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‘When Did You Meet YOUR Harvey Weinstein?’

One of Hollywood’s biggest scandals has ignited viral social media threads, as thousands of people share their personal stories of workplace sexual harassment and assault in response to the question, “When did you meet YOUR Harvey Weinstein?”
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Among the stories: a radio host trapped in a bathroom by a coworker who tried to get her to touch him inappropriately, the law firm receptionist yelled at by an attorney for fighting off a handsy top client, and the woman whose boss told her she could avoid the company’s layoffs if she’d sleep with him.

‘Too Many to Share’

And many of those posting with the hashtag #MyHarveyWeinstein say they have too many similar experiences to share all of them.

Writer Anne T. Donahue posed the question on Twitter after reading The New York Times’ bombshell piece detailing the stories of numerous women who accuse Weinstein, co-founder of the Weinstein Company film studio, of sexual misconduct over two decades. The Times spoke to dozens of former and current employees of the Weinstein Company who said they knew of inappropriate behavior. The newspaper also spoke to actress Ashley Judd, who said Weinstein invited her to his hotel room for what she assumed was a work-related meeting during the shooting of Kiss the Girls. Wearing a bathrobe, he asked Judd to watch him shower or give him a massage, according to the story. She refused.

Days after the Times’ story, The New Yorker published a piece in which three women accused Weinstein of rape. A spokesperson for Weinstein denied the allegations. The company he co-founded has fired him, and Hollywood A-listers continue to condemn him, with more sharing their similar hotel-room stories.

Why We Share Our Stories

The domino effect of accusations has become a familiar story with high-profile executives or celebrities. As sexual harassment claims surfaced against Fox News chairman Roger Ailes and Fox News host Bill O’Reilly and sexual assault charges against comedian Bill Cosby, more women came forward. As the #MyHarveyWeinstein threads show, the news can empower other victims of sexual misconduct, even at the hands of different abusers, to share their stories.

“When one woman breaks the silence, others are empowered to tell their (stories),” Sonia Ossorio, president of the National Organization for Women-New York, told Self.

Women aren’t the only ones sharing their stories. The social media threads include stories of men being victimized, and actors including Terry Crews and James Van Der Beek have alleged that men in Hollywood mistreated them.

“When one woman breaks the silence, others are empowered to tell their (stories).” -Sonia OssorioClick To Tweet

The Power Differential

Both men and women can experience the power differential that was a dominant theme in the Weinstein scandal — meaning, a person in power can abuse others without repercussions. Thema Bryant-Davis, assistant professor of psychology with Pepperdine University’s online Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology program, told CNN that in the workplace, people with higher status have power over the opportunities and work advancement of those with lower status.

“We see power dynamics in who is given free license to abuse the bodies, time and skills of others without penalty, accountability, or justice,” said Bryant-Davis. “Men and women have been victims and perpetrators of sexual harassment. However, men’s sexual harassment of women has been more pervasive and socially expected and accepted in society.”

Shattering the Silence

That “acceptance” — also called “silence” by many critics — is part of the Hollywood scandal. Weinstein’s alleged behavior was known in the industry, yet he continued to wield his power. But that silence might become taboo. Many celebrities have publicly apologized or acknowledged they should have said something.

Jane Fonda told CNN she first heard of one accusation against Weinstein over a year ago but didn’t say anything because she didn’t feel it was her place. She said she now feels ashamed for not saying anything at the time. She acknowledged it’s happened to her by other men and said it is not uncommon.

“This goes on all the time,” Fonda said. “It’s this male entitlement, in Hollywood and everywhere. In offices and businesses all over the world. In bars and restaurants and stores. Women are assaulted, abused, harassed and seen for just being sexual objects there for a man’s desire, instead of as whole human beings.”

Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep and Mira Sorvino are among the celebrities speaking out about their experiences with harassment in the industry. Gretchen Carlson, who sued former Fox News chief Roger Ailes for sexual harassment, chimed in on the Weinstein scandal in a segment on CBS Sunday Morning.

