Speaking Out About Sexual Harassment

In the recent past, sexual assault seemed to be a topic not often discussed in society. However, with accusations in Hollywood and the new hashtag #metoo appearing quite often, that seems to be changing. Perhaps with this change of discussion, also will come a change of mindset and action on sexual assaults and harassment, since both of those things have also been lacking in our society.

Sexual assault has long been a topic that survivors often don’t discuss, and sometimes don’t report, as they believe it is their fault. Society plays a part in the mentality of “victim blaming”, a term used to describe the phenomenon of how some people put the blame on the person who was assaulted, rather than the person who committed the crime.

However, as talking about sexual assault has become more prevalent, and there are more accusations of sexual assault coming out from within the film industry. Famous actor Kevin Spacey was accused of sexually harassing Anthony Rapp, another actor, who was 14 at the time. Producer Harvey Weinstein, who spearheaded the movement of capturing predators, was also accused of sexually assaulting multiple people, including Uma Thurman as well as Angelina Jolie.

“I think it’s good for those child actors in the recent cases to draw the line and before anything can occur,” said Oliver Moring, a 17 year old high school student.  “It’s good to see that those people who are speaking out can give others who have sadly suffered in silence the courage to speak up finally. In terms of (affecting) how people perceive sexual harassment, I don’t want to admit that I don’t think these new cases could change much. Not even a few months ago a 27-year-old model made a post about how Finn Wolfhard should “Hit her up in 10 years”. And to top it off, Millie Bobby Brown was voted as one of the top 10 “sexiest tv stars” by a magazine. So although these actors and people (affected) are speaking up, we as people are not changing our views or trying to rid the problem by increasing the rate in which these things happen.”

On Twitter, Instagram, and other social media, the hashtag #metoo is used by survivors of sexual assaults to share their experiences and talk about other things related to the topic.

“I think it’s very good to talk about (sexual harassment) experiences,” said Maxwell Cade, a 16-year-old high school student. “Some people can learn from it. I think people should get more educated in school about it. Like a lot of kids are getting (taught) the wrong things from family members and such.”

Perhaps all the allegations happening in Hollywood will encourage more people to speak out against predators. The #metoo movement is a good start to opening up to the conversation about sexual assault and harassment.