Now that the Harvey Weinstein thing has come out right on the heels of the James Woods thing I wrote about in my last post, my head has been spinning a little too much. I follow Rose McGowen and Amber Tamblyn on Twitter and I see guys making comments and shaming women for waiting to come forward. I’m surprised that people don’t understand why women stay silent or delay saying anything for years or decades. The reason is so simple.
Women get attacked or harassed and immediately go into shock. Is this really happening to me right now?? This is not what I thought it was?? Then when they get out of the situation they question themselves first. Why did I go to this place?? Why did I wear this?? Did I smile when I shouldn’t have?? These things all go through her mind even if she knows that these are not reasons or consent for attack. Then the shame and worry. I hope no one finds out. If I tell anyone, no one will believe me. They’ll call me a whore. Our mutual friends/associates will take his side because they won’t want to believe this about him. I know they will take his side. I KNOW it. The friends/associates that believe me will have a rift with the ones that believe him. There will be a rift. I don’t want to cause a rift. I must avoid the rift. I need to remain silent. No good will come if I don’t remain silent.
All is buried and life goes on fine until she is triggered. Someone else is attacked or a girl comes forward and is called a lair, or a girl comes forward and is shamed for waiting to come forward.
Once someone comes forward, the next round of attacks begin. Different ways to attack and shame the victim who did nothing to bring on or deserve the attack from the perp, the attacks from the perp supporters and, of course, the ones from herself. And there are her own friends who are mad that they weren’t told immediately and that she didn’t do what they think she should have done in that situation that they were not in. And, of course, all the others who question why she waited to come forward. There is absolutely no way to win. That’s why they stay silent. That’s why we stay silent. Staying silent is simple. Speaking up is this complicated mess I just tried to explain.