We congratulate each of the individuals who have been brave enough to share their experiences with sexual assault. Exposing those who, for far too long, have perpetrated these inhumane crimes is a brave feat that does not go unrecognized.
Although we understand and respect everyone’s decision on whether to speak out or not, we encourage more victims to share their stories.
We’ve recently witnessed how speaking out can bring awareness, debase assailants, and most importantly, assure victims they are not alone.
This modern wave of awareness and intolerance towards sexual harassment has brought forward a community of support for sexual assault survivors.
Social media has become a medium for the movement, “Me Too.” This movement has resembled a snowball effect; the growing number of people that have shared their stories has encouraged more people to share theirs.
In light of these stories, we are very disappointed and disgusted by how many people have been accused.
It saddens the editorial board to see how many people have been affected. It also saddens us to see that people that were once considered heroes and leaders in their industry were being glorified by fans, all while preying on their victims behind closed doors.
Unfortunately, bringing attention to sexual assault was necessary in revealing that sexual harassment does not discriminate on any grounds.
One of the women who was assaulted by Harvey Weinstein was actress Lupita Nyong’o.
In an Op-ed written by Nyong’o in the New York Times, she writes “Harvey led me into a bedroom — his bedroom — and announced that he wanted to give me a massage. I thought he was joking at first. He was not. For the first time since I met him, I felt unsafe. I panicked a little and thought quickly to offer to give him one instead: It would allow me to be in control physically, to know exactly where his hands were at all times.”
In a recent interview between Anna Wintour and Meryl Streep, the topic of sexual harassment was discussed.
“Do you feel the recent events regarding predatory work place behavior will advance the feminist agenda and opportunities for women, or set it back,” said Wintour.
Streep said, “This moment is absolutely thrilling. This is a door that will not be closed. We got our foot in there now, and it will be difficult for people to conduct their lives like they have in the past. ‘Oh that’s just locker room talk.’ ‘Oh that’s just the way men are.’ No it’s not. We are civilized people and we learn from our mistakes.”
We agree with Streep’s statement. “Locker room talk” can no longer be an excuse or a shield that people can hide behind.
We have a president that is guilty of this type of rhetoric.
How can a nation change its mind when the people in power refuse to do so?
“And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the p—y, you can do anything,” said Donald Trump, president of the United States.
It is time everyone realize that rhetoric such as what President Trump demonstrated is not harmless.
It is noticed and has a consequential effect in people’s actions and attitudes.
Politicians like former Alabama state judge Roy Moore have also been accused of sexually assaulting women.
Beverly Young Nelson was one of the women who has come forward to reveal how Moore sexually assaulted her in 1977, when she was only 16 years old.
One of the more striking details of Nelson’s encounter with Moore was how he used his status to intimidate her, not unlike other powerful men who have been brought to light regarding their predatory behavior.
Although it has been decades since the assault against Beverly Nelson, it is nonetheless inspiring that she came forward.
Individuals such as Nyong’o and Nelson should be recognized as beacons of strength and inspiration for other survivors to come forward.
It is in our hopes that they, and all others, will be able to find closure with what happened to them.
The time is now when all survivors of sexual assault, rich and poor alike, are being heard and finally have the power to shape the future.
So much momentum has been built surrounding these issues and it’s a provident time to continue the conversation and remain in arms against rape culture.
We as a society, we can change. We need to change.