By Olivia Haveron
In Late-2017, following sexual abuse allegations — and later convictions— by more than 80 women against Harvey Weinstein, the #MeToo movement sparked worldwide campaigning against the overwhelming sexual abuse and harassment that women face in their everyday lives. Earlier last week, a bankruptcy judge approved a $17 million payout to be split between 37 women in the Weinstein case which started the wave of the #MeToo Movement, and it appears that the next wave of the movement might be already here.
On Monday evening, Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to her Instagram Live to discuss the events that unfolded during the Capitol Riots. During this session, she shared information that was relatable to many of her viewers stating, “I’m a survivor of sexual assault. And I haven't told many people that in my life. But when we go through trauma, trauma compounds each other.” In response, critics moved to discredit her with one conservative commentator even calling her talk “a masterclass in emotional manipulation” or that she is the Jussie Smollet of sexual assault (Jussie Smollet is an actor who is accussed of coordinting his own assault). Just writing this out disgusts me that people think they can take one person’s experiences and somehow cast blame on them.
It shows the downplay of women’s experiences that pretty much lays out why many women believe that they don’t show too much, don’t tell too much. It feels as though the blame is always put on us. The #MeToo movement is meant to be a moment of agency: to declare that we, as women, are not alone and we will not stand for this mistreatment any longer. Some people saw the movement as a trend — it’s not a trend and will never be a trend.
AOC is not the only woman to share her story recently. Evan Rachel Wood came out highlighting the anti-Semitic abuse during her relationship with Marilyn Manson. In a recent Instagram story, she wrote “I was called a ‘jew’ in a derogatory manner. He would draw swastikas over my bedside table when he was mad at me.” Since then, more women have come forward with allegations against him, which include sexual assault, psychological abuse, and various other forms of violence, coercion, and intimidation.
Ashley Walters declared, “As we all struggled, as survivors do, to get on with our lives, I’d keep hearing stories disturbingly similar to our own experience. It became clear the abuse he’s caused; he continues to inflict on so many and I cannot stand by and let this happen to others. Brian Warner needs to be held accountable.” These women and survivors are sick of staying silent while Manson continues to abuse other women and want him to be accountable for his actions.
There are countless other women who have spoken out against ‘idols’ such as Armie Hammer, Soulja Boy, and TI in the recent month which is why I call this the second wave of the #MeToo Movement. Especially with men in power, it is so difficult for women to speak out in fear that there will be repercussions for their actions. When one woman speaks out, it makes it so much easier for others to speak out as well. This is also a call for men to speak out against their abusers because the pressure to stay silent remains on them as well.
I believe it’s not fair to the survivor to idolize their abuser. It is necessary to highlight the women instead of the abuser’s past accomplishments and successes. The #MeToo movement never ended. In fact, it is only the beginning.