‘We’re Not Going to Take It Anymore’

“The horrific sexual harassment revelations this past week about Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein actually give me hope — that women standing up and saying, ‘we’re not going to take it anymore.’ It’s working,” Carlson said. “As the allegations against Harvey Weinstein remind us, when one woman speaks up, titans fall.”

She also encouraged men to hold their peers accountable and reject the “boys will be boys” excuse.

When we all speak up together, Carlson said, we have the power to change the world.

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When did you meet your Harvey Weinstein? We want to hear your experience. Share with our community on Twitter, or leave your comment below.


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9 Comments on "‘When Did You Meet YOUR Harvey Weinstein?’"

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Stacy Westly
Guest
My first incident of workplace sexual harassment occurred at my first job when I was 15 years old. My manager forced his attentions on me and, when I refused to comply, he told me he would make my life miserable and that he could because he was the son of the owner. He followed me around, into storage rooms and freezer rooms. He grabbed my breasts and my crotch. After the third or fourth instance, I stood up for myself, telling him to leave me alone or I would make his life miserable. He didn’t believe me. Until the cops,… Read more »
Joy
Guest
I was working for McCrorys Department Store and a new assistant manager was hired. He was in the Navy and was changing carreers. One night I had just come on shift working in the fabrics department. He came over to me and in our conversation, he suddenly asked me if I would show him my breasts. I was only 21 and in shock that he would even ask such a question muchless embarrass me in that way. I refused and he began taunting me. My roommate also worked in the store as a supervisor…when I told her what he had… Read more »
Heather
Guest

But in those days, wouldn’t you have just been made to feel silly for even bringing it up?

Paula
Guest
Well before Anita Hill I experienced so much sexual harassment and never said anything because, for some reason, I was made to feel it was somehow “normal” or “acceptable”. I wasn’t the only victim and I was never physically touched or attacked, so perhaps it did not feel offensive. But I was victimized in other ways, with questions, leering, and comments. If it were today, I would say something but even today if someone remarks off the cuff I may not always immediately think it is sexual harassment. But it is, if not for me, for someone else, male or… Read more »
Vasil
Guest

I had some respect for PayScale up until they hopped on the “only women are victims” bandwagon [hence the perspective of this article]. Men get harassed, too. The more you ladies blow it off as “well, he wanted it anyways” or “what are you, gay?”, the more you excuse it. The men have had it. We try to share in your pain, and we get kicked back as “this is a WOMAN’S problem! Not yours”.

Stick to assessing market pay grades. Not social justice (revenge).

Frustrated
Guest
I have had more unwanted advances, talking about my body or how I might perform sexually and physical touches of my breasts and crotch from women I work with versus men. The men understand there is a line between general joking and taking things too far. One guy even made sure to state “That wasn’t me” when a female coworker walking past behind me decided to slide her hand up the crack of my butt. I find it completely frustrating that these women don’t seem to have enough respect for each other in the workplace, which makes me wonder is… Read more »
Cali
Guest

My first time was a radiologist who everyone knew was a jerk. I was a student x-ray tech and he harassed everyone but no one said anything. He cornered me in his office and had me in a corner on the floor. only stopped when 2 other techs walked into his office and saw what was happening. He was ‘talked to’ but kept his job until he retired. hard to have to work with him everyday

Kathy leibowitz
Guest

As an RN, it was common knowledge NOT to be in an elevator alone with a certain MD. who was very ” handsy”,
in a very subtle way, but no one ever reported it. Never heard anything worse, have no idea why no one reported him.This was in late 70’s to 90’s . Maybe younger nurses are more outspoken now.
Dont work there anymore. He still does.
But we just thought he was creepy.

Lisa
Guest

It is very important that these issues get out into the open, make people aware. But, there are repercussions to this as well. This will make a lot harder for women in the workplace. Men and women in the position of hiring employees will be on the offensive all the time.

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