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Swanson: MeToo Should Hold Women Accountable

Cartoon by Lindsay Schuring

In the past six months, several female and male celebrities in Hollywood have come out to target the men of the industry who have sexually assaulted them during their careers. The wave of support that followed from fellow celebrities and the American and international public at large was huge. Its waves were heard and stretched from Twitter to the Golden Globe Awards and the 2018 Women’s March.

Men in considerable positions of power in the entertainment industry watched as one by one, their reputations and careers collapsed. Harvey Weinstein, Woody Allen and Kevin Spacey are just some of the high profile names to be outed in this massive scandal. While these brave victims who are coming out against their abusers, who are receiving the right response and the right support should be commended, this recent wave of abuse allegations has indicated a double standard exists for female aggressors.

Fortunately, the problem doesn’t stem from a lack of sympathy toward male victims. Actors, like Elijah Wood, Terry Crews and James Van Der Beek, have all come forward with their own tales of sexual harassment in Hollywood to overwhelming support. It just seems to be an unfortunate fact that accusations made against female aggressors aren’t taken as seriously as those made against their male counterparts.

That’s not to discount the sheer amount of men who have been outed, but the abuse perpetrated by women in power needs to be addressed as much as those made against men. The attitude needs to be turned from women and men fighting against Hollywood men in power, to victims of abuse seeking justice against their abuser  —  no matter who they are.

In November, 2017, the month after the first Weinstein accusations were made, Mariah Carey reportedly had a sexual harassment case on her hands. The former head of security for Carey, Michael Anello, told the world that during a trip he was told to bring luggage to the hotel room where Carey was staying at. When he arrived with the bags, she was wearing an open, see-through negligee. Anello reports Carey asked him to stay and help move the luggage, but he promptly left the room and no physical contact between the two of them was made.

To Carey’s credit, she does only have the one allegation against her, unlike similar cases, like that of Louis C.K., but the fact still stands this story has not received adequate coverage. I only heard this was going on this month. There aren’t big hard-hitting pieces about her in publications like The Washington Post or The New York Times. As far as press coverage goes, this accusation has received little more than silence.

Carey has been the only female celebrity accused of sexual harassment since #MeToo has blown up. However, the history of assault perpetrated by female celebrities, and it not harming their careers the way it has harmed men’s careers, runs longer than #MeToo.

In her autobiography, “Girls” creator Lena Dunham told tales of what practically equates to sexual abuse of her sister  —  all from masturbating while in bed with her sister to experimenting with her sister’s genitals. Despite this being a widely reported narrative by the press, Dunham’s presence in Hollywood remains largely intact. She has only been called out by the #MeToo movement for not being involved in meetings and for defending a “Girls” writer who was accused of sexual assault.

The double-standard reaches as far as covering female celebrities who committed assault of the general assault nature. Emma Roberts left her boyfriend Evan Peters with bite marks and a bloody nose in 2013, a case where police had to get involved, yet she continues to get work in 2018. Goalkeeper for the United States women’s soccer team Hope Solo continued to play for the team despite accusations from her nephew and half-sister that she had beaten them.This is not to paint women as evil or to take away from #MeToo’s fight against male abusers in the entertainment industry. When we treat female and male aggressors equally, we solidify the fight against sexual harassment and assault and empower all victims to step up.

Here’s to the prolonged success of movements like #MeToo and Time’s Up in their crusades to empower the victims of abuse. It’s time the fight was taken to everyone who needs to be confronted.

[email protected]


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About the Contributor
Gavin Swanson, Opinion Writer
Gavin Swanson is an opinion writer.

Comments (5)

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  • A

    AnnaMar 10, 2021 at 6:19 pm

    I think that this opinion writer should be silenced. He has not a clue what he is talking about and his opinions are dangerous. Studies show 81% of the female population have been victims of some form of sexual harassment or sexual assault. When this movement began I posed the question to al my female friends, have you ever experience this? Every single one said yes and their personal stories all came flooding out and I felt comfortable enough to tell my story for the first time. I’m not saying women can’t be perpetrators, of course they can and they are!! But men are disproportionately the perpetrators over women. It is not equal, not even close. Men have always been in positions of power, not women. This is just another case of a man attempting to gaslight and take attention off the actual issue. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mr. Gavin Swanson has some skeletons in his closet because his opinion wreaks of it. It’s because of people like him that woman are afraid to come out of shadows. Not to mention Lena Dunham did not sexually abuse her sister your an idiot for saying that. . Be more responsible and before you allow uninformed idiots to publish their “opinions,” maybe think is what he is saying has any merit or contributed anything of use to society. This opinion piece should be taken down and the writer should apologize.

