By Seamus Fallon and Patricia Gomez
In light of the recent and inescapable outburst of sexual assault allegations, the scarring crime, especially in the context of Hollywood, has been on the forefront of many of our minds. Long withheld accusations and confessions have finally surfaced, leaving many of us shocked and appalled. Shocked that it’s taken this long for these people of power to be subjected to scrutiny, appalled at the misogynistic and victim-hushing nature of Hollywood, and perhaps stunned that some of the actors and industry veterans that we so greatly admired are perpetrators of these heinous crimes. In today’s age of constantly shocking and continuous news, however, it is far too easy to only feel this shock and disgust, but nothing more. It is far too easy to eventually lose and interest and move on from these calamitous times as headlines change.
Many people, men and women alike, do not have this luxury. Sexual assault is nothing new; it is a crime that persisted for eons and one whose scars, mental or physical, can last a lifetime. Nor is it isolated within Hollywood. The issue is garnering it’s currently publicity due to the celebrity status of both the perpetrators and the victims, but it is extremely important to remember that sexual assault happens all the time, all over the world, on much smaller scales. But that does not make the crime any less forgivable or the aggravators any less deserving of proper consequence. From the biggest offices in Hollywood, to the board rooms of large or small scale corporations, to the halls at school, sexual assault is a prevalent and regrettably accepted facet of today’s rape culture.
We, as a society, owe it both to ourselves and of course those affected to make a change. We cannot stand to remain complicit any longer. It is disheartening to say the least to see the dignity stripped from those once heralded as icons of pop culture, but they are not just bad individuals and these assaults are not just isolated incidents. What we do and what accept as a society determines the nature of our culture. Educating ourselves on this grave issue and actively working to dissolve it is the path we must take to creating a better culture and paving the way for a better future.