Editorial: October draws more bad news for women

Editorial: October draws more bad news for women
October 26
09:00 2017

We all know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Domestic Violence Awareness Month, but it seems that in 2017, it also has become Let Me Reveal That I Have Been Sexually Abused Month.

The month seemed to begin with the revelations on Thursday, Oct. 5, when The New York Times published a story detailing decades of allegations of sexual harassment against Harvey Weinstein, an American film producer and former film studio executive.  Among the accusations are that he forced women to massage him and watch him naked. He also promised to help advance their careers in return for sexual favors.

Actresses Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd are among the first women who were acknowledged victims.

Now, CBS News reports that there is a “movement” regarding sexually abused victims. The “Me Too” social media movement, which went viral after actress Alyssa Milano shared it on Twitter, has reached dozens of countries and millions of people. Twitter confirmed to CBS News that over 1.7 million tweets included the hashtag “#MeToo,” with 85 countries that had at least 1,000 #MeToo tweets.

CBS News also reports that last Tuesday, Facebook released statistics showing that there were more than 12 million posts, comments and reactions regarding “Me Too” in less than 24 hours, by 4.7 million users around the world. As of Oct. 17, Facebook said 45 percent of users in the United States have had friends who posted “me too.”

(The movement was actually created 10 years ago by black female activist Tarana Burke, CBS News says. She told Ebony she came up with it in 2007 to let young women of color who survive sexual assault know that they are not alone.)
So, what do we do with this information?

We know that for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we are asked to give money and raise money to fight breast cancer, check on each other to make sure we don’t have it and – keeping it real – buy all kinds of breast cancer awareness items that show a pink ribbon that folds over.
We know that for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we discuss the issues and view plays about domestic violence, we hear the stories of victims and become aware of how we can help victims. Many times that includes donating to an organization.

But if a person was sexually abused and it happened decades ago but she is just now revealing it, what do we do?

Do we use all the tweets and Facebook entries as pure entertainment?

Harvey Weinstein has been punished outside the legal system because of the sheer number of accusations against him. It seems that Hollywood has known about his actions for a long time but it’s only now that they have been brought to light. Some people put him on a list of powerful men who have taken advantage of women. This is not helping the people who have compassion for the victims and want to help.

We have our marching orders for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It appears that for Let Me Reveal That I Have Been Sexually Abused Month, all we can do is be entertained, until organizations rise up to give us a plan of action.

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