Attacked by the man in charge

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Image taken from Google

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Alyssa Donahoo, Staff Writer

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Bone chilling accusations have risen from the dust of fear and shame; Harvey Weinstein, movie producer and co-owner of Miramax and Weinstein company is being accused of rape, sexual assault, and harassment.

“He physically lured me. There was huge asymmetry of power and control in that room,” Hollywood actress Ashley Judd claims.

Almost sixty women, including Judd, have come forward about their personal, haunting relations with Weinstein. Most cases date back from years ago because he used his powerful title and intimidation to keep the women from telling their stories. The victims of Weinstein withheld the truth out of fear of losing work and their futures within the acting community. Asia Argento, an Italian producer who often worked with Weinstein, came forward about her personal case of being harassed by Weinstein, which dates back 20 years, simply because she was terrified to risk her career.  

Of the women who have spoken out, most say they were threatened and belittled to keep quiet about any advances Weinstein made. Even some of his employees agreed to knowing about his advances towards these women. These employees were essentially paid to keep that information from reaching the public. This includes Zelda Perkins, former assistant of Weinstein who was faced with a settlement to not come forward about his inappropriate behaviors.

Often times, women feel less than, and threatened by the power that men hold. Weinstein used his powerful title to threaten and silence his victims. These victims did not tell their story and fight for justice because, for them, it was threatening their monumental careers. This one man had a great amount of power over their jobs. When they refused his advances he would tell other producers that these actresses were unfit for acting. Ultimately, Weinstein was the puppet master for these women’s careers by taking away their rights and sanity for his own credibility and high honor.

Weinstein replied to these allegations the way most people facing serious turbulence in their career would—by taking a leave of absence for therapy time, to change the man he is now, at 65 years old. Thinking of what he did to these women for so long would take an immense amount of time to fix; it’s just too late for Weinstein to change the man he is.   

With this leave of absence, Weinstein has found a way out of the spotlight, and a way to avoid social media. His absence is being used for his own personal growth, but these women won’t be given a chance to take a leave of absence for their courage, or their mental health. In other words, Weinstein continues to show women his mindset of superiority over them.

I have goals that are now priorities,” Weinstein says.

Only now, after sixty women came forward, he sees the “priority” of responsibility, and consequences to his  life- altering decisions he’s made by harassing these women. This intermittent time he’s taking to recover from his decades of raping and harassing women, will not heal the wounds of the victims he’s scarred for life.

Victims are too often blamed for accounts of rape and harassment. It’s even looked over. Women are blamed for the actions of their attacker, it downplays the severity, and seriousness of when he took advantage of these girls. Weinstein is taking his much needed recovery time—with this he is playing role of the victim, suggesting he’s the one who has been attacked. Victim blaming shows in the questions relentlessly asked to the women coming forward such as: “why didn’t you leave?”, implying they had the opportunity or power to leave the situation and that it was their mistake for being there.

These questions are asked to not only the ones living in fame and alongside Weinstein, but every woman who has had the utmost courage to come forward and tell her story. Victim blaming makes it easier for the other party to defend themselves from the “mistake” that’s too often made. From this blame, women feel less than and disbelieved when it took everything they had to speak the truth.

Colleagues, including Ben Affleck, are speaking out, to help empower and care for the women who have been victimized and to reduce the number of women that will be victimized.

“We must support those who come forward, condemn this type of behavior when we see it, and help ensure there are more women in positions of power,” Affleck posted on Facebook soon after the release of details of the case.

Weinstein is currently not working at the Weinstein company, due to being fired after the accusations made against him. Los Angeles Police Department also urge all women to come forward with their testimonies of wrongdoings on Weinstein’s account.

In the light of these events, the #metoo campaign is spreading across America this week. Victims are encouraged to post their own stories of sexual harassment on social media alongside the hashtag #metoo. This movement helps to show how many people are affected by sexual harassment. Ultimately it shows the immensity of this issue all across the country, proving that it not only happens to famous actresses but regular teenagers, mothers, and men. This is bringing light to the fact several thousand people are suffering and in fear of their lives- and careers too.

Honesty opens the mind of the listener. Standing together, every victim has the chance to tell their story and to fight against the stigma of powerless women. This fight is not only for the women directly impacted from Weinstein’s acts, but the women across the world who need the influence to come forward against their attacker.

 

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