“There are a lot of nervous men out there right now.”
The words, said so matter-of-fact, rolled off my husband’s tongue as we watched the morning news of the 23 million dollar harassment settlement by O’Reilly and the growing list of violators that echo the Weinstein scandal.
My friends and business associates ask me daily now, what my thoughts are on the Weinstein situation. Knowing that I spent the majority of my life in that industry as an actress they assume my thoughts matter somehow.
I say this with respect to all, no one’s thoughts matter.
Our voices do.
It is my passion to help people hone and share their story and I have determined most often, the root of their hesitation is the primitive fear of public humiliation. The concern of what others may think can not only stop us from telling our story, but it can, in a strange and sadly human way, cause us to sit by silently while others experience the struggle that we may have endured ourselves.
As Tom Hanks stated in an interview on Monday with NPR’s David Greene, there is a type of moralistic gray area that’s going to come into [the questions], ‘Did you aid it?’ ‘Did you abet it?’ ‘Did you warn people against it?’ ” Hanks said.
You may think that what you have knowledge of is wrong, but until you voice your concern, nothing changes.
Whether you have been a victim of sexual harassment, discrimination or a completely different personal struggle there is power in speaking up. You can impact a changing tide, the likes of which we may be seeing in Hollywood right now.
Or, You can be encouraging word that leads someone to seek help, or healing.
As far as my personal exposure to sexually improper behavior in my previous industry (Demonstrated by Weinstein and now so many others), I was one of many who assumed I couldn’t expect anything better than what was allowed. And so I accepted it. I witnessed others being taken advantage of far more, and I thought myself relatively “lucky;” and yet, perhaps partially due to my naiveté, I stayed silent.
You may rationalize, “My speaking up probably won’t change anything.” There is a chance that could be true. But there is a 100% chance of certainty that your silence will have no impact at all.
What’s the change in the world you would like to see?
Tell your story. Your voice matters.