Op-Ed: One lesson from the Weinstein case is that men like me must speak out about abuse and harassment we face.
When Harvey Weinstein was found guilty in March of sexual assault and sexual harassment, some people called for him to be fired from his film company, which he founded, or even sent to jail. And he should have been, they said, but for a lack of evidence or a weak case.
But in a move that’s received heavy praise, Weinstein has been suspended indefinitely from The Weinstein Company. And some say it’s the beginning of a wave that will spread across the industry.
Weinstein’s fate is an inspiring one. Many men have been convicted of sexual assault or harassment. And yet most of them aren’t thrown in jail.
Weinstein’s case is different.
It is a story that illustrates how, in the world of American entertainment and media, women with stories to tell are met with indifference, silence and even a slap on the wrist.
Here we are in an era when #metoo has come to represent women’s right to demand transparency about sexual assault, sexual harassment, and the sexual assault and harassment they are subjected to on a daily basis. And yet women, and men, who have told their stories and shown their faces and voices are met with silence and hostility.
And in this world, silence is an act of violence.
Weinstein’s case and the many others like it speak to a larger question:
If my face is on the cover of a magazine, do I risk losing my job? If my face is in the paper, do I risk losing my job?
Or do we say: we don’t need a woman’s face in the magazine, on the cover of that magazine, or in the paper? We don’t need a woman to speak out, we need to speak out.
Weinstein’s silence is part of the problem. If you’re not willing to take the risk of telling your stories and your own voice, what kind of world are we creating as a result?
Here’s another sign of Weinstein’s silence: