Why #MeToo Is Crucial To Sexual Harassment Culture

Why #MeToo Is Crucial To Sexual Harassment Culture

No one should be forced into shame or silence.

Entertainment news headlines across all media sources has been discussing the controversial sexual harassment crimes of Harvey Weinstein, one of the co-creators of Miramax and The Weinstein Company. His works as an executive producer range from classics such as Pulp Fiction to the Scream series, making him one of the most influential people in Hollywood. However, Weinstein's success becomes irrelevant due the decades of sexual harassment that has been uncovered over the past couple of weeks.

Recently, many women have come out and exposed Harvey Weinstein on their experience of sexual assault. Reasoning behind these sudden experiences being released compared to the past mostly deals with Weinstein's access to power in the Hollywood industry. Many women say that they wanted help for their careers or were paid off by Weinstein to keep silent about the issue. But many Hollywood big name stars, such as Gwyeneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, and Cara Delevingne have come out with their encounters with Weinstein's harassment behavior and the number of women releasing their own stories involving Weinstein has increased over the past two weeks. Even men like Terry Crews, a man known for his strong and intimidating physique, had been groped in the pelvic region by another man, who Crews states as a Hollywood executive. This is just a singular case that can show that sexual harassment can happen to anyone, anywhere.

These strong acts of courage on speaking up in cases of sexual harassment has escalated on social media with #MeToo. Countless posts and stories on social media have brought light to victims of all genders, races, cultures, ethnicities and their experiences of sexual assault and harassment within all aspects of their lives; from on the street to in the workplace. These posts give inspiration to others who have experienced sexual assault and how there is no fault in the victim. The result is an overflowing system of support to victims as well as exposure to how sexual harassment has become such a huge part of mainstream culture.

The hashtag coming out of Harvey Weinstein's harassment exposure shouldn't be completely deemed a good thing. There is a dark history and meaning behind the social media tag that remains to be an issue globally. Adults and children of all ages and genders are being sexually harassed each and every day. From a study conducted by Cosmopolitan, more than 1 of 3 women are sexually harassed in the workplace. And out of that one-third of women, more than 79% did not report it to either their supervisors or higher up.

One of the defining factors of why these instances go under the radar and are left unreported is the victims fear and shame. The hashtag has brought out courage in victims who are afraid of being alone. It brings to light the concealed act of sexual harassment and how much it is taboo to talk about in society and social media. But in order it to stop, action needs to be taken. And becoming more aware of the frequency of these actions is the first step in order for this kind of behavior to cease.

So, on my own behalf, I would like to applaud the strong people who have openly expressed their experiences; whether on social media, to a friend, family member, co-worker, supervisor, boss, police or authorities. These people in their own right are heroes to others who are afraid to speak out. People who experienced sexual assault are not victims, they are survivors. Speaking out on an experience, or even experiences, requires pure strength. They should be dignified with the respect that they deserve for speaking up and standing up for themselves, as well as the others.

Cover Image Credit: Kristen Dold

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A Review of the Film "Every Day"

"Every Day" stars Angourie Rice and Opens in Theaters on February 23

“Every Day”, based upon the novel of the same name by David Levithan, is an incredibly strong and extraordinarily unique story that is bogged down by uneven dialogue and a few cringeworthy moments of terrible acting.

“Every Day” is the story of A who is a person who wakes up in a different person’s body every day, hence the title. The film starts with A waking up in the body of Justin (Justice Smith), a high school jock who happens to be dating Rhiannon (Angourie Rice). After spending the day with Rhiannon in Justin’s body A begins to fall madly in love with her. The story and premise are absolutely astounding as it is not something in any other romantic drama that I have ever seen.

A is a slightly difficult character, as numerous actors must portray the same character. The actors’ talents range from fantastic to downright hard to watch. The two stand outs on the fantastic side are Owen Teague and Lucas Jade Zumann. These two actors put on an outstanding two-character performance as both A and the person they inhabit. You can physically see the connection that these actors as A have with Rhiannon. These actors also manage to seem like entirely different people when they’re not channeling A.

Angourie Rice impresses here as she did in Shane Black’s 2016 film “The Nice Guys”. She delivers a performance that succeeds in making most scenes with the lackluster dialogue feel fresh and worth watching. Occasionally, though, a combination of poor writing and this young actor’s inexperience show as she fails to make a scene with awkward dialogue feel natural.

