Celebrity male douchebag, woman claims sexual assault years after it happened, wave of people try to discredit her, more women come forward, douchebag continues to deny that anything happened, douchebag gets away with it.
Does this not feel like major déjà vu? Have we not played this disturbing game far too many times -- How many women need to come forward this time before they are believed or find any accountability? 10? 20? 40?
Just today, I heard Donald Trump speak vile words against a brave woman who spoke of being assaulted in his home when his wife was pregnant. Every woman feels the pain of these attacks, it is exactly what we all fear would happen if we spoke up and challenged the powerful forces that keep us quiet.
How many women need to come forward this time before they are believed or find any accountability? 10? 20? 40?
We must open our eyes and look at the facts. This horrible thing happens to a lot of women -- and we must make it stop. In North America, one in four women, by conservative estimates, is sexually assaulted in their lifetimes - that is 25 per cent of the female population. Statistics consistently show that false reports of sexual assault are very rare.
Ask yourself: If this was the case with any other major crime -- wouldn't we do something about it?
Found in the answer to that question is the reason why women wait years to come forward and too many keep their pain silent.
It's time to start believing the numbers and these women. Let's face the facts -- our culture is toxic to women. The term "locker room talk" is misogynist code for bragging about dominating, controlling or abusing women. The bystander complacency is as sickening as Billy Bush's laugh in response to Donald's words. Let's be honest, the boys will be boys excuse never did cut it.
Every time you come forward you make the Jian Gomeshi, Donald Trump, Bill Cosby's of this world harder to exist. Even more, you send a message to the Billy Bushes of the world that our culture needs to change to make it safer for girls and women.
Most importantly, we must do better because women will no longer be ignored. They are no longer staying silent, even in the face of powerful forces. They bravely use their voice against all odds to speak truth to power. And it is clear that the odds are against them -- only 10 per cent of reported sexual assaults in Canada result in a conviction.
To the women who step forward and tell their truth -- your words are weapons shattering, one-by-one, the armour of toxic misogyny. Know that when you speak, you speak for our mothers and grandmothers that endured without voice, who suffered without recourse.
You, as well, may not find justice, but every time you come forward you make the Jian Gomeshi, Donald Trump, Bill Cosby's of this world harder to exist. Even more, you send a message to the Billy Bushes of the world that our culture needs to change to make it safer for girls and women.
With the weight of all the women speaking up -- we can hear the cracks, we can hear the cowering, we can see the powerful, swelling wave that is wiping out those who stand in its way, those who deny its existence, seek to discredit and shame.
Join or get out of our way and take notice that our bodies are not yours from which to mount your claim to status and power.
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