I’m probably going to get backlash for writing this.
I’m nervous to share…but I feel compelled to a degree that overpowers the inner voice telling me to “stay quiet.”
So we all know about the Harvey Weinstein story, right? This man with immense power and influence has sexually assaulted and raped women for years.
The voices speaking out against what this narcissist has done is understandably strong. I mean, it’s not being debated in the media whether or not what he did was wrong (unless your Woody Allen and the sheer fact that HE feels safe to say anything in this circumstance is a whole ‘nother post! LOL!)
But it’s what IS being debated that makes me uncomfortable.
I was browsing through social media last night and couldn’t even begin to count the number of comments + articles where someone was questioning the integrity of the women subjected to harassment/abuse/rape by Harvey Weinstein.
“Why didn’t these women say something? They valued their stardom more than their worth?”
“These women were just as guilty as Weinstein for remaining silent. Shame on them.”
I was sexually assaulted my freshman year of college.
He was a senior + very popular + on the football team and I was a shy, nameless freshman just a few weeks into school and knew no one.
I became somewhat of a recluse. Anxiety + embarrassment + fear filled the spaces in my head as I struggled to find the strength I knew was in there…somewhere.
For so long I harbored immense guilt for not going to the authorities. When I finally did tell someone, their response was shock that I hadn’t reported him because “What if he is doing this to others?! You would be partly to blame because you could stop him.”
But the feelings + voices you experience after something like this is not easily understood by the victim let alone by someone who has never been in those shoes.
So I guess my point is this:::
It’s FAR TOO EASY to play Armchair Judge Judy when you are on the outside of a situation (especially if you yourself have no familiarity yourself…which I pray is the case for most everyone in this particular situation).
Instead of putting down the women who are coming forward right now…what would happen if we showed them compassion + understanding + support so that MORE victims of sexual assault would feel safe to report?
This is NOT a problem that is endemic to Hollywood. And most likely the solution won’t be rooted in Hollywood either (considering the fact that just last week NeNe Leakes was making rape jokes…I think much of Hollywood has a LONG way to go).
So let’s lead the charge as modern day women in society and make the shift ourselves! Show the support + share your strength and stories in order to empower others + and let’s be the voice of change.