The First Wave of reckoning

The First Wave of reckoning

Abcarian: On the fifth anniversary of the #MeToo movement, the reckoning continues.

On December 10th 2017, the first accusations against Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood director who had been accused of sexual assault and criminal sexual abuse for decades, were made in a New York Times article titled ‘Mr. Weinstein’s Lawyer,’ by Ronan Farrow.

That same day, the first alleged sexual harassment claims against Kevin Spacey were made in the New York Times article titled ‘Mr. Spacey,’ by Felicia Sonmez and Ann Hulbert. The allegations against Spacey were further followed by the subsequent accusations against Woody Allen in the New York Times article titled ‘Mr. Allen,’ by Ronan Farrow and Laura McCallum.

That same night, on the evening of Wednesday, December 10th, two powerful men had been the subject of accusations made by four women in the same article — Weinstein and then-President Bill Clinton.

The allegations against the two men were significant to many of us, as women, as we felt that it would help to be heard.

However, the allegations against Weinstein were largely reported in the media without any follow up from any women speaking out on the subject beyond some tweets by Weinstein. Meanwhile, the allegations against Kevin Spacey were reported in the media on the back of a tweet by Spacey himself which stated ‘If you don’t pay you’re not worth the rent.’

This was the first time the New York Times had reported allegations against a powerful man.

The reporting on these two allegations were significant for their significance to those of us who felt that it was time for a second wave of reckoning.

The three stories made headlines, but we cannot ignore that this was a year where we as a society began to ask ourselves, ‘Would Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and any other powerful men ever be able to live with themselves?’

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