For nearly two months, powerful men in the public eye here in the United States have repeatedly been accused, and often fired, because of sexual misconduct.
More than a dozen familiar faces and names have been exposed, as examples of a pattern of behavior that happens in every culture, every country, and every class.
They are politicians and celebrities, comedians and Hollywood producers, all with one thing in common: power. Which they allegedly or admittedly used to force women to accept inappropriate sexual advances.
CGTN’s Jessica Stone reports.
“I think we’re at a watershed moment. I really feel that this is the first time women and some men in America can come forward and will be believed,” said Political Strategist Lauren Zelt.
“And when people feel believed, I think there’s less of a threat that there are going to be repercussions against them, for reporting it,” Caren Goldberg, Sexual Harassment Researcher said.
“We’re largely are at a turning point because now people are starting to face consequences to these things. Accusations have been made before. That’s not that new, now people are getting fired, resigning, apologizing for it,” said Dave Moss, Start-up Founder.
“Frankly, you are seeing these firings taking place because I there was institutional knowledge of the behavior that was ignored,” Zelt added.
“I would say though that there is a fairly high-profile person out there with over a dozen credible accusers who has yet to face accountability for that,” Moss said.
He’s referring to U.S. President Donald Trump, who overcame multiple allegations of sexual harassment to win the White House – including a moment – where he appeared to admit to the behavior – on tape.
“I think that got a lot of people to change their behavior and act in ways that they wouldn’t have otherwise,” Moss added.
And as more public figures have been publicly accused, more Americans have shared their stories through the hashtag me too movement on social media.
“I thought, I want to say me too as well, and so I think you’re very right that got the ball rolling,” Zelt said.
“I think organizations maybe need to beef-up their HR departments or internal investigations and sanction harassers,” Goldberg said.
“I also think it’s created an education and awareness. I’ve been struck by talking to men, especially men of older generations. They’re shocked. They’re shocked that this goes on. I’ve seen it across the spectrum, so I think the education and awareness component of it is what’s going to help make it stick,” Zelt added.