Hollywood and Sexual Harassment
It has taken me a while to gather my thoughts around the recent news of Weinstein’s sexual harassment allegations. As an expert on workplace bullying, I can no longer remain silent. Sexual harassment is a form of bullying. Bullying is not just a school yard term. It is also a workplace strategy used to get reasonable people to do unreasonable things to please the boss.
I don’t know much about the entertainment industry. What I know is many people are afraid to come forward in any form of harassment for fear of retaliation. I am sure in Hollywood this means being black-balled which translates to little to no work. Weinstein wasn’t the first to get away with sexual harassment, he just got caught.
It is disturbing to know that men have experienced the same type of sexual harassment and have remained silent. This lends itself to a bigger problem – even men are afraid to speak up. Statistics show that 94% of women who are harassed do not report it. I can only imagine the percentage of men who have and are remaining silent. It can take years to undo any form of abuse. Many times people do not recover because they continue suffer in silence alone.
Here are few things that stood out for me based on what I have read:
- Approximately 40+ women have come forward – I can only imagine how many are remaining silent.
- He denies many of the allegations – One allegation is one too many.
- He should be given a second chance – To do what? The damage has already been done to countless number of women.
- Anytime a person uses the term “unequivocally” –it’s means they are lying.
Here’s what I know:
Silence is not always golden: When harassment is present no one wants to be the FIRST to complain.
There is an abuse of power: Most people who bully are in positions of leadership and influence. The use of coercive power is high. This is when a person has the ability to influence another person’s decision by either threatening to take something away as punishment or taking something. I admit we will never know the full stories of any of these women, but the truth is they were afraid of losing something.
Perception can be reality: Paying a settlement to someone may not be an admission of guilt. However, the victim of any form of harassment should not be forced to deny their truth. Money does not buy peace. Peace is internal.
Reverse psychology is present: Victims of any form of harassment are made to feel guilty and tend to feel sorry for the predator.
Will these women be able to have healthy, trusting relationships?
It is time to Be the Voice and Not The Echo.