Stop holding victims responsible

It is never the job of a woman not to be harassed, assaulted or raped.

In the wake of a massive sexual harassment scandal rocking Hollywood, Donna Karan came out in defense of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. The fashion designer stated in an interview with the Daily Mail that these women were being harassed and assaulted based on what they were wearing.

Karan is a titan of the fashion industry. When something is in style or going out of style, Karan is one of the people who is responsible for dictating that. If she truly believes that these women are being raped and harassed based on what they are wearing, then she is partially responsible. Karan has since apologized.

But that’s not why they’re being harassed, assaulted and raped.

Women are harassed every day and people overlook it. Women are preyed upon by authority figures, people who they’re supposed to be able to trust and turn to.

These young women are impressionable and doing their best to break into their desired industry. These people who are preying upon them are powerful, they’re elite, they’re the people we turn to for answers for direction for opinion.

In fact, Weinstein is not only one of the founders of Miramax on the Weinstein Co., but he is a huge donor to the Democratic Party, was close friends with the Clintons, and Malia Obama interned for the company. Suffice to say, Weinstein is highly connected with many influential people.

One of the most troubling aspects of this entire debacle is that there are rumors swirling that this has been happening in Hollywood for 20 or 30 years. Glenn Close was one of the first people to be upfront about the rumors that have swirled around Weinstein for years.

“I’m sitting here, deeply upset, acknowledging to myself that, yes, for many years, I have been aware of the vague rumors that Harvey Weinstein had a pattern of behaving inappropriately around women,” Close said in her statement after the news broke.

Roman Polanski, who was charged with raping and sodomizing a 13-year-old girl (among other charges), and Bill Cosby, who has been accused of rape and assault by numerous women, are both still members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and sciences.

Polanski is still making movies with big names in Hollywood.

Casey Affleck has been accused of sexual assault and harassment and even sued, which he settled out of court, but was this year’s Oscar winner for best actor.

Affleck’s older brother, Ben, whom you may have heard of, has been called out by Hillary Burton for grabbing her on TV. There is even video floating around the Web of him doing it.

A simple search on the Web will bring up article after article detailing harassment, assault and even rape allegations throughout Hollywood and the political world.

This type of abuse of power is systemic. It is our job as a society to stand up together and say that this is absolutely unequivocally unacceptable behavior.

This isn’t simply a women’s issue. This is society’s issue.

It’s time for men to start standing up to this kind of behavior.

When something like this happens and the men around us say we need to protect our sisters and daughters and wives it only furthers the hurt and the pain and the abuse.

We don’t need to protect women based on their relationships to men. We need to protect them based on the fact that they are human beings.

When girls are little they are taught not to yell “rape” but to yell “fire” because it might be more effective in saving their lives.

We live in one of the safest countries in the world and the women in this country are still not safe. We need to show women that we are standing with them at all times and at all costs.

We must stop allowing people to get away with harassing young girls when they are in a position of power.

We have to stop chastising women over what they’re wearing. We have to stop chastising girls over their sexual histories; it’s no one’s business but theirs. We have to stop saying that because a girl drank too much that it’s her fault too.

We have to stop using and depicting women as objects for pleasure. We need more films and TV shows that accurately portray what it’s like to be a woman. And we need those movies and shows not to be produced by monsters.

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