I am ecstatic at the Me Too and Times Up Movements that have sprung up this past year, but in order for these movements to be successful we, as a society need to take some responsibility. Sexual assault has been taken very seriously, which is great. But I think we need to start penalizing sexual harassment more. This whole thing with Morgan Freeman has really gotten to me, and it has me going back to past behaviors that have been let slide by society.
The biggest name that I think of from the past is Michael Jackson. He is obviously a historical and controversial figure. He was acquitted of the charges brought against him, but there is no doubt in my mind that he was a sexual predator. And it was society's job to make sure that he was held to that standard. Yes, he was the King of Pop, but he is still an average human with a problem that hurt children. By letting celebrities get away with this behavior, it is a pass for others. This argument is used in other situations, but I think it is especially true in the realm of sexual assaults and sexual harassment. We must challenge everyone, no matter who they are, if they committed a heinous act like this.
This leads me back to Morgan Freeman, a man who I have loved my whole life, and now I feel betrayed by. I do not know if I feel more betrayed by his actions or his response to the allegations. His first apology was awful, his second apology, was some what better, but still bad. Claiming that his career should not be dismantled because he did not assault women, but rather teased them, is not a good response. We cannot allow a man to tell a women, that the harassment she felt was not a traumatizing experience. If this man truly did not know that what he was doing was wrong, than he would have sincerely apologized for his actions, instead he is more concerned with his career than the women he hurt.
Again, I am very happy with the progress made by the movements, from Harvey Weinstein to Kevin Spacey, but we cannot stop there. Those decisions were made by the industry, but society needs to help as well. Sexual harassment is inexcusable, and for men who do not understand, and for women who may not have experienced it, please no it is hurtful. Every woman experiences it differently. For me, a frequent target of sexual harassment, it hurts the trust that I have in people, my heart breaks a little bit each time it occurs. Please know that every woman feels some sort of pain equivalent to this. Therefore we need to stop it. Do you part in society and do not praise those who have been accused. There is no need for anymore stories to break on this subject, if we put a stop to it.