An Ashley Judd quote from the book has now been adopted by me as a mantra.
"[Judd] had always wanted to be an activist, and when she went on the record about Weinstein, the world affirmed her instincts.
"I have to know the hill on which I'm willing to die," she told the group.
"The equality of the sexes is that hill for me." "
page 258 'She Said'
After finishing the book last night I felt that I shut the cover with a better understanding of what it is like to be a reporter, a writer for an acclaimed newspaper. Which is a good thing to learn about, especially in a world where the President of the United States is working against free and fair media. Feminist Journalism is now a class that people can take at some universities and I feel that this book could be a primer for that subject. You can a real sense of the back and forth, the relationship building and support that has to be shown and exercised to be able to reveal this type of story to the world.
As someone who has herself received a Sexual Harassment Settlement, which is probably more than I am supposed to say out loud. It was a small, sad amount of money not even enough to pay for a semester of school. This does give me more of a personal connection to this topic. The connection pulled at me through out the story but seemed to pull harder at the end of the book. The last chapter tells of a gathering at G. Paltrow's house in which the women reflected together. I don't have a community of women that I know who have settlements but I know plenty of women who are harassed every day, who have physically abused in a workplace or at home. And I long for a space to connect over these subjects that feels hopeful and isn't just me taking to the one or two people will who never tire of my need to talk about social justice.
This #MeToo movement can not fade away because things aren't that different now than they were when I was in middle school and the boys were slapping our butts so hard in the hallway that we had to walk with our backsides against the lockers.
A couple of weeks ago a 7th grade boy tried to physically assault me in a classroom at a public school in Minneapolis. His friends had dared him "to grab the substitute teacher's ass" and that young man didn't have the sense not to try. In a moment when I was unaware of the dare, arched forward assisting another student, I felt my jacket being lifted up from the back. I felt something on my backside and immediately turned thinking it would be an accident, a student simply trying to move past my body without enough space. But why the jacket lift? That is not what I found, that is not what happened. I will end the story here as it's contents are not the main point. The point is that entitled men are still taking chances with their actions toward women. Somehow this young man has grown to his age of twelve with the knowledge that he could probably get away with that. That the trouble he could potentially get in was worth how cool his friends would think he was for violating my body. We need to teach the lesson of respecting other human's bodies to everyone.
OTHER HUMAN'S BODIES ARE NOT YOURS TO JUDGE, TO COMMENT ON, TO TOUCH WITHOUT CONSENT. END OF STORY.
BACK TO THE 'SHE SAID' BOOK AND KANTOR AND TWOHEY'S WORK...
Not only do you learn about the specifics of Weinstein, the ins and outs of journalistic procedure but you also absorb just how tricky it is to ensure that perpetrators of this kind of sexist violence are held accountable. The way that women are treated leads to not enough people coming forward which compounds the existing legal hurdles and the whole thing is one confusing, less than satisfactory procedure.
AN ARTICLE TO HELP WITH THE FEELING OF HELPLESSNESS or lack of options
Short on Legal Options, #MeToo Accusers Turn to Defamation Suits
The Weinstein trial is rare because most sexual misconduct allegations are too old to litigate. But women, and men, are finding an alternative way to get to court.
A GREAT PODCAST TO SUPPLEMENT...
The Daily did a two part breakdown of some key points surrounding the trial, it explains more about how the prosecution is working (or not working) against Weinstein. It is a quick bite and I listened to both parts while I was in the middle of reading the book so it gave me momentary timeline confusion but the news is moving so fast that I am constantly catching myself up with the latest word.
+ Settlements where victims get money is nice for the victims, it's even more nice if those victims are people
who are financially burdened.
+ Unfortunately most of these high profile settlements surround a lot of individuals whose financial reality represents
the top tier of this nation, people who are getting settlement amounts that are more than most people will make
in their entire lifetime. That is not relatable. Nor does it make people think that this is a reckoning that has anything to do with them.
Thanks for reading this jumbled mess, I am not interested in making an easy to read piece that turns my emotions into a digestable, postable blog. I just wanted to think and process this as the book is freshly consumed by me.