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The New Social Trend: Coming Out About Sexual Harassment

This+created+a+doorway+for+many+Americans%2C+both+men+and+women%2C+to+announce+their+own+allegations+against+many+other+influential+men%2C+beginning+with+Hollywood+and+eventually+reaching+everyday+people%2C+primarily+through+the+social+media+tag+%23MeToo.+%28Pixabay%29
This created a doorway for many Americans, both men and women, to announce their own allegations against many other influential men, beginning with Hollywood and eventually reaching everyday people, primarily through the social media tag #MeToo. (Pixabay)

This created a doorway for many Americans, both men and women, to announce their own allegations against many other influential men, beginning with Hollywood and eventually reaching everyday people, primarily through the social media tag #MeToo. (Pixabay)

This created a doorway for many Americans, both men and women, to announce their own allegations against many other influential men, beginning with Hollywood and eventually reaching everyday people, primarily through the social media tag #MeToo. (Pixabay)

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Several Weeks ago, sexual harassment allegations publicly erupted against renowned film producer Harvey Weinstein. This created a doorway for many Americans, both men and women, to announce their own allegations against many other influential men, beginning with Hollywood and eventually reaching everyday people, primarily through the social media tag #MeToo.

“I think it is progressive for women or men to feel that they are in a safe enough place [in their life] to get their message out [on social media] and that they are comfortable to share a very private thing with the world, but it also shows the magnitude of this problem…and it shows how much we need to fix it,” says senior Robin Conner.

Sexual harassment is more common than most think, which is not surprising considering a wave of sexual harassment claims have just flooded the media over the course of the past two months. The significant part about this is that many are filing claims that date back twenty or more years. However, why wait? What is one’s allegation worth after it has sat around for two decades, practically forgotten? Coming from someone who has never been sexually assaulted in any way, what does a victim of sexual assault gain from releasing their information years after it took place, despite possible closure?

“I know why [victims of sexual assault] are doing it, and, if it really happened, I think that they should still be allowed to release their information, even if it is [being released] twenty or thirty years after it happened,” says junior Thomas Kraus.

Knowing that hundreds of men have been accused, and many of the men’s reputations subsequently broken, should the accusers stay quiet after a specific number of years? Although this contradicts the First Amendment, to save another’s reputation, should there be an amount of time open for one to speak out about an assault? In asking this, one should consider how much a person (possible perpetrator) grows in one or two decades; their opinion changes and they adapt to the changing world around them.

“I feel like, immediately after [the assault] happens, that is when you should tell the authorities, but when you wait, you’re specifically waiting for a gain. You’re not doing it as a result of the actions that occur,” says senior Wilson Pierce.

Overall, there is much controversy around the accused and the accusers. Something that I have noticed when looking into some of the cases includes always seeing the word “alleged”. This being said, is it right to automatically release information regarding someone else’s actions, may they be good or bad, without proof?

“They can, even if it isn’t the right thing to do, they have the right to release it. Do I agree with it? Not in this case, [waiting 20-30 years before releasing their allegations] but people with allegations do need to release it as soon as possible because it isn’t good if they don’t,” says senior Mark Romba.

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The New Social Trend: Coming Out About Sexual Harassment