Shame on Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood mogul who has recently been exposed as a serial harasser and accused of multiple counts of sexual assault. Add him to the growing list of powerful men who have abused their positions to take advantage of women, in various forms. The sense of entitlement — that men are owed sex — is prevalent in every industry, especially Hollywood.
But Hollywood needs to speak up. It’s men need to speak up. The men who worked with Weinstein — actors, producers, directors, screen-writers etc… – need to step up. Unfortunately, this is not new for Hollywood. It’s an open secret that powerful men use their positions over women to seek sexual favors.
It’s a continuing battle to educate people of all genders about the role women play in society. Even in 2016, some men take it as granted that they can play with women’s lives. Powerful men rarely face consequences; that’s part of the reason women are afraid to speak up. Another is victim-blaming, people focusing on what the woman could have done to avoid being victimized. That’s wrong. People need to believe that.
In 2017, when the President of the United States is a self-admitted sexual harasser, it’s understandable to view the fight as a lost cause. But it’s not. It’s never too late to convince a person of the problem and why it’s important.
Men need to be part of the conversation. They need to see what they can do to stop this culture of entitlement and privilege. Men who commit sexual crimes and abuse their power should be held accountable. And people need to have this conversation. The change starts at the bottom, with a one-on-one conversation, before it can be solved at the local, state or national levels.
Women’s rights need to be protected more than ever.