Making #MeToo Matter

As the impetus to the #MeToo movement swings into trial, the world is holding their breath.

Nicole Kallio, Reporter

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Early last year, you couldn’t go on social media (or the internet at all, for that matter) without hearing about the movement of women standing up for themselves against sexual assault and harrassment, both in the workplace and beyond. This movement, named the #MeToo movement, was sparked after women in Hollywood began to rise up against their abusers; specifically, when multiple women rose up against one alleged abuser: Harvey Weinstein.

As Weinstein’s case moves to court, people all around the country are taking watch and holding their breath for the decision. 

Beginning in late January, Weinstein hobbled into court in Manhattan facing counts of rape and predatory sexual assault (only to have more charges against him announced the same day in Los Angeles.) After setting his plea to all charges as ‘not guilty,’ the trial began. 

Now, with the prosecution’s case rested, here is a run-down of all that occurred. 

Anabella Sciorra was the first of six women to take the stand against the defendant. She recalled an alleged rape that took place in the winter of ‘93-’94, and another similar incident that took place three years later. The defense focused on the fact that she never reported the incidents directly to the police. 

Mimi Haley (formerly known as Hayleyi) testified that Weinstein raped the then-production assistant in 2006, and again later that same month. The defense questioned Hayley about her exchanging friendly messages and e-mails with her alleged rapist after the fact. 

Jessica Mann testified to the most recent assault, the alleged crime taking place in 2013. She claimed she was in an abusive relationship with the producer for months. The defense claimed that, because she sent “flirtatious” messages to him and about him, the relationship was consensual. 

Several other women testified against Weinstein. While they aren’t pressing charges, they are being used to establish a pattern of behavior. The same tactic was used in the court proceedings against Bill Cosby in 2018. The other women, a group consisting mostly of young, pretty women who were pursuing careers in modeling or acting, told similar stories about warily accepting offers from the producer and suddenly finding themselves alone in a hotel room. 

Even though the prosecution has rested their case, the fight for the defense is just beginning. This case is important to many women across the nation because, for many people, Weinstein stands for sexism in the workforce. The verdict of this case will set a precedent for many years to come, and the nation waits in suspense, holding out to see what the outcome will be. 

***All facts mentioned in this story are up to date as of 2/10/20. 

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