Women Will Not Be Silenced

As discussions rage about sexual harassment, it is women who will lead the conversation – not misogynists.

Women are treated as second class citizens on this planet and the majority of us are, quite frankly sick, of it. Whilst Harvey Weinstein is apparently “seeking treatment”, it’s set the world alight with sexual harassment discussions. From Donna Karen victim blaming the women accusing Weinstein, to Lindsay Lohan defending him because “He’s never harmed me or did anything to me”, it seems everyone has an opinion.

The case came to a head recently when Rose McGowan had her Twitter account suspended after tweeting “Ben Affleck fuck off” followed by “@benaffleck “GODDAMNIT! I TOLD HIM TO STOP DOING THAT” you said that to my face. The press conf I was made to go to after assault. You lie.”. This is while the president of America is allowed to tweet such sentences as “Truly weird Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky reminds me of a spoiled brat without a properly functioning brain”.

This decision evidently pissed a lot of women – and even some men – off. So, a protest began in which women everywhere would boycott the social media platform, Twitter. As strong as this movement is, and as huge as it has become with #WomenBoycottTwitter trending, misogynists have jumped at the chance to continue to attack women. These were just a couple of examples from Twitter:

“It’s alright, Twitter is a better place without you easily offended feminist bitches”

“Happy #WomenBoycottTwitter Day! Enjoy the peace and quiet everyone!”

They are just two examples of the hideous abuse women are experiencing purely for showing solidarity with women such as Rose McGowan who have been silenced.

The stereotype around feminists has long been ‘butch, men-hating lesbians’. But, it seems women aren’t the haters at all. In fact, how can men claim they don’t hate women when they’re still treating them like sex objects in 2017? The American anti-sexual assault organisation, RAINN claims that “1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime”.

There’s a huge lack of respect for women and there’s a serious lack of belief that that’s going to change any time soon. From putting women down and silencing them on social media to sexually assaulting them in order to prove their masculinity and hold power over them – toxic masculinity just isn’t going away. It’s reminiscent of a dark cloud hanging over the heads of every single woman.

It also has to be said that while white cis women are suffering too much as it is, they don’t have it anywhere near as bad as others. For example, trans women and women of colour are taken even less seriously, barely represented and very rarely listened to. Even worse than that though, trans women are regularly being tortured and murdered purely because of who they are.

This assumption that in 2017, we have equal rights for men and women needs to be re-evaluated. There’s no such thing as equal rights where rich, powerful, white, cis men are involved. The Weinstein allegations will likely prove to be the tip of the iceberg, and more is bound to come out from Hollywood. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have already had their names dragged through the mud, and this is just the beginning.

We need to stop victim blaming, no woman deserves to be sexually assaulted because they wear a short skirt or want to be an actor. Sexual assault has always been wrong, no matter what era you were brought up in. Sex addiction is not an excuse for harassing women. And as persistent as men are with their attempts to shut down women, 51% of the planet cannot and will not be silenced.

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