On Thursday, the New York Times published and in depth and harrowing report on women alleging they were sexually harassed by Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein. The accusations, which were said to have been known in Hollywood inner circles, were strong enough to inspire women everywhere to tell their own stories.
One woman started a Twitter thread where she asked people to share when they met their own personal Harvey Weinstein, meaning the first time they encountered someone who used their position of power as a sexual weapon.
"I read the Weinstein piece, got angry, tweeted about my own s**tty experience and figured that at the very least someone would read it and feel less alone if they'd gone through something similar," Anne T. Donahue told BET.
For many, coming out about being in a situation of sexual harassment or any instance where a superior put them in an uncomfortable situation is difficult. Thus, those stories often go untold. Yet Donahue wanted to create a space where men and women could drop the shame they'd been carrying and expose their "Weinstein."
"The response has been incredibly overwhelming, but in a way that makes me feel hopeful. There's power in numbers. So to see so many share their experiences and to engage and to help create a space in which people feel comfortable speaking out — that's incredible," Donahue told BET. "I wish I could say I was surprised at the number of experiences I'm reading about, but I'm not because — like most of us — I know how prevalent rape culture is. Abusers of power are everywhere. Harassment, assault, abuse — everywhere. But it was the generosity among those sharing that made me feel less hopeless and more powerful. No one had to say anything, but they did, and that makes others feel less alone. And that's what incites change."
"Which is also to say that if you're not ready to talk, it's important to know that there's power to be gained from even reading. Opening up isn't a coping mechanism for every person and it's important that we recognize it. Especially since trauma affects us all differently and only we know how our brains work best," she added.
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