‘Me too’ Campaign: Women across the world share experiences of sexual assault and harassment following Harvey Weinstein scandal

Something a little different from me. While I usually like to stick to book reviews, family life, DIY, I had to comment on a recent event.

The Harvey Weinstein Scandal is one of the biggest sexual abuse scandals to have ever hit Hollywood. With the cases of Bill Cosby causing concern, the outrage that has come with Harvey Weinstein is bigger, giving the voiceless a chance to come out. With cases of sexual assault coming up once in a while, more cases are usually kept silent as most victims are victimized by their abusers. However with the film industry involved this time with known women who are respected by many as victims, the ‘Me too’ sexual abuse campaign has been born.
The ‘Me too’ campaign which is primarily on social media has raised awareness of sexual abuse all around the world. With twitter having the post being re-posted millions of times, the #metoo is not ending anytime soon. However Facebook offering more characters for its users to write, everyone is giving a listening year by users. This way all victims who have never had a chance to voice their sexual assault experiences get the opportunity to detail their worst nightmares.
The sexual abuse campaign grew even bigger with actress Alyssa Milano posting the Me too campaign from twitter, promoting it on Facebook, as was suggested in the light of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault behaviour coming to light. In the twitter post it stated, “ By offering a platform to all victims, we are giving people a sense of the magnitude of how big the problem is”. To make the sexual abuse campaign bigger men actors have also given heir voice, with the likes of Javier Munoz saying “ If you have ever been sexually harassed/assaulted use ‘Me Too’. “
Alyssa Milano who stars in “Charmed” with Rose McGowan, one of the alleged victims of rape spoke up on a personal level, disgracing the film producer that has mounted against Weinstein. In a blog, she stated “ I am angered and sickened by the sexual assault accusations levied against Weinstein. Using his position and coming up as a sexual predator due to his power is just disturbing. However, I am happy and ecstatic that this has given way, to a talk about sexual harassment to be discussed in the public”.
With a number of celebrities joining the sexual abuse campaign, police have officially opened investigations against Weinstein both in the USA and UK. Still, with actresses such as Lysette Anthony, Lucia Evans and Asia Argento coming out saying they have been raped by the bigwig Hollywood producer, some truths have come out even with Harvey Weinsteins continued denial. With bigger names such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Kate Beckinsale stating they have been sexually harassed by the producer, the “me too” campaign has shown that it can happen to anyone. However, with well-known actresses getting their voices, it has come out that Harvey Weinstein has reached an out of court settlement with up to 8 women in the last month alone. Still, Harvey remains adamant of his actions, stating that he has never had any sexual relations with any woman without consent.
All in all with one of the biggest names in the film industry now exposed, the ‘me too’ sexual abuse campaign is giving confidence to all women around the world, to no longer fear and remain silent.

Australia: same-sex marriage survey votes YES

The past few years have seen a global revolution when it comes to marriage; specifically, old laws that forbade marriage between two people of the same sex have been overturned and enabled these couples to have the same rights and legal recognition of heterosexual couples. Following the example of countries like the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany, the people of Australia have now voted by referendum to legalize gay marriage.

On September 15, 2017, the country’s government revealed that 61.6 % of Australians had voted in favour of legalizing gay marriage, with 38.4 % voting no. The voter turnout was rather high: around 12.7 million Australians had their say, which is about half of the population of the entire country. In other words, the outcome was decisive. This result was not entirely unexpected – many earlier polls showed that most people were for legalizing gay marriage.

What about those who weren’t, however? The “Vote No” camp was populated largely by those who objected to gay marriage on religious grounds, as well as people concerned with “traditional values” and those with conservative views on homosexual relationships. A leader of the “Vote No” movement, Lyle Shelton, felt that legalizing gay marriage would expose children to “radical LGBTIQ teachings” in classrooms, for example. People in his camp also worried that gay marriage would infringe upon their freedom of speech, feeling that stating their views could be penalized as hate speech. One prominent opponent of gay marriage was former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who campaigned against his sister’s right to marry.

Overall, however, the country is jubilant. The happiness over the results of the referendum has been tempered slightly by criticism of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberal Party. Detractors say that the Parliament should have taken heed of earlier polls that showed the country was largely in favour of legalizing gay marriage. That way, they say, the country could have saved the $122 million dollars expended in organizing the vote. It seems likely that the Prime Minister did not want to be personally responsible for legalizing gay marriage (probably to avoid controversy), instead deciding to put it to the people.

Of course, the law still needs to be put into place to allow weddings to occur – a referendum of this type is not binding and, as Lyle Shelton has said, the whole thing is a “two-step process.” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says he hopes the law is on the books by Christmastime. There’s no guarantee this will happen, but it seems to be a safe bet that a law will be passed by Australia’s Parliament sometime in the next couple of months. Things could be complicated, however, due to the time needed to hammer out the fine details of the law with regards to things like “religious liberty,” the provision that people who are religiously opposed to gay marriage will not be forced to perform homosexual wedding ceremonies.