There is no better day to reflect on the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement(s) than the day following the massive Women’s Marches in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. These weren’t voices of the “suffragettes” we’ve just heard. These are the voices of the human beings who balance checkbooks, give lives and raise future generations. They know what our collective household’s needs are and how to meet them, better than anyone. Hats off to the spectacular women, men and families who marched for a better life, yesterday!
The #MeToo and #TimesUp movement(s) begun with accusations leveled against the movie mogul Harvey Weinstein who was initially outed by one person, the actress Rose McGowan. She was soon joined by other female, well-known American – and not only American – actresses. The list of over 50 accusers includes many A-listers. (Eventually, Weinstein’s wife, Georgina Chapman, left him and he was forced out from the company he founded.)
In response to the shockingly long list of victims of one man’s – Harvey Weinstein’s – victims, actress Alyssa Milano created the #MeToo hashtag on Twitter which opened the floodgates for women from all walks of life who suffer – or suffered – sexual harassment or sexual assault in the workplace. We have quickly learned the magnitude of sexual harassment in the U.S.
Meanwhile, other male celebrities, entertainment industry heavyweights, politicians, etc. continue being outed. Some of the best known names include: Tavis Smiley, Mario Batali, Matt Lauer, Dustin Hoffman, Sen. Al Franken, Charlie Rose, Roy Moore, Louis C.K., Kevin Spacey, and others.
Out of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the #MeToo movement came about #TimesUp. #TimesUp took center stage at the 2018 Golden Globe Awards which gave exposure to the solidarity of women against sexual harassment which was on full display when all female participants of the event wore black. (Of course, the most profound statement on #TimesUp came in form of a fiery speech given by Oprah during the Golden Globe Awards ceremony.)
Sexual harassment and / or sexual assault aren’t laughing matters and against popular opinion have nothing to do with sex. The life of a sexually harassed – or sexually assaulted – person is severely damaged and in some cases, permanently destroyed. It’s not about sex. It’s about human life. We each have only one and it is ours to run. Nobody – regardless of their success, gender, money or power – has the right to damage or destroy another. Each of us has ONE life and no claim on the lives of others. Sexual abuse in its many forms changes the trajectory of human lives.
The perpetrator’s abuse of power compels sexual harassment and / or sexual assault victims to give up their beliefs and dreams. The pursuit of safety often becomes more important to them than life itself. Their self-respect, leave alone self-esteem plummets. Many succumb to the trauma entirely (out of respect for victims, we are not naming names!) use alcohol or drugs to cope and stop pursuing their goals.
For the perpetrators nothing changes. They lead “successful” lives, have rewarding careers and sleep well at night. If anything, their self-confidences raises with each “conquest”.
This could have been a long story detailing individual instances of sexually violated individuals who failed miserably at the game of life in the aftermath of sexual assault. It isn’t.
This is a brief story intended to inspire men to think. For just a moment, forget about sex. How would YOU feel if someone in a position of power attacked you, overpowered and / or threatened you and yours, limited your options, deprived you of what’s rightfully yours and effectively derailed your whole life?…
Do not diminish – leave alone, ignore! – a woman’s complaints about workplace sexual misconduct suffered at the hands of a superior or coworker. She isn’t speaking about a flattering compliment but criminal behavior which may threaten hers – and by extension, yours! – way of life.
Anything L.A., Los Angeles Liberal Magazine supports #MeToo and #TimesUp: sex crimes of any magnitude violate human rights. The shape of genitals and bank balances aside, we are all equally human. Violations of human rights and social injustice aren’t male or female. They compromise our collective humanity.
Anything L.A. Liberal Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich