COLUMN: The importance of #metoo

Harvey Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein
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The phrase a ‘rolling stone gathers no moss’ seems to have been proven absolutely wrong in the past two weeks.

With the metaphorical rock being launched from the starriest heights of Hollywood, the Harvey Weinstein scandal has certainly built up some momentum as it has sped through the world, gathering all sorts of shocking revelations along the way.

It seems almost unbelievable that it has taken until late 2017 for the realisation that uninvited/forced sexual behaviour toward another is simply not acceptable.

But therein lies the rub.

This sort of behaviour, though outwardly frowned upon by all decent people and in law, has become ingrained in society- and those who complain are victim blamed.

A phrase perhaps overused in the past few days but nonetheless true.

There is shame in admitting your defences have been compromised.

Anyone who has laughed off inappropriate behaviour know that.

It's pretty embarrassing.

It should of course be the aggressor who faces the shame but frequently it isn’t.

And if you are one of those sniggering at all the victims coming forward and muttering ‘bandwagon’ you are complicit.

There is a reason victims of sexual assault or harassment in Britain are entitled to automatic anonymity in law in Britain - because to do otherwise would be to submit them to the judgement of society when in fact they have done absolutely nothing wrong.

Nothing at all.

But the law still has to protect them.

And society isn’t someone else - it’s us.

It has taken an immense amount of bravery for women and men to come forward and tell their horror stories.

And there are hundreds, thousands, of people who will never be able to do so - because they are scared.

The floodgates have been opened, albeit hesitantly, with many on social media admitting #metoo

The phrase strength in numbers has never held as true.

The next few months will be game-changing as headline follows headline and those protected institutionally start to be exposed.

It will be traumatic - but if one person is protected it’s worth it.