For alarming and terribly sad reasons, the words ‘sexual assault’, ‘sexual harassment’ and ‘rape’ have appeared in a lot of headlines recently. It all started with the allegations made against film producer Harvey Weinstein — first by Rose McGowan, but now by an ever-growing list of actresses (seriously the list is massive) — which in turn has opened up a much wider discussion about power struggles, male entitlement and the overwhelming fear of failure felt by abuse victims.
Before we knew it, Ben Affleck was in the mix and quickly accused of enabling such abuse, while Matt Damon’s response to all of the above sparked even more outrage, after only denouncing harassment because he has “daughters”. *rolls eyes*
As the scandal continues to roll on, comedic export and TV host James Corden has now joined the list of men who have handled this whole damn thing so, so wrong, turning the serious allegations into the punchlines of his jokes at a Hollywood gala. Watch and wince if you can…
— Jay Gershbein (@JG_Report) October 16, 2017
In response, the women of the world have hit back with a social media movement. Sharing the hashtag #MeToo with stories of their abuse, tweeters are hoping to highlight the sheer magnitude of sexual harassment, proving it’s not just commonplace in Hollywood among rich and powerful men, but felt by people in all walks of life.
However, one post has caught the eyes of many.
— Monica Karpinski (@monkarpi) 16 October 2017
Someone 👏 get 👏 this 👏 woman 👏 a 👏 crown. 👏
While today the world is asking women to share and ‘confess’ to their experiences of abuse, we’re not asking the men responsible to do the same. It’s often traumatic for victims to relive the event, no matter how big or small it may seem, so when will the men responsible stand up and take responsibility for their involvement — whether that be committing the act or just turning a blind eye when it happened, Affleck style?
In the same way many people asked ‘why didn’t all those actresses come forward sooner?’ rather that ‘what on earth is Harvey Weinstein playing at?’, society still expects women to do the leg work of highlighting their abuse rather than holding abusive men responsible for their actions.
With around 85,000 women being raped in the UK every year, but only 5.7 per cent of all rape cases resulting in a conviction, it’s easy to see why women feel powerless against their attackers. By flipping this dynamic, we can work towards putting the power back into the hands of abuse victims, not leaving it firmly in the grips of the Harvey Weinsteins of the world.