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‘You’ Star Victoria Pedretti Doesn’t Owe Us Anyone’s Name

Victoria Pedretti stares wistfully in a scene from You.

You star Victoria Pedretti recently shared an all-too-familiar story, saying she had been sexually harassed by a very well-known actor (yes, probably one of your faves) who came up to her at an event on her birthday and volunteered some unsolicited, disgusting information. She shared this information via a caption on a since-deleted Instagram post. According to Buzzfeed, that caption read:

“On my bday last year a ‘well known’ actor walked up to me at a party and said ‘I’ve jacked off to you so many times,’” she wrote. “I was shocked by the audacity.”

“This is AFTER he expressed how much he respected me as an actor,” she continued.

So first and foremost, ew. I’d like to state clearly for the record: No one cares about your boner. Like, ever. Maybe your doctor, if they ask specifically, but in a party context, unless specifically asked (and spoiler alert, you shan’t be asked) no one cares or wants to hear about it. Bringing it up apropos of nothing is unwarranted and a form of sexual violence; and no, you’re not being canceled you whiny man-baby, you’re just an a-hole trying to assert your dominance over someone. It’s gross and demeaning, and you’re a bad person for doing it.

Her post ended in an affirming way, with Pedretti taking ownership of her own damn body, just the way it should be:

Also, shout out to my body. I love you. You’re mine.

Hell yes it is. Despite what that actor tried to do, assert ownership of your own image and body—no one gets to own your body but you. As much as my messiest, gossip-loving basest self would love to take Pedretti aside and ask her who this prince of a man is so I can hiss him every time he comes on screen for the rest of his life, she does not owe it to us to divulge anything.

Let’s not pretend like society loves to protect women naming and shaming the men who treat them poorly let alone who abuse them, here. Johnny Depp, anyone?

Society loves to punish the woman and protect the man. By refusing to name him, she centers herself, her bodily autonomy, and the audacious violation of both, and keeps who he is out of the conversation because frankly, he doesn’t belong in it. Who the man is is incidental to the violation because the casual misogyny that she encountered is endemic to our society as a whole. This very site runs stories like this frequently! What’s the point of naming him? It only opens her up to further abuse.

If we’re serious about change, and centering women in their own experiences, then let’s have that conversation. Because outing one weasel of a man and making him have to do the song and dance of half-hearted apology (best case) or go the Depp route and attack her (worst-but-realistic case) is exhausting and I’m already tired. Louis CK, a noted, admitted sexual harasser, is selling out arenas and making comedy specials. Mel Gibson is making movies like he never got charged with domestic violence. Shia LaBeouf was sued for sexual assault by FKA Twigs and he’s in the upcoming Francis Ford Coppola movie. There are no long or lasting repercussions for the vast majority of abusive men in Hollywood. You can point to Harvey Weinstein, sure, but it took decades to bring him down with criminal charges. He’s one of many.

Until we have equality, stop asking women to name the men who abuse or commit acts of sexual violence against them, publicly. Allow them to speak out, and tell their truth their way.

(featured image: JOHN P. FLEENOR/NETFLIX)

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Kate Hudson (no, not that one) has been writing about pop culture and politics for five years, and is a Contributing Writer at The Mary Sue. With a deep and unwavering love of Twilight and Con Air, she absolutely understands her taste in pop culture is both wonderful and terrible at the same time. She has probably seen Cliffhanger more times than you. Team Edward 4-Eva.