Time’s up in Hollywood.
The #MeToo movement has ignited and is sparking new allegations of sexual misconduct by male celebrities on an ongoing basis. From Hollywood elites such as, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Bill Cosby and James Franco, who were exposed for sexual harassment and assault, a new light is shining and uncovering the years of silence clouded over the rich and famous.
One of the newest allegations in the movement is against Canadian filmmaker, Paul Haggis. He is under fire for accusations of sexual assault by multiple women, including rape. The London native is a proud Fanshawe alumni, but recently students have been questioning the giant poster of Haggis in the M Building. Many are saying that he does not represent an ethical image of Fanshawe College.
While Fanshawe has released a statement condemning Haggis’ actions, the #MeToo movement is about a changing society. Fanshawe’s Sexual Violence Prevention Advisor, Leah Marshall, says that change starts with the bystanders, “a part of changing that culture is acknowledging that we sometimes know these people in our lives are friends, peers, classmates that have perpetrated this type of violence or someone’s that’s attended the school that’s an alumni.”
Sexual harassment and assault is an all too real reality for students. It’s a violation that can take years to process and to heal from. It’s a story that many people are sharing online to create a dialogue, but for some students, seeing these posts can be triggering.
“At the end of the day, looking after yourself, your wellness and your safety are the most important things and you need to engage with that in the way that feels best for you,” Marshall says. “For some people, it is posting Me Too and sharing their story and having that voice and having it recognized. For others, it may not feel safe to put their story online still, it might not feel safe to identify as a survivor and that’s ok too.”
The #MeToo movement is providing an outlet to express past traumas and to hold people accountable. Although, it is important to remember that the survivors of sexual assault have to live with the memory forever, so we may never hear or expose every celebrity who has assaulted someone.
“I think it’s important for students to know that it’s your story. You decide when you tell it, who you tell it to, how much you share or if you even tell it at all and I think that’s something that we need to be respectful of every survivor that it is their story,” Marshall says.
Resources for victims of sexual assault:
519-452-4465 Sexual Violence Prevention Advisor
519-452-4430 Campus Security Services
519-642-3000 Anova, Support and Information Helpline