Harvey Weinstein: The man who could not be tamed, until now, with the help from women

Haley Clegg

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Weinstein’s assault history, Hollywood’s loudest secret, has now been exposed, as harrowing tales emerge from a plethora of women who he

sexually abused over the course of decades.

Now, their voices are being heard and supported by women across the US.

his past week proved to be great for women’s causes, but a bad one if your name is Harvey Weinstein.

Hollywood producer and professional serial sexual harasser Harvey Weinstein had multiple women come forward over the past few weeks with allegations of sexual harassment, assault, and at least four women claim he raped them.

The allegations span decades, with countless women speaking out against him.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences 54-member board of governors held an emergency meeting on Saturday morning in which they voted to remove Weinstein from the organization’s ranks.

They released a statement following their decision that said, “We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues but also to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over.”

While this may seem like a win for Hollywood actresses, as well as women everywhere, there are some serious controversial issues that continue to be brought up in the wake of these allegations against Weinstein.

Perhaps the most concerning is that nobody seems surprised to learn what Weinstein was doing throughout his career.

Actress Glenn Close said in a statement to The New York Times that, “for many years, I have been aware of the vague rumors that Harvey Weinstein had a pattern of behaving inappropriately around women.

Harvey has always been decent to me, but now that the rumors are being substantiated, I feel angry and darkly sad.”

If so many in Hollywood claim to have known all along what he was up to, how is it then that it has taken so long for his misconduct to come to light? How many people in the industry knew, and did nothing?

How many assaults could have been prevented if someone had stood up and said something?

In response to The New York Times investigation that exposed Weinstein, he sent them a statement that began, “I came of age in the 60s and 70s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then. I have since learned it’s not an excuse, in the office – or out of it. To anyone.”

This is infuriating because sexual assault and harassment was never acceptable, yet he tried to excuse it as okay because that “was” the culture back then.

No.

At no point in history was it okay because ‘everyone was doing it,’ and to claim otherwise is a severe disservice to any woman who has experienced sexual harassment and assault, at any point in history.

Although Hollywood is slowly but surely moving toward holding actors and actresses accountable for their actions, there are still dangerous attitudes that persist within the industry that hinder progress.

After allegations against Weinstein emerged, fashion designer Donna Karan said, “How do we display ourselves, how do we present ourselves as women? What are we asking? Are we asking for it? It’s not Harvey Weinstein, you look at everything all over the world today you know and how women are dressing and you know what they’re asking by just presenting themselves the way they do.”

To imply that dressing a certain way warrants unwanted sexual advancements from men is an argument that has plagued sexual assault victims for decades.

Karan later retracted her comments and apologized for her statement.

Hollywood has known for decades that it has an issue with sexual abuse within the industry, yet have continued to ignore it.

If Hollywood wants to prove that it really is going to address these issues, it should be the ones on the frontlines demanding people like Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski be held accountable.

Actors such as Casey Affleck shouldn’t be able to pay their way out of sexual abuse allegations he did in 2010, when sexual assault charges were made against him.

As more and more women rise to power in Hollywood, the future for women’s rights becomes brighter.

However, if we want to see real change, we as a nation, celebrities and all, need to decide that we are not okay with sexual abuse, starting by not electing a president with an audio tape boasting of his own sexual assaults on women, arguing that just because when you’re famous, you can get away with it.

Accountability is the only way we are going to see the change that so many victims of abuse deserve.

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