Harvey Weinstein may have been found guilty in court today, but the battle has just begun.
That is not to undermine the incredible bravery, courage, and perseverance the countless women who stepped forward to testify, both in court and in public, against such a monster.
Nor is it to deflate the smaller triumph we should feel in the face of one of the innumerable predators that give men a bad name, and are a standing testament to how society protects its male predators as the patriarchy dictates.
But we have so much further to go.
–Until we can look into the eyes of a rape victim and not question her morality, her validity, her personhood, her victim state–
–Until we can listen with open ears to her story and give her the benefit of the doubt before looking at the finer details and interrogating her like a criminal––Until we can give sexual abuse victims, male and female, the maxim of “innocent until proven guilty” that we so readily give sexual predators–
We have not reached a true victory, or are anywhere close to the end of our journey.
If you are upset about this verdict, you need to focus deep inside and ask yourself why you’d prefer to believe one man over 80 women, over several decades.
You need to ask yourself why your first response to trauma and evil is to disbelieve the victim and not question the aggressor.
Until women are believed without flinching–without even a pause of breath or hesitation–we have not found our victory.
But a small victory is, still, a victory.
Thank you, to all the women who put their very lives on the line to testify against people like Weinstein. Thank you for standing up for yourselves, and for all rape victims.
Let’s keep fighting. The war isn’t over yet.
Image source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-and-white-blur-costume-dark-458509/