Harvey Weinstein Accusations of Sexual Misconduct Prompt Women to Come Forward

#metoo is a two-word hashtag to denounce sexual harassment and those who have been sexually assaulted. Photo from Scientificamerican.com

#metoo is a two-word hashtag to denounce sexual harassment and those who have been sexually assaulted. Photo from Scientificamerican.com

Maddie Krolow, Guest Columnist

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






In the wake of stories alleging sexual misconduct by public figures including Donald Trump, Former Fox News Commentator Bill O’Reilly, Former Fox News Head Roger Ailes, and actor and comedian Bill Cosby, Hollywood Director Harvey Weinstein has been fired as the number of sexual assault allegations grew.

He is yet another powerful individual using his success to scare women into silence. What started out with one brave woman sharing her harrowing experience with Harvey, actress Ashley Judd, there is now more than 50 women admitting to sexual assault and groping by him as well.

 By using his high power to threaten to ruin women’s already built-up career by spreading lies and rumors, he preyed on the women who weren’t quite successful enough, and who needed a part in one of his movies in order to be noticed as well.

 Although most of these women have come out to admit the horrible assault, groping, and in some cases even rape that occurred, the public still finds it hard to believe them, or simply practice will-full ignorance to ignore the wrongdoings of Weinstein.

Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, an Italian model, acquired a statement from Weinstein where he admitted to groping her in the past, recorded while she was wired. When listening, Gutierrez asks “Why yesterday you touch my breast?” To which Weinstein replies, “Oh please, I’m sorry, just come on in, I’m famous, I’m used to that. Come in, please.”

This goes on for some time, where Weinstein desperately pleads Gutierrez to come into his room, and when she refuses, says she’s “making a scene”. The tape was just another confession towards his admittance towards assault.

 According to The New Yorker, Asia Argento, an Italian film actress and director, said that she did not speak out until now—Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her—because she feared that Weinstein would “crush” her.

“I know he has crushed a lot of people before,” Argento said. “That’s why this story—in my case, it’s twenty years old, some of them are older—has never come out.”

 Almost immediately following the suppressed allegations that swam to the surface in news and media, a new movement called #MeToo was created. This movement was used by simply putting the hashtag #MeToo on any social media platform, signifying that they have personally experienced sexual assault or rape.

 “The unmasking of Harvey Weinstein was like the breaching of a dam, against which decades of abuse, outrage, injustice, rumour, shameful complicity of employees, and unwarranted shame from victims had built” says reporter Zoe Williams for The Guardian.

The movement has pulled people sharing their stories from all walks of life, from senators, celebrities and public figures, to the elderly, parents, and even students.

“I posted because I felt like it was important to encourage others to feel comfortable with it [sharing their personal stories]. I wanted other people who may have been affected to know that there were others, who you wouldn’t suspect in the same situation,” Said an anonymous student. “I think the movement is beautiful. It pains me to know that so many of my peers have been hurt in such a way but it’s a huge comfort to know there are others who stand with me in my situation.”  

 Because of the stigma against sexual assault, people are often forced to feel bad about the actions of the assault, as if it were their fault. The rape culture “boys will be boys”, “they’re just mean because they like you”, and “well, what were YOU wearing?” Ring constantly in young ears, from the time we are old enough to walk.

“The first time I remember something happening was kindergarten. There was a boy in my class who had a crush on me and we sat next to each other while there was a visitor in class. He reached down the back of my pants and laughed when I jumped at the touch. I was definitely uncomfortable with whatever had just happened,” said anonymous.

Sexual assault has been pushed aside and normalized for years, that often “minor” seeming situations like these are seen to be let go of and forgotten, but these experiences stay in the victim’s mind’s, sometimes causing PTSD and other mental issues that can haunt them for years to come. Another experience the anonymous student has was with her boyfriend.

“We were alone and we had started kissing each other when he reached his hands up under my shirt.  It hurt and I was scared. I tried to blow it off but I couldn’t and it still bothers me today,” said anonymous. The definition of sexual assault is defined as “any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient.” Many people think that the nature of assault is teasing, or silly, forget that it leaves the recipient feeling uncomfortable, scared, or even leaves them blaming themselves. “A lot of daily struggles stem from what I  believe the harassment itself stems from, and that’s the idea that the aggressor is better than or superior to the victim” says anonymous.

Ultimately, the #MeToo campaign has helped people who have been assaulted rally together and open up opportunities to get help, whether that be therapy, support through friends, family, school, etc. It shows the people that are too afraid to speak out for fear of being not taken seriously or shamed, that there are people out there who know what it feels like, and are here to listen and help. It truly is disturbing to see how many men and women are assaulted every day, and how normalized it has become. It is especially appalling to know that some of the people we used to look up to, the people that we used to watch their sitcoms or their movies, even the men leading our country, are using their power to manipulate and scare young women. What kind of an image does that set to younger boys and girls? That it’s ok to make a girl feel uncomfortable, they probably like it, and that it’s ok for boys to do whatever they want to you, they probably like you? The overall normalization of these assaults are teaching younger generations and other people that it’s ok. It teaches the victims that their voices aren’t heard, that maybe it was their fault. It’s time to stop sexual assault and rape culture in its tracks. It’s time to start listening and believing, and stand up for the victim.  It’s time to end what we started.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Harvey Weinstein Accusations of Sexual Misconduct Prompt Women to Come Forward

    Opinion

    Diversity Is Needed In The Police Force

  • Harvey Weinstein Accusations of Sexual Misconduct Prompt Women to Come Forward

    Opinion

    Are Charities Really Giving Back?

  • Harvey Weinstein Accusations of Sexual Misconduct Prompt Women to Come Forward

    Opinion

    Variations of Personality Psychology

  • Harvey Weinstein Accusations of Sexual Misconduct Prompt Women to Come Forward

    Opinion

    Net Neutrality

  • Harvey Weinstein Accusations of Sexual Misconduct Prompt Women to Come Forward

    Editorial

    Schools Should Do More To Celebrate MLK Jr. Legacy

  • Harvey Weinstein Accusations of Sexual Misconduct Prompt Women to Come Forward

    Editorial

    Teens Should Pay Attention to the News But do you know how?

  • Harvey Weinstein Accusations of Sexual Misconduct Prompt Women to Come Forward

    Opinion

    Dyed Hair Expresses One’s Individuality

  • Harvey Weinstein Accusations of Sexual Misconduct Prompt Women to Come Forward

    Feature

    Congratulations Lily Bliven!

  • Harvey Weinstein Accusations of Sexual Misconduct Prompt Women to Come Forward

    Editorial

    Marijuana Taxation May Lead to Free College

  • Harvey Weinstein Accusations of Sexual Misconduct Prompt Women to Come Forward

    Opinion

    Everyday I Fear of Becoming an Alcoholic

Harvey Weinstein Accusations of Sexual Misconduct Prompt Women to Come Forward