Ever since news broke that Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has been paying off women who have accused him of sexual assault for more than three decades, a number of famous women have spoken up about how Weinstein harassed them.
While many people on social media have been showing support for these women, others questioned why they didn't come forward earlier.
And some even victim blamed the women for staying silent.
It's mystifying and scary that powerful Hollywood women like Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow didn't speak up earlier about Weinstein— Nidhi Razdan (@Nidhi) October 11, 2017
The countless women, dozens or HUNDREDS, molested by Harvey Weinstein did a GREAT disservice to future women.
They didn't speak up!— AmericanME (@AmericanLuvSong) October 7, 2017
However, in response to this shaming, one New York Times reader clearly explained why a woman who has been sexually assaulted would not come forward. To say they hit the nail right on the head is an understatement.
Here are the reader's full comments:
It is disheartening to see so many comments already blaming women for not "speaking up." Please count yourself lucky that you've never had your career on the line based on whether or not you sleep with your boss. It has nothing to do with fame and riches; this happens to women making minimum wage in retail as well as women who fought through it to become CEOs.
The psychology behind this kind of thing is not that complex, so please spare a moment to consider: Not only are these women made to feel humiliated and embarrassed, but in some cases if they had come forward, they not only would never work again, they also would be seen as whiners and "too sensitive." Both Jolie and Paltrow fended him off. Imagine if they made a big stink about it. They would have been ripped apart in the media! "Oh for goodness' sake, a dirty old man came on to you. You rejected him and moved on, why the fuss?"
But, of course, now we insist on blaming them for "perpetuating" Weinstein's behavior. Please. The amount of cognitive dissonance it must take to blame women for their own persecution is astounding. Note that the comments have not centered around Brad Pitt's not saying anything, though he knew about it with not one but TWO romantic partners.
It is not the women's job to monitor men's behavior. We are doing the best we can with what we have to survive in a world that depends on our subjugation.
As the reader pointed out, there are a number of reasons why a woman would not come forward, including feelings of embarrassment, fear of losing her career and fear of not being heard. Because of this, many Twitter users noted that instead of shaming these women, we should remember who is really to blame in this situation: Harvey Weinstein.
You don't believe women when they speak out, yet you get mad & blame them for not telling sooner. Harvey Weinstein is the bad guy, not them.— sarah (@WakeUpSooner) October 10, 2017
Men's reactions to Harvey Weinstein are why more women don't speak up about sexual assault.— Celia (@_celia_marie_) October 9, 2017
Among the many celebrity women who have either spoken up as a victim of Weinstein or as an ally to the victims was Terry Crews.
On Tuesday, he reiterated why women don't come forward by recounting a time when he was sexually assaulted by a Hollywood executive.
"My wife n I were at a Hollywood function last year n a high level Hollywood executive came over 2 me and groped my privates," he wrote on Twitter.
Crews went on to say that he let the incident go because he didn't want to be "ostracized" when "the predator has power [and] influence."
He then sympathized with the women who stayed silent about Weinstein's sexual harassment.
I let it go. And I understand why many women who this happens to let it go. (10/cont.)— terrycrews (@terrycrews) October 10, 2017
Who's going 2 believe you? ( few) What r the repercussions?(many) Do u want 2 work again? (Yes) R you prepared 2b ostracized?(No)(11/cont.)— terrycrews (@terrycrews) October 10, 2017
I understand and empathize with those who have remained silent. But Harvey Weinstein is not the only perpetrator. (14/cont.)— terrycrews (@terrycrews) October 10, 2017
Unfortunately, Crews is right in that Weinstein is not the first, nor the last, perpetrator of sexual assault. In the past, a number of actresses, such as Thandie Newton and Zoe Kazan, have spoken out about being sexually harassed during auditions and on set.
But sexual harassment extends outside of Hollywood as well, and cases such as the one involving former CBC broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi in 2014 are proof.
Harvey Weinstein is Jian Ghomeshi on larger scale--elevated to such a level that he stayed insulated from consequences of what everyone knew— Andrew Lawton (@AndrewLawton) October 10, 2017
Since the New York Times first reported Weinstein's history of sexual assault allegations last week, the film producer has been fired from The Weinstein Company, where he served as co-founder, and his fashion-designer wife, Georgina Chapman, announced that she's leaving him.
In a statement to People on Tuesday, Chapman said: "My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions. I have chosen to leave my husband."
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