By Olivia Dudley
Ever since the first of many accusations against Hollywood’s most powerful men back in October 2017, the #MeToo movement has continued to expand with individuals seeking justice against those who abused them. On May 25, 2018, Harvey Weinstein was finally charged with “rape, criminal sex act, sex abuse and sexual misconduct for incidents involving two separate women” as stated by the New York Police Department, after surrendering himself to the authorities. To the dismay of many, Weinstein was released after a million dollars bail was posted on his behalf. He now walks around New York and Connecticut, after surrendering his passport and accepting restricted travel, wearing an ankle monitor.
Weinstein is only one of many men accused of sexual misconduct; as the list grows and the #MeToo movement expands, more people have come forward to talk openly about their experiences with these abusers. One individual, Molly Maeve Eagan, decided to write an open letter to director James Toback, telling of a time when she was only fifteen years old and going through his uncomfortable grooming process as an aspiring actress. Eagan’s letter should be damaging to Toback, as she recounts a time in which he told her of his inappropriate times spent with girls younger than herself at the time. Yet, by the end of her letter, Eagan acknowledges that she may not be “the right victim.”
The concept of “the right victim,” the victim that changes the course of everything because of the power they hold upon society, has been debated. The faces of America Ferrera, Molly Ringwald, Viola Davis, Terry Crews, and many other celebrities have been seen; but what about the “regular people?”
For those who are not in the spotlight, author of The Director: A Memoir, J.K. Stein is in the process of organizing a photo compilation of some of the everyday women affected by the repulsive actions of James Toback. “He might be ‘lesser known,’ but he certainly has made a great impact on 400+ women’s lives” Stein stated on her Twitter page. Women affected by Toback have been coming forward and uniting against him by telling their stories en masse on Twitter, Instagram, and personal blogs, pushing him to feel the same pain and humiliation he made them feel at the time of the many incidents.
When this collage is released, it will not only be seen as a bitter reminder of how many individuals have been affected by people who abuse their power, but of how many people are not alone. These women are coming forward, telling their stories and inviting other victims of abuse to know that they do not have to live a life feeling ashamed or damaged because of the cruel actions of others.
Your voice matters. If you need to reach out, The UB Post encourages you to contact Safe Horizons National Violence Hotline: 800-621-4673 or RAINN National Sex Abuse Hotline: 800-656-4673. And of course, we here at The UB Post are always available to help however we can at firstname.lastname@example.org.