My View: #MeToo

Many women are coming forwardwith  sexual harassment and rape allegations against some of Hollywood’s biggest actors and directors over the last few months including Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K. and Harvey Weinstein. Not to mention the unfathomable amount of abusers in Hollywood with victims that have yet to come forward. It’s exhausting and depressing to think about, but am I surprised? Unfortunately not. Sexual harassment is a universal experience for all women* and femmes.

Sometimes, these allegations seem kind of far away, but it became especially real when Architects front man Sam Carter defended a known predator whose victims I share mutual friends with and Brand New front man Jesse Lacey was accused of soliciting nudes from a minor.

Not long ago, Sam Carter made headlines for calling out creepy men who grope women at gigs and was met with a lot of positive feedback. After exchanging a few interactions with a known abuser currently under investigation for rape, my friend Ty told Sam about the situation and he replied with “Thanks for keeping me in the loop. I didn’t know anything about that but I’ll wait till proven by the courts [thumbs up emoji],” but quickly deleted his replies when they were met with contention. This is a prime example cognitive dissonance when it comes to sexual assault: when it’s strangers, it’s easy to assume the worst because it doesn’t effect you personally, but when it’s someone you know, it can’t possibly be true. Thankfully, Sam retracted what he said and stood with a victim that came forward, but he should have known better in the first place.

I got into Brand New about five years ago and saw them live three times in 2015: April (Arizona), August (New York) and September (London). A blessing in disguise, I’ve come off them a bit recently with their outrageous ticket prices and insufferable fans. Over the last few days, allegations against the front man Jesse Lacy have come forward, the most disturbing of them being soliciting nude photos from a minor. Jesse Lacey posted a largely incoherent and off-topic apology on the band’s Facebook page that didn’t even address the problem: he was on about how he is a serial cheater but hey, at least his wife still loves him. “Extremely bold move to try and shift the narrative from “Jesse Lacey had emotionally abusive, sexually motivated relationships with minors” to “Jesse Lacey is a serial cheater, please feel sorry for his wife.”

With these allegations, a lot of men will be quick to defend other men and themselves by saying the closest thing that sounds to nails on a chalkboard: “Not all men.” We aren’t here to point the finger at any individual man, but the culture that entitles them to women, enables them to get away with inappropriate relations and shames women into silence.

The #MeToo trend was created in solidarity with those who showed courage by coming forward with allegations that make them relive the horrible experiences, tolerating any backlash they might face and pursuing justice for months or years with, let’s face it, a grim chance of any sort of conviction against the perpetrator.

For the women who are forced to relive their experiences with every new viral allegation, I’m with you.

For all the unexposed predators out there, your time will come.

*Although I use gendered language in this article for simplicity sake, I understand there are more than two genders and acknowledge there are transgender, gender fluid, non-binary, intersex people as well as those who have yet to make up their minds.

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