When the whole Harvey Weinstein incident came out, Woody Allen made a comment about a “Witch hunt atmosphere” which honestly, I felt was something like the pot calling the kettle black. And since then, several men have lost their careers because of the shitty things they have done to women (regardless of how long ago it was).
When the whole #metoo thing was happening on facebook, I wondered if I should share that I too had experienced sexual harassment somewhere in the 29 years that I’ve been alive. When I was in high school I decided to pursue film and television as a career. Even before I started film school I knew I was stepping into a mans world. I was the only girl in my film program, and sometimes one of a few women on a film set. I made a point to blend in with the guys, and was always conscious of what I wore so as not to give anyone the wrong idea. And even with all that… sometimes people didn’t get the message. Nothing tragically awful ever happened to me, and for that I am grateful. But that’s still not to say that nothing happened. Or that I never saw anything. I’m sure I did, I’ve just blocked it out.
Being of a millennial generation I was raised by a demographic where women in the workforce was a common thing. But even that demographic was raised by a generation of women who fell second to their husbands. If any of us have watched the show Mad Men, I imagine that is only a splinter of things women had to put up with back then. And for years and years and years sexual harassment in the workplace or otherwise has been swept under the rug, unseen, or unspoken for so long.
Women are coming out now, speaking up of unwantedly being touched 20+ years ago. And people gasp and wonder why anyone would come out with all that now. Maybe it’s just the culture of the times where women finally feel like they have a voice to finally say something. And with news of Louis C.K. and Matt Lauer, people are beyond shocked that anyone like that would do such a thing. I’m saddened with each name that I read, but I’m hardly shocked. I hate to call it a right of passage. But seriously. I’d love to find one woman who has never been made to feel some level of discomfort or awkwardness by a man.
I feel such a strong sense of pride that so many women are coming out and speaking their truth. And you can feel however you want about the men being charged or accused, but they did what they did. And it’s about damn time that they’re made to be accountable for their unwanted advances. As sad as it is, it’s been warming to see that companies are no longer ignoring accusations but instead are taking actions that say such behavior will not be tolerated. We’ve been made to keep quiet for so long that its upsetting to see who’s been getting away with what.
With all of this that’s happening, there is one thing that I hope can come of it. I hope that women can find their voice to speak out and say “no, stop it” (I know, I know, it’s not always that easy) instead of being uncomfortable and simply letting something happen. I also hope that men will become more conscious of exactly what they’re doing and to whom. Use your voice ladies, if you’re uncomfortable and you can, just leave. It doesn’t matter what power a man has, if he uses it against you… is it really worth it?