I can’t help but wonder how many Harvey Weinsteins we have right here right now, in Australia, in positions of power, watching the news unfold.
I can’t help but wonder what they are thinking. Whether it’s: “Look at this predator, abusing innocent women like that, what a pig!” Or is it, “Poor bastard he got caught,” – and sadly, I think it’s the latter.
Every time a new abuser or attacker is cast into the public spotlight, we are all outraged. It dominates the news. Our dinner table conversations, our social catch-ups, lunchrooms, Twitter – it’s all we talk about.
We create hashtags, say we’ve had enough of it, sometimes we hold rallies, demand change, undertake investigations, and media commentators write pieces – exactly like I am writing now.
But then something rather odd happens. We almost seem to just move on.
Something else breaks in the news and we move on from thinking about it. We momentarily forget once again, until the next Harvey Weinstein ends up on the television three months later. Once again accused of heinous acts toward women, and thus the cycle repeats itself.
We’re again outraged, incensed over this guy’s disrespect for women. But have we ever done anything to stop it? I mean, we talk about it, but do we take enough affirmative action to really address the problem? Or are we just “outraged”?
Sexual assault is shocking, but hearing of it should no longer be a shock. It’s rife in our workplaces, every single day. The issue has plagued us for centuries, but we still can’t seem to solve it.
It starts with people in positions of power who prey on the innocent women who work in their organisations. They prey on the fact that they need their job, need a pay check, need the project or the reference on their resume. We’ve seen the issue burst into the Australian news recently with allegations of sexual harassment at our own Channel 7. We know what’s happened in the past – in so many workplaces I tire to mention them all.
And yet we hear about Harvey Weinstein and the same debate ensues. With the Weinstein case, the media have known about it for years, but his films propped up the media industry. People in power were willing to protect him and this is a pattern we see emerge time and time again. Statistics in Australia prove that sexual assault and abuse is still rife. But very few people want to talk about it or come forward.