If you’ve been paying any attention to social media at all in the past 72 hours, you probably already know about the massive scandal surrounding Harvey Weinstein. If you somehow have missed it, let me catch you up real quick.
He’s one of Hollywood’s biggest names in film production, (he’s the second most thanked person at the Oscars, behind Steven Spielberg. God ranks sixth.) and he’s been accused of harassment and/or sexual assault by over 30 women in the past week alone. Some of the cases are from the 90s, maybe even earlier.
But here’s the thing: It can’t just be about Harvey. Krista Vernoff put it beautifully in this article, and I encourage you all to go read it if you haven’t already done so.
Now, as for the whole “#MeToo” thing. Actor Alyssa Milano tweeted on Sunday for people – especially women – to reply to her tweet saying “me too” if they had ever been harassed or assaulted. She said, “we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem,” and we have done that. Over 50,000 replies later, the point has been made. I hope.
The stories are gut-wrenching to read. It’s heartbreaking and infuriating that this is such a common occurrence. And it’s something we pretend doesn’t exist. Why?
Men never have to speak up. It’s always the women who do the talking. Who do the story telling. Who have to relive things they should never have to live through in the first place. Why is it always us?
It’s so disheartening to see the burden fall on the women again. But at the same time, I’m glad people are speaking up. Because if we stayed silent, nothing would change.
The real problem is this: it’s “normal.”
Men acting like this, like women are objects and property and disposable and worthless… it’s seen as NORMAL. And it’s disgusting. Why are we normalizing the objectification of women? It’s ingrained into our society and it’s terrible. Being a woman these days? Not so easy.
That saying that goes a little like, “boys will be boys” came from somewhere, you know this right? Boys being told they’re just “being boys” turn into men who think they can do whatever they want and then blame it on their penis.
That’s what we’re not going to do.
So. I decided to speak up. I decided that no matter how pissed I am that we have to do this, we still have work to do as women in the 21st century. Especially as women in Donald Trump’s America. We are being silenced and shut down and mocked daily, but with thousands of us all speaking at once? Who can stop that thunder? Who can silence that roar?
#MeToo is about all of us. It’s for all of us. It’s for the girl who can’t speak up, it’s for the woman who still has nightmares, it’s for the little girls who I pray never go through this because we did something to change it.
And if you can’t tell your story, if you’re not ready, that’s okay. I am here for you. I believe you. I love you.
(Side note: I write for an online college magazine, and wrote about this there, too. Here’s a link.)