal to her male counterpart. It should mean that a woman feels safe and appreciated in male-dominated fields and companies.
The slogan for this movement is “Time’s Up” and I think it’s highly appropriate. The time is up for disparity in pay. The time is up for sexual harassment in the workplace, including repercussions when a woman rebuffs a man’s sexual advances. The time is up for nepotism and misogyny.
The pendulum of power is finally swinging in favor of women and the rights of victims of sexual harassment. I’m glad to be living in a time when the voice of the victim can now ring out loud and powerfully!
Writer Bio: CJ Heath
CJ thinks it’s not about equal rights or pay, but about being as equally valued as men, which inevitably leads to equal rights and pay. It’s not about feminism, it’s about women feeling free to embrace their femininity and rights. CJ also thinks that there are a lot of awesome men out there who think the same thing 🙂