The election of 2016 was a change for the United States in many ways. For the first time after eight years of having a black democratic president, a white republican was elected. President Donald Trump immediately began taking back certain bills or actions that Barack Obama had introduced or strengthened during his presidency and presenting new ones that reflected ideals more aligned with his beliefs.
However, we’ve also seen a massive increase of confrontation and disagreements between liberals, conservatives, basically everyone in the United States. Under this president, our world is changing around us and revealing the people who truly are different from us, ideological and morally.
Discussion of sexual allegations against celebrities gained more attention in the past years because of efforts to normalize coming out about past assaults and demonizing the people who commit these sexual assaults. Trump has been in the news a lot concerning his own accusations, which add up to at least 15 reported instances since the 1980s.
The situation became even more fraught with shock when Harvey Weinstein, who was Executive Producer for movies such as Pulp Fiction and Scream, was called out by the New York Times as having over a dozen women accuse him of sexual assault. In order to prevent them from speaking out about his horrible actions, he gave many of the women around $100,000 for their silence on the matter.
In support of the women who Weinstein abused then silenced, people who have been sexually assaulted, primarily women, on twitter started #metoo. Under this hashtag, people told stories of rape and other non consensual actions that changed their lives emotionally, mentally, and physically. This seems like a brilliant way to help raise more awareness for proper education in school or by parents to ensure sexual encounters remain completely consensual, but in some ways it did fall flat.
Some survivors of sexual assault viewed the #metoo as a demeaning movement which hinted that their assaults aren’t worth anything unless they speak out and prove these assaults are negative enough to care about. Others believe that by normalizing speaking out about assaults that occur on women, eventually women will feel the consequences and be expected to change their lives to stop these assaults from happening. This argument makes sense, especially because we often hear the suggestion “well, what were you wearing? You probably deserved it,” when people do come out about what happened to them.
As Weinstein’s media team worked hard to take him out of public eye, large amounts of people who have at some point been sexual assaulted by celebrities or politicians have begun to make accusations against their perpetrators. The most shocking information we’ve learned recently is that many politicians, actors, and other well known and respected people have not only committed sexual assault, but also pedophilia.
Kevin Spacey has gotten accused by over a dozen men for having sexually assaulted them, which has caused the House of Cards actor to come out as homosexual in the worst way imaginable. However, one of the first men to speak out against him said that the incident occurred when he was 14 and Spacey was 26. Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore recently had allegations against him released, reporting his twenty to thirty something self as forcing girls as young as 14 into sexual activity with him.
A common thread between these stories is denial in the accused. Many of the men who have extensive allegations have the strong lawyers and public relation teams that are advising them on what exactly to say. One of the more rare cases with comedian Louis C. K. has actually seen him apologize and admit to the assaults he committed against five women. Regardless of his honesty, Netflix has canceled the premiere and creation of his future content.
The truth is that these horrific events don’t occur based on age, gender, clothing, or any other cause than the person who actually committed them. Unless we work together as a society to educate and prevent people from sexually assaulting others, stories like these will continue for decades just like they already have.
Some of the intricacies of this epidemic will have be left to each person and case to decide their opinion, like if people who commit assault but are honest and apologize should be given more sympathy in punishments than those who are proven guilty but don’t admit it. However, something everyone should agree on is that the people who do this are in the wrong and it needs to be stopped once and for all.