A young woman named Lauren Sivan is telling the story of how Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted her ten years ago just 1 & 1/2 hours after he met her at a dinner party. She froze, not knowing how to handle the situation. There isn’t a woman alive who hasn’t got stories like that with consequent feelings of guilt, as if they were complicit in the assaults. One instance in my life was during trade school where I was one of the first few women. Every day the school director called me to his office & verbally sexually assaulted me. I knew he would throw me out of school if I told him off so I objected as firmly & insistently as I could without hauling off & slugging him in the face. The other students suspected I was engaged in something sexual so when I emerged from his office, I faced their wrath & sometimes outright abuse. This was all entirely new to me since until then I’d worked in mixed gender workplaces. There was almost no concept of this kind of behavior outside of brothels. There were no laws about sexual harassment to protect me. I was on my own & had no idea how to handle the situation. The director punished my refusal to allow his abuse by denying me an apprenticeship when I graduated.
I am so grateful that these young women are speaking out & have the highest respect for their courage. After learning the hard way how to defend myself against verbal sexual assault I believe we need to teach the young the methods of self-defense & we need to fight for tougher laws that will punish these abusers in a court of law. If I had any legal protection in trade school, I’d have had his ass in court after the first instance. Weinstein will walk on these crimes against women just like Cosby, Ailes the Fox News guy, Bill O’Reilly, Trump, & all the others because that’s the status of women’s rights in the US today.