Reese Witherspoon, America Ferrera & Jennifer Lawrence Add Their Voices to #MeToo
We Are Not Things
Every day more men and women come forward to talk about their experience with sexual assault, rape, and harassment at the hands of heads of the entertainment industry. Adding to the voices that have already emerged after the #MeToo hashtag went viral are Reese Witherspoon, America Ferrera, and Jennifer Lawrence.
Ferrera released a very powerful statement on Twitter late last night, speaking on how she was sexually assaulted at the age of nine and internalized all the responsibility for the violence that happened to her. Her perpetrator then continued to torment her using his presence as a way to keep her from saying anything to her family.
— America Ferrera (@AmericaFerrera) October 17, 2017
At Elle’s Women in Hollywood event, both Jennifer Lawrence and Reese Witherspoon used their platform as a means to show solidarity with those who’ve already come forward by speaking about their own trauma. As reported by People, Reese was candid about being sexually assaulted by a director when she was sixteen and feeling forced to sweep that and the multiple other times it happened under the rug.
“I have my own experiences that have come back to me very vividly and I find it really hard to sleep, hard to think, hard to communicate a lot of the feelings that I’ve been having about anxiety, honest, the guilt for not speaking up earlier…But after hearing all the stories these past few days and hearing these brave women speak up tonight about things that we’re kind of told to sweep under the rug and not to talk about, it’s made me want to speak up and speak up loudly because I actually felt less alone this week than I have ever felt in my entire career.”
Jennifer Lawrence’s comments are equally traumatic as she recounted how a female producer tried to shame Lawrence into losing weight by having her line up naked with other, skinnier, women and to use that as motivation to loose weight. During the “line-up” Lawrence says the women only had tape to cover up their privates.
When Lawrence tried to speak to another producer about the incident, “He said he didn’t know why everyone thought I was so fat, he thought I was ‘perfectly f***able.’” She added, “I let myself be treated a certain way because I felt I had to for my career…I’m still learning that I don’t have to smile when a man makes me uncomfortable.”
Let’s not also forget how when Lawrence’s iCloud account was hacked in 2o14 (along with many other women) and nude photographs of her were leaked, she was shamed by many in the media for taking the pictures in the first place, rather than it being called out for the huge violation it was.
More women will be added to the list as each emerging voice helps in allowing victims realize that they are not alone. What is left for us to do in return is not only support them, but respect them as people, as human beings because as shown by Lawrence’s story about the female producer, women can be complicit in this behavior as well.
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