The writing here is often times as messy as it can be brilliant, when a scene of compelling back and forth talking between characters turns into something ultimately uncomfortable to watch. The actors try their best to make these scenes work, but they can’t fix the errors of the screenwriter.

About half-way though the movie we’re treated to a remarkable scene that takes place on a high school football field. In this scene Rice’s Rhiannon and Teague’s A are having a date night on the field making bubbles, running around, and shooting water guns all set to BØRNS’ “Electric Love”. The reason this scene works so well is the excellent camera work and the authentic chemistry between the two actors. This scene feels as if the actors were just left to improvise and are relying on nothing more than the raw chemistry between them. At the same time the camera moves feel so deliberate and precise that the entire scene is a joy to watch.

There is a moment that is worth mentioning because of how ineptly edited it is. There is a pivotal scene in which Rhiannon is talking to her mother (Maria Bello) while her sister (Debby Ryan) is listening in on their conversation. The scene is so poorly edited that when it cuts away from the two talking to Debby Ryan, the audience watches as absolutely no scene of where she is or even how she is listening in on this conversation. Ryan is lit differently than the rest of the cast and appears to be in a shot from a completely different scene that was clumsily thrown in at that moment.

The weaknesses of “Every Day” do not out weight the positives in this heavily flawed film that manages to be an original and compelling romantic drama. My score for “Every Day” is a 7.3/10.

“Every Day” hits theaters on Friday, February 23, 2018

Cover Image Credit: MasterTux

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Fiction On Odyssey: A Quick Glance In The Mirror

An original short story where a man meets his reflection and it's not as sweet as he imagined.

Here's a piece I wrote, in the form of a short story, focusing on the theme of hubris: having too much pride or confidence.

It’s a snowy day and like all the snowy days that have come before, He is left alone plagued by his own thoughts in a house that operates on unreliable electricity. So He stares out at the world through the glass walls of the first floor living room, and watches the sky sugar stick to the mud ground. The glare from the milky white snow shone so brightly that it lit up all floors of the house. There is no use for the expensive lamps that line the corners of the house aside from decor. Eventually the snow begins to cover the ground completely, boring him, so he pulls His precious attention away and happens upon his own reflection.

There’s nothing really there in His reflection: no remarkable features, no altered hair, or identifying eyes. Just Him and His own reflection - one that seemed to have more of a soul (or something like that) than the living breathing organism it exists from. And at this He could get jealous, or angry, or aloof but He’d rather just stare back at Himself - no, It - and ask It the very vague question that gnawed ever so slightly at him at times. You know, when he was plagued by his own thoughts.

“Hello,” He said in His mind. If this were indeed His own reflection, It would surely be saying the same thing. If this were indeed His reflection It will have some ability. But the certain glint in Its eyes did not belong to Him.

“Good day,” It responded. Its mouth turned upwards at the right side. Its eyelids drooped with a certain heaviness.

“So you can hear me?” He asked.

“All I hear is you,” It said.

“That's unfortunate,” He said plainly. “But I guess that would be the case since you are just my reflection.”

“I am not just your reflection. You are my reflection" It said with certainty.

“I am the one who is real. You are made from nothing. You only exist when I want you to. Like whenever I look into a mirror - you are there. But if I don’t look - you are not. ”

“Hohoho,” It mocked. “But you cannot escape the shadows. Whether you see mine eyes or not, does not mean I am not watching. Whether you hear mine footsteps beneath yours or not, does not mean I am not walking. And whether you feel the weight of mine chest with yours or not, does not mean I am not pressed against your back. So whether you decide I am real or not, does not mean that mine words are lies.”

“Who do you think you are to talk to me like that?” He said. “I am your overseer. I am the breathing. The living.”

“Yes and with every breath you take, I take two. And with every morning you awake to, I have already lived another life” It said.

“You are the afterthought. The after-essence. You live in a world of darkness - of shadows. And I live in the realm of people,” He said.

“No. You live in the realm of things,” It said. “Of glass wall things. You are the after essence, you and all the people. You are the white dwarfs of space. The past of time. You and the people are so troubled by your own existence that you bite one another - fight one another like dogs in a ring.” How could this thing believe that it held the same significance as Him.

“I’d rather be a dog in a ring than a shadow that disappears every night,” He said. He would show It the power He held. He is the living, the breathing. He would pull away from the glass and It would be gone.

“And yet” It said. “We return every morning.”

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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