Op-Ed: One lesson from the Weinstein case is that men like me must speak out about abuse
A woman who says she was coerced into having sex with a Hollywood producer is accusing Harvey Weinstein of abusing her.
Lisa Bloom, who has accused the powerful movie executive of rape and assault, recently wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about the case.
I am writing this column to share how my experience working to combat sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood over the past 15 years has shaped my views on this subject. My goal in sharing my first-hand experience in the public arena is to promote awareness and bring some accountability to those in positions of power who claim to value women, but fail to address systemic issues.
Since the age of 14, I have been involved in all manner of community service activities related to sexual assault. My activism as a young woman started after a friend was sexually assaulted by a professor in college. When I heard the news, my first question was, “Why did he have to sexually assault her?” Now, I’m still asking that question today. I’ve worked in service organizations for women who are survivors and for people who are survivors of abuse. From that experience, I began to learn how deeply entrenched sexual abuse is in our society and how little our society is willing to do to address it.
In the midst of this work, I met Lisa Bloom, a young woman from a wealthy family in LA who had been through a difficult but inspiring experience. Lisa was the victim of a very brutal battery and then a gang rape. As a result of what she underwent in that brutal attack, she survived a near-terminal brain cancer. After her harrowing experience, Lisa was not ready to get back to work. In fact, she decided to go back home to Texas. She found the courage to come forward and speak out about being sexually abused and it changed her life.
After reading Lisa’s story, I was inspired to see her take it all in stride. For me, that is a sign of strength and resilience. I knew that no one can recover from what she has been through, but I found it encouraging to see her do so in a matter of days.
In her op-ed for the New York Times, Bloom writes:
“The last two days have been