#MeToo: Harvey Weinstein found guilty on two charges
With noted predator Harvey Weinstein found guilty on two charges, the #MeToo movement has found itself a landmark moment, as Weinstein, along with perhaps only Bill Cosby, was one of the most reviled perpetrators of the sex crimes that surfaced.
The #MeToo movement was first used by activist Tarana Burke on Myspace, and she issued a statement about the sentence: "Today, a jury confirmed what we all know: Weinstein committed sexual assault. This wouldn't have been possible without the voices of the silence breakers in and outside of the courtroom, the survivors who courageously testified, and the jurors who, despite an unrelenting and unethical defense strategy, voted to find an unremorseful Harvey Weinstein guilty.
The movement gained increasing media attention with Alyssa Milano, who tweeted, “If you've been sexually harassed or assaulted write 'me too' as a reply to this tweet.”
Former USA Gymnastics national team doctor Larry Nassar’s abuse was next to dominate the news cycle, and before long, other abusers of power, such as Roy Moore and Louis C.K., were revealed to be perpetrators of harassment as well.
But the movement’s intentions are still far from achieved, and activists — and anyone with a moral compass — who fight to drag these disgusting men from their positions of power must not relent.
Weinstein’s accusations go all the way back to the early 1990s. Weinstein or his company produced several world-famous movies, such as “Pulp Fiction,” “The Lord of the Rings” and “Good Will Hunting.” His status as a prominent producer allowed his acts to stay under wraps.
Survivors didn’t get media attention until late 2017. This man was allowed to abuse his position of power and sexually assault young woman for approximately three decades.
While it is certainly to the relief of many that he will now spend 5 to 29 years behind bars, the fact that he has walked past these 20 years scot-free should make anyone recoil with disdain.
With the amount of powerful men taken down by the #MeToo movement’s activism, and prominent examples like NBC host Matt Lauer and Kevin Spacey among their ranks, one can’t help but wonder how many men in power have harassed their subordinates and have yet to face any repercussions.
Money and influence cover up any moral guidance that people may have. No doubt did many know of Weinstein’s abuse prior to the mass unearthing of it, but nobody spoke up (this is not including the victims, of course) or did anything to curtail it. They let him continue as he did, perhaps partially due to abusive norms running rampant in Hollywood, but mainly due to his status and wealth.
This all goes to show that we cannot let the #MeToo movement die with Weinstein’s conviction. He’s merely the tip of the iceberg. In order to find the justice that the movement so desperately is searching for, people who are aware of these horrific actions need to come forward, especially on behalf of the victims who may fear public ridicule or employment repercussions by coming forward.
It can also teach us all a lesson about the power of hashtag activism. Social media is a powerful tool that is used for good and bad, but the #MeToo movement, coupled with the Black Lives Matter movement, shows activism and social media can collaborate to create tangible change in the world.
So activism doesn’t have to be all that difficult, with the power to make change now starting at our fingertips. The #MeToo movement has moved from Twitter accounts to the bars of a prison where, and if there is some justice in this world, Weinstein will spend the rest of his life.
But the overall lesson here is to listen to victims when they come forward, no matter how they do so — whether through the legal system or social media.
If we listen to victims, we start on the path of taking down corrupt, power-abusers like Weinstein, who will now face penance for the horrific crimes he committed and find himself unable to continue his sexist, vile abuse of women.
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