  • W

    Woody Allen FactsApr 2, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    I disagree. If you look at the facts here, Woody Allen has been dragged through the mud and presumed guilty despite the multiple sources calling out Dylan and Mia as being manipulated and manipulative, respectively. contains actual timelines and rebuttals for all of their spin. This was a convenient time for Mia to continue her tactics and all at her children’s expense. He was already cleared by two separate state agencies. Dylan’s own brother said that while Dylan may believe that she was abused (thanks, Mia), she most certainly was not.

  • L

    LauraMar 6, 2018 at 10:36 am

    Please! This is the equivalent of the “All lives matter” nonsense. Intentionally missing the point and attempting to derail the conversation.

  • W

    Woody Allen Mob LynchingMar 5, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    Write Woody Allen’s name in this article is unfair.

    I feel very sad for all the women out there who have been abused but will never have their day in court. The Farrow family has had unbelievable access to the media and has used it to their great advantage. To continue to exploit the public platform that the media seems willing to give them only to repeat the same accusation we’ve heard for over two decades is both an appalling insult to the criminal justice system that devoted so much to their cause as well as an utterly narcissistic demand for the public attention that could be, and should be, given to others — all the victims out there who have not been heard and will never have a chance for the justice of an investigation.

    Dylan Farrow was listened to 25 years ago. She has had the singularly exceptional attention of 2 separate teams of experts on child abuse from 2 states who devoted months to investigating Woody Allen on her behalf. They found no reason to charge him.

    Dylan Farrow is Ronan Farrow’s sister, whose investigation into Weinstein is at the origin of the MeToo movement. Who could accept that Ronan Farrow’s sister does not tell the truth and that she’s only a pawn in the revenge of her mother Mia Farrow, humiliated as no actress had ever been before her by the relationship and then the marriage of her adopted 19 years old daughter Soon-Yi Previn with Woody Allen?

    People saying that they know W. Allen molested his 7 years old daughter because he have a relationship with his underage adoptive daughter or because in his movie, Manhattan, a 42 years old man, interpreted by Allen, is dating a 17 years girl, are not only silly and despicable: they are also completely wrong. Not only young women are not little girls, but Woody Allen and Mia Farrow have never been married and have never lived together. Soon-Yi Previn was Mia Farrow and Andre Previn 19 years old adoptive daughter and as she has said herself, Woody Allen was never a paternal figure for her: Andre Previn was the paternal figure.

    Dr. Coates, who regularly treated the couple’s biological son, Satchel (now Ronan), from 1990 to 1992, and often conversed or met with both parents testified that on Aug. 1 Ms. Farrow called her after having learned that the affair with Ms. Previn was continuing. Ms. Farrow described Mr. Allen as “satanic and evil,” Dr. Coates said, adding that Ms. Farrow pleaded with her to “find a way to stop him.”

    Four days after that conversation, the psychologist testified, Ms. Farrow phoned again, saying that Dylan had begun complaining that Mr. Allen had abused her. Dr. Coates characterized Ms. Farrow as having been extremely calm during the call, in contrast to her agitated state in other calls.

    Because of Woody Allen celebrity and because he wasn’t showing remorse about his love relationship with Mia Farrow ‘s 19 years old daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, Judge Wilk’s conclusions are skewed by barely concealed revulsion toward him.

    Worst, as if that was not enough to make it biased, he was married to an attorney who advocates for abused women and children and “believes the victim”. Can you believe one second that Judge Wilk didn’t WANT Woody Allen guilty ?

    Judge Wilk was so biased against Woody Allen that he found some reasons to challenge ALL testimonies saying he didn’t abuse Dylan: the Dr. Susan Coates (a woman), the Dr. Nancy Schultz (a woman) and the Yale-New Haven team (The Yale-New Haven investigation was conducted over a six-month period by Dr. Leventhal, a pediatrician; Dr. Julia Hamilton, who has a Ph.D. in social work; and Ms. Jennifer Sawyer, who has a master’s degree in social work: they found Dylan Farrow has not been abused but could have been coached or influenced by her mother, Mia Farrow).

    At the end, Judge Wilk couldn’t find Dylan was sexually abused and Woody Allen wasn’t prosecuted.

    Woody Allen was cleared a 2nd time few months later by a different report from a different state:

    Now that Moses Farrow has spoken and said that so many times he saw his mother, Mia Farrow, trying to convince his sister Dylan that she was abused, we know the Yale-Haven report was right and the Judge Wilk, wrong. Woody Allen didn’t abuse his daughter, as he has always professed since 25 years.

  • A

    AMar 5, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    Couldn’t agree more. I was sexually assaulted by a girl when I was a kid, and it ruined my life. It doesn’t paint women as evil, or take away from female abuse victims because no matter who does it and who gets it, the effects are devastating. The metoo/timesup movement should realise that if it has any credibility whatsoever.