The call for Franken’s resignation from the public and his fellow senators should be taken as a sign. A sign that we will not accept the unacceptable anymore and that we will not be afraid of the “power” so many have used to take advantage of others. This is a turning point, a step in the right direction towards living in a consent-based culture instead of victim-blaming, and towards seeing all perpetrators punished for the harm they cause others.
2017 has been filled with heartbreaking stories of survivors coming forward of their sexual assault but it has also been the year where the media has begun to recognize just how serious the problem is. Yesterday, TIME Magazine announced that its Person(s) of the Year was “The Silence Breakers”, the voices that launched a movement - the individuals who came forward with their stories of their sexual harassment.
Following the detailed complaint about Lauer’s workplace sexual misconduct received Monday night, NBC News president Andrew Lack acted quickly. Lack described the allegation to have “represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment.” Additionally, Mr. Lack stated that “[w]hile it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over 20 years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”
Ammo explains in his You Caring post that the reason he decided to participate in The Challenge was to prove to himself, his ex, and the world no one could tarnish his spirit. But instead of using this as part of his storyline, Ammo’s story was completely ignored. This brings up the question: if large TV networks won’t help, what can we do to change the rape narrative? Ammo and the CDC both encourage sharing the information about interrelationship violence as a way to combat and stop it.
I never want you to have to experience a situation that you are uncomfortable with. Whether it is at a party or in your own home, I never want you to fear that the justice system won’t take you seriously when you need it to be on your side. I hope you never have to see your name spread through the news, or questioned, or as a trend on Twitter. I hope you never experience the cruelty of a society that sides with an attacker over their victim.
It seems like it’s becoming more and more common for politicians to be caught up in scandals, and Roy Moore (R-AL) is no exception. According to an article from the Washington Post, a woman spoke out and said that the senatorial candidate “initiated sexual contact” with her when she was 14 - he was in his 30s at the time. 3 other women have also come out saying that they “dated” Moore when they were 16-18 years old. Moore, who denies any allegations, is threatening to sue the Washington Post.
We want to believe that the justice system is there to ensure that there are repercussions dealt out to perpetrators of crimes. We hear stories about how, when a sentence is given, the survivors (or their families) feel a sense of closure, but in this case, that closure was held off for reasons that are unfair in the grand scheme. Macdonald got to complete his internship despite being found guilty of sexual assault. Repercussions for him were not immediate, and while the judge claimed that this was a “fork in the road” for Macdonald, that he truly believed Macdonald would not commit sexual assault again, how can that be certain when Macdonald benefitted?
In no way should sexuality be used as an excuse or distraction for a sexual assault. In the same statement where Spacey uses the excuse of “being drunk,” he uses the situation to come out to society, therefore changing the conversation as well as linking a homosexual male to pedophilia and sexual assault. Spacey has chosen to manipulate the situation away from Anthony Rapp and the courage it took for him to come forward with the truth, and twisted it around for his own gain, refusing to acknowledge and take responsibility for his actions.
When I see women like McGowan getting angry and dragging rapists and rape apologists, I’m filled with glee. Call me cynical, but it’s not very often you see these types of people held accountable. McGowan herself said she was blacklisted from Hollywood because she dared to speak up about her rape by Harvey Weinstein. On Twitter, she even stated how she made it clear to Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, when it happened.
Secretary DeVos’s statement made several things clear. She has little intention of challenging campus cultures of sexual assault or supporting prevention efforts. Rather, she will address what she believes to be the more pressing issues of false accusations and the seeming imbalance between the rights of survivors and those of the wrongly accused. The risk of false accusations is statistically negligible when compared the likelihood of experiencing sexual assault, but DeVos is once again ensuring that the reputations of a handful of (predominantly) white, middle class men take precedence over the safety of women, people of color, and sexual/gender minorities.