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#MeToo: Why Have We Waited This Long?

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#MeToo: Why Have We Waited This Long?

Ying Zhang

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Media has done plenty to address the rumblings in Hollywood. It took the courage of a few women to stir the reluctant crowds. Their outcries weren’t left unheard. And suddenly there’s a storm of “me too”’s shattering the Hollywood glitz and glamour facade.

The “me too” movement shocked the nation as countless female celebrities and actors challenged Hollywood norms and exposed notable figures on accounts of sexual assault. And those on the receiving end — Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis CK, to name a few– have not been let off so easily.

But let me be clear, this piece is not written by some self-proclaimed Social Justice Warrior to spite the male population. Addressing assault committed by males is not misandry. This topic needs to be discussed in a community where assault and male abuse of power have recently come to light. Hollywood scandals seem to have no place in a small quiet town. Except, nothing is ever really out of sound’s reach, especially rumblings.

It’s been covered in the newspaper, the local news, and even CBS. But what can staking out the school with a microphone and heavy camera equipment really do to uncover how people truly feel? While the school does its best to cover up and maintain whatever semblance of dignity it has in the eyes of the press, we carry on. There are some that make jokes, perhaps to make light of an uncomfortable situation. But most keep quiet, deeming the topic taboo, and trudge through everyday life.

Doing so only follows the cycle of deceit and feigned-ignorance. Some sexual misconduct allegations in Hollywood occurred decades ago or have been going on since then. Some were “open secrets” kept hidden amongst high-profile individuals. People were aware of abuse of power, but chose to remain silent. People knew about the scandals long before they reached the press. The fact that people knew but didn’t do anything adds insult to injury.

Erasing instances such as the one in our school because it is uncomfortable and distressing would only be a disservice to those affected.

This is a reminder to people never to be forced into silence. We need to ensure that there will always be people who will stand up in retaliation to the abuse of male power.

People can fall victim to traps of fear, conformity, submission. But there’s a liberating and weightless world that words and expression provide.

There is power in numbers. The more people speak up about pressing issues such as the ones in our school, the less forbidden sharing harassment experiences will be, and the more comfortable victims will feel about opening up. Not talking about abuse of power and dismissing the situation will only convince victims that society will turn a blind eye; justice is a battle not worth fighting for when everyone seems to be in denial. Similarly, continuing on the path of ignoring instances of abuse of male power will only reassert it as a social norm. Disregarding abuse of power pla

 

nts the idea into males that there are no consequences to sexual harassment.

Do not let this movement be a moment.

 

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