Harvey Weinstein found guilty of rape. So few words, yet the impact of these words was immeasurable. As news broke of disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein’s judicial fate, the impact of this ruling could be felt around the country.
For so many across the nation and around the world, this headline came as a sort of reckoning, after so many months, or, for some, years of turmoil and anguish. This sentencing will never take away the pain and suffering Weinstein inflicted upon so many women, but it may finally close an arduous and harrowing chapter, so they may begin the long march toward healing.
Allegations against Weinstein first started emerging in Oct. 2017, when The New York Times published an article in which many women, among them actresses Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd, came forward with sexual harassment claims against Weinstein.
Shortly thereafter, Weinstein was fired from his production company, but this was to be only the beginning of what would become a tumultuous nearly three-year debacle.
In the months following the initial allegations, many more women came out and accused him of sexual misconduct, sexual harassment and rape. And time and time again, he tried to silence them. When it was all said and done, over 100 women will have come out against Weinstein. Yet in this pivotal trial, six women testified.
Even more shocking, the final verdict came as a result of the testimony from only two of those women, actress Miriam Haley and a second woman, who has chosen to remain anonymous.
While I am appeased that Weinstein finally had to face the music on his actions and was sentenced to at least five years in prison, I, as well as many women, find myself frustrated at how long it has taken for these criminal acts to see the inside of a court room.
No significant legal action was taken until late May 2018, nearly a year after the first allegations were made. I find it hard to have faith in a judicial system that is so reluctant to listen to women in the first place, and then drags out such a critical case for nearly three years.
I also find myself dismayed at how many charges Weinstein was found to be innocent of. Among these was the charge of predatory sexual assault, the most serious charge brought against him. He was charged with first degree criminal sex act, as well as a third-degree rape charge. The verdict did not find him guilty for these charges.
To be completely transparent, there is part of me that isn’t satisfied with the outcome of this trial. There is a part of me that is angry his sentence isn’t longer, that more women weren’t allowed to have their day in court. Above all, I am angry at how long this behavior was allowed to go on without any repercussions.
The Weinstein trial will go down in history as a major step toward changing how our society believes women, but we still have a long road to amends ahead of us. I hope this trial will serve as proof that we are done with silencing and asking them about the lengths of their skirt and how much they had to drink. It is time we see these women for who they truly are: brave individuals willing to risk it all, so that our world may be a safer place for the girls who will come after us.