MALE Actors Who've Shared Sexual Assault Stories Amid Weinstein Scandal

Lawrence Kim
October 22, 2017

A few key events and conversations over the past few days have reminded me of the words of Mrs. I.

"I feel like a coward because I had never spoken about my experiences". Anything I said or did would be a reflection on my employer.

Where once my silence contributed to part of the cultural problem, now I hope I'm part of the solution.

The problem here is gender-based violence.

As part of the #MeToo campaign, social media users have been using the hashtag to show that they have been sexually harassed or assaulted.

When I wrote this essay, I was naive about the repercussions women who write about sexual assault face. Sexually assaulting women who step out of the house is seen as somewhat of a "right" of men.

He's done it through charm, cajoling and a legendary mean streak, giving credence to Marlon Brando's famous observation that "most of the successful people in Hollywood are failures as human beings".

I posted those words on Facebook recently, along with what seems like every woman I know.

Maybe I have, and wasn't aware. The "MeToo' hashtag trended worldwide and brought out heart-wrenching experiences as several women spoke about the horrors they had endured in their lives. including childhood sexual abuse and groping in public spaces". I didn't speak up, because I was anxious that I might be made un-hireable by dissenting.

But it was harder to admit it because of the culture of victim-shaming that surrounds issues like rape and sexual harassment in our society.

The realization of what has been blatantly in front of my eyes but that I've failed to see for many years struck me. For things to change, men have to want to know the truth. I tried to talk to a family member after it had happened.

#HowIWillChange has been going viral, uniting men and women and attracting high profile figures too, with actor Mark Ruffalo being one of the first to champion the movement and acknowledge his role.

I joined them and posted all that I felt comfortable sharing, a simple #metoo. But when they actually hear those remarks, they don't.

I could easily sign on the #MeToo campaign.

It's important to remember, though, that those are only two examples of the men who have made public statements regarding their utter disgust for Harvey, a man whom many of them worked with before. In 1979 and 1980, TIME Magazine tells us, "as many as 18 million American females were harassed sexually while at work".

Don't just stand there like an idiot thinking, "this is just the way things are" or "it's just a bit of fun" or 'I don't want to get involved.' Because we are all involved.

But that's the point. It's up to all of us to make sure our boys become those men, in whatever ways we can.

We are seeing also the strength in numbers that comes from accumulated individual experiences that are characteristically undeclared. There is so much we can, and must, do better.

"Guys, while we may not believe we have committed direct acts of violence against women (however given the statistics, this is quite likely), we have each participated in a culture of misogyny and sexism that continues to victimize and traumatize, to steal safety and generate fear, to deny humanity and to cultivate disrespect", Pavlovitz wrote. Feminists set themselves a contradictory task - to insist that men and women were indistinguishable in their sexual tastes and appetites but then to demand that men respect women's particular reserve. Stop making excuses for bad behavior in your friends and co-workers, and tell them what they are doing is wrong.

Please, people. Can't we get a grip?

But we've been afraid for too long.

The Weinstein scandal started to unfurl after an October 5 New York Times report and a subsequent New Yorker investigation alleged that the producer had sexually harassed or assaulted women over the years, and in some instances paid off accusers.

We can, should, and must amplify the voices of women. Not just about men whose careers are waning, but about those at the top of their industries. Do something. Take action.

Perhaps the slogan we need - for both sexes - is #BeDecent. They know if I catch them not being so that I will not accept that behavior.

But sexual harassment is such a chronic workplace problem that it accounts for a third of the 90,000 charges filed with the federal government's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 2015. We all have so much work we need to do.

In May of this year, Reuters specified that "the U.S. military received a record number of sexual assault reports in 2016" - a statistic the Pentagon had apparently managed to spin as "a sign of service members' trust in the system".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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