Celebrity Sexual Abuse Scandals Highlight Everyday Sexism

While it's heartening to see some of these high-profile offenders face consequences for their behavior, it's more than a little frustrating that it still takes such overwhelming evidence, and access to major platforms for this to occur. Many people have no such access.

Celebrity Sexual Abuse Scandals Highlight Everyday Sexism

I’m glad as hell that so many prominent abusers are now being outed, and I hope that leads to more and more ordinary people empowered to tell their stories, painful as they are.

Better late than never.

Film mogul Harvey Weinstein's case felt like a watershed moment. After decades of whispers within the Hollywood community, the high-profile movie producer's sexual misconduct was brought into the light by a scathing report by New York Times reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey. Even more amazing, a powerful man actually faced consequences for his actions, being fired from the company he helped found and being booted from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Then the dam really broke. Spurred on by the hashtag #MeToo, women (and others) began sharing stories of sexual harassment and assault. More big names were exposed for being repeat serial offenders: Louis CK, Al Franken, Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner, and dozens more actors, producers, writers, politicians, etc. It's been called the "Weinstein Effect."

A better name might be the "We've Had Enough Effect." These examples of harassment are egregious and indicative of a much larger problem. Far too much of this kind of gross misconduct has been swept under the proverbial rug. Women have been silenced, shunned, threatened, and even killed for daring to speak up or fight back. As for the predators? They can be elected to the highest office in the land.

As a society we tend to excuse such behavior, blame the victims, and often ignore the whole thing. Look at the folks in Alabama who doggedly cling to their support of Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore even as a rising number of women accuse him of sexual misconduct or outright assault when they were just teenagers.

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