Thanks to Harvey Weinstein, Here Are 3 Things Women of the #MeToo Era Will Lose Forever
On Friday morning, amidst crowds of reporters and against a backdrop of victims he never thought he’d never have to face, accused rapist and disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein turned himself in to New York Police to face charges of rape and committing a first-degree criminal sex act. Bail has been set at 10 million dollars. Weinstein will be required to surrender his passport and wear an electronic monitoring bracelet. He is expected to plead guilty.
Harvey Weinstein turns himself into New York Police amid charges of rape and sexual assault. Photo: ABC News
A move that the #MeToo movement has anxiously awaited since accusations against Weinstein’s behavior became public 7 months ago, Weinstein’s arrest is the first tangible “we believe you” expression of victims claims.
Rose McGowan—one of Weinstein’s earliest accusers and whose battle against Weinstein was chronicled in the 2018 documentary film series “Citizen Rose”—said today on Twitter, “We got you Harvey Weinstein, we got you.” Since the day Weinstein’s actions were made public in a New York Times October 2017 article, hundreds of women have come forward to share similar stories of sexual abuse at the hands of powerful men in media, including heavyweights like Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, and most recently, Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman.
Rose McGowan discusses her encounter with disgraced media mogul and accused rapist Harvey Weinstein.
In what is being described as a “watershed moment” for the #MeToo movement, Weinstein’s arrest signals a reckoning for sexual predators. To that end, here’s what #MeToo-era victims of sexual harassment and assault can look forward to losing for good:
No More Fear of Retribution
Before #MeToo, victims who dared to speak out against their attackers risked losing everything. Countless women, including Salma Hayek, Ashley Judd and Gwyneth Paltrow, cited losing their careers and reputation for choosing to stay silent about their attacks.
Thanks to Harvey Weinstein those days are over. Weinstein’s arrest today set a precedence not only for what sexual predators think they can get away with but also proved to be a lesson in reminding society at large not to view women as something to be objectified and abused at will.
Organizations everywhere are beginning to ask questions about how to ensure the safety of all their employees—nobody wants to have a #MeToo moment on their turf. It’s likely that up until today Weinstein thought he could pay forever to silence his alleged crimes, but wasn’t it Bob Marley who said “you can fool some people some time but you can’t fool all the people all the time?”
No Longer Having to Ask “Do You Believe Me?”
One of the greatest pieces of leverage he had over his victims was Weinstein's power to make or break a Hollywood career. Up-and-coming actresses Lucia Evans and Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, both of whom reported being raped by Weinstein, were just two of many women who feared losing everything if they reported their attacks. The list also included names like Mira Sorvino and Rosanna Arquette.
Now it appears Weinstein is the one who has everything to lose. In a clear twist of fate Weinstein is being held responsible for his actions thanks in part to Gutierrez whose actions some are saying helped to build a case against Weinstein. In 2015 Gutierrez secured a recording of Weinstein admitting to groping her—his actions were, as he suggested, something he was “used to.” And to top off the day of pure irony he never believed would come, Weinstein held his head down in shame as he was led away in handcuffs by a female detective. Karma, anyone?
Disgraced media mogul and accused rapist Harvey Weinstein is led away in handcuffs as he surrenders to New York authorities.
Sisterhood Is The New Order: Gone Are The Days of Women Standing Against Women To Protect a Predator
Thanks to the bravery of women like Gutierrez, McGowan, and long-time activist Tarana Burke, who is credited with starting the #MeToo movement to raise awareness of sexual abuse, women are holding their heads high and offering one another their unyielding support.
Gone are the days when a woman had to choose between losing her career and remaining a silent victim of a sexual predator. The #MeToo age has created a woman unafraid to stand her ground. Today's visceral reaction toward a woman reporting unwanted sexual advances is immediate belief and not the vilification of old that assumed the actions of which she speaks were consensual. Today’s women are exercising the true definition of the She-Compass—sisterhood, sorority, self-esteem, and support.
Harvey Weinstein had better get used to it.
Sources: New York Times, Daily Beast, CNN, Vanity Fair, Twitter, YouTube