It’s been a few weeks now since the Harvey Weinstein drama started snowballing, and I am wondering - what are you seeing locally, if anything, happening from it? What are conversations off the internet like, or are you seeing any changes or differences in your day to day life or business or community? What frustration are you seeing or having as you see people post about it online? Is there anyone who hasn’t had the experience of seeing a dude post about supporting #metoo online when you’re like... dude you ARE one of my #metoo stories but k, thx for the internet support. ?
I ask because I am actually seeing a LOT of shit going down in my town, some of which might just be coincidental timing, but some of which is 100% related to people coming forward about their own abuse post Harvey Weinstein, and I’m kind of hoping this is starting to become more grassroots in general.
For instance, I am part of a Facebook group that mostly local (open to anyone but started by women in my city) is similar to GT in some ways (it’s not nearly as awesome), but it’s women who are distinctly feminist communicating news and frustration and experiences to each other. In this group, after the Weinstein accusations came out, one woman wrote a post about how frustrated she was with the hypocrisy of so many people she saw supporting it when there was a man in the local theatre community -fuck it, I’ll say his name, - who was still widely accepted and supported despite being a known sexual harasser and abuser. Not rumored - known. Known as in he lost his job as a professor at a local university after many, many female students stood up and accused him of ongoing abuse. Even after he was fired for sexual harassment he continued to be a prominent figure in local theatre, constantly writing and directing plays and putting on productions in major local companies. She wrote of her frustration - and now she had to leave the community here and go elsewhere to pursue it - and many many other women chimed in with their horrible experiences with him. Including one who worked closely with one of the biggest theatre groups in the city, the NOLA Project.
This has a great ending - because of all of the women seeing this and supporting it and sharing their experiences in this one post (in a closed group!) - the woman who was aligned with The NOLA Project took this to their board, who signed a publicly released statement within a week saying that not only would they no longer work with this man in the future, but they were cancelling his in progress work with them, full stop (this is actually a big deal, since they invested already in this piece and were willing to take the loss on it). This was AMAZING to see this happen and see some sort of positive outcome. It made me so happy.
We are also now in the middle of another huge scandal; chefs here are celebrities, and John Besh is one of our biggest and supposedly brightest; he has 9 restaurants in the city, he has a foundation for sending POC to culinary school, he’s won a James Beard award, etc. He also was just recently slapped with a suit from over 25 women saying that he personally and his company foster an atmosphere of sexual harassment. This broke here last week; it’s just starting to make some national news. Harrah’s already is shutting down the one restaurant he has in their casino here based on the allegations. Now, the timing here could be somewhat coincidental (i.e. he has another huge lawsuit pending with another chef and this could be timed to be released to impact that) but... it doesn’t FEEL like it.
Long story short - I am wondering if yall are seeing the same thing. If there is an uptick in accusations, in people stepping forward, in things happening on the local level where the Weinstein allegations are becoming not just another scandal, but an actual watershed moment in sexual harassment (for reference, this is a great article discussing what a watershed moment is and trying to figure out if this really is one). Id love to hear input from all over the place.