It’s a Good Thing That These Allegations Are Coming Out

In case you missed it, a lot of Hollywood men have been accused of sexual harassment and assault following numerous women’s allegations about Harvey Weinstein. Since then, many of our favourite men and women in Hollywood have come out with their own stories of misconduct at the hands of some of Hollywood’s top men.

Unfortunately, none of this is new information. Shady guys taking advantage of young people, especially vulnerable new actresses, is one of Hollywood’s worst kept secrets.

But no one really wanted to address the skeletons in the closet until now. Sexual violence has been normalized in society, meaning that it is so common that people are not surprised or disturbed by it. This effectively silences victims. By removing the stigma around being a sexual assault victim, and changing the word to survivor, we are one step closer to a world where actions like those allegedly committed by Weinstein and his comrades aren’t so commonplace or expected.

It’s a reality for many young women that we are put in various positions due to our gender. With all of these allegations coming out, hopefully people will start to see that they can’t get away with these crimes.

This is the time for women’s rights in Hollywood to be recognized. If this has showed us anything, it’s that this is a widespread epidemic caused by our patriarchal society, that places men in a position of power over women. Acknowledging that our society has a problem is the first step towards finding a solution.

Just last year, the United States was in a very different position. Accusations of sexual assault from then-Republican frontrunner Donald Trump were met with indifference and passivity. It will certainly be interesting to see the results of these allegations when it comes time for re-election.

On top of that, Casey Affleck won the Oscar for Best Actor, despite the allegations made against him. These allegations were treated lightly, as simply speculation — until now.

In my film-studies courses, we are already referring to this period as post-Weinstein Hollywood. Things are changing in the industry, and I’m excited to see the type of films that will come out of the next few years. It’s an opportunity for women leaders, from female directors to screenwriters, producers, and actresses.

I have confidence that, because of the allegations from the last few weeks, Hollywood is going to be a safer and more female-friendly place to work.

It’s unacceptable to hold women’s bodies over them, especially if you’re in a position of power. This is going to mark a change that future History, Sociology, Women and Film Studies students will study for years to come. With all of this out in the open, we can work out these awful issues.