Speak up and stop the normalization

Women are starting to stand up against sexual harassment and speaking out is the first step.

By Amy Nungaray, Staff Writer

 

Sexual harassment has been normalized in the United States by the silence of women who are too afraid to speak up in fear of backlash. That was not the case this past week when the hashtag “MeToo” went viral on Twitter with almost two million tweets, showing the world the true scope of the issue.

The movement revealed just how big of an impact sexual harassment has had, revealing all of the women left in its wake.

“We’re at a point in time when women need to send a clear message that this is over,” Gwyneth Paltrow told The New York Times. “This way of treating women ends now.”

One in five women will be sexually harassed during their lifetime, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, but this study only accounts for the women were brave enough to come forward.

Sexual harassment is one of several tipping points that can lead to a rape-culture mindset, including victim blaming, trivializing sexual assaults, and glorifying a sexually aggressive manhood. The normalization of this treatment results in the assumption that women have no control of men making unwanted sexual advances or obscene remarks. It all needs to stop.

The aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein sexual allegations have brought some of the most powerful women in Hollywood, like Paltrow, forward to share their sexual harassment stories

This will hopefully create a much needed shift to speak up and rightfully punish those who deserve it.

Academy Award–winning Actress Lupita Nyong’o wrote an article for the New York Times about an experience she had with Weinstein in which he made an advance on her. She ended her piece with a call to action for women to speak up.

Nyong’o stated, “Let us never shut up about this kind of thing. I speak up to make certain that this is not the kind of misconduct that deserves a second chance. I speak up to contribute to the end of the conspiracy of silence.”

The domino effect of these women speaking out has stopped the world from turning a blind eye on the reality that sexual harassment is not only a common occurrence within Hollywood, but something women across the world deal with on a daily basis.

Sexual harassment may never end, but the first step to fighting it is to use your voice. It is time to speak up and not be afraid of confronting any uncomfortable advances.

Let us speak up on behalf of all the women who did not have a chance to do so in the past. Let us speak up to set a strong example for the young females who are growing up in a world run by men. Most importantly, let us do it for ourselves.

 

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