Get a life. Why wait so long if it’s true. How do you know they have suffered, that’s only going on what they have said.
These are some of the comments which were left on Facebook when we shared the news that Don Burke – among 65 others – had been accused of sexual harassment and bullying by a string of former female employees.
And people still wonder why women are afraid to speak out in these situations!
All of the comments above were left by women – the one half of the world’s population you would expect to have empathy for such a situation. One (male) even suggested Australia was just following Hollywood, “like sheep”, in the wake of the Weinstein scandal.
Such responses only prove the necessity of initiatives such as #MeToo. #MeToo is a social media campaign where thousands of women have shared their personal stories using the #MeToo hashtag. It took off in October following the not-so-shocking revelations of sexual harassment inflicted by US movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Putting your head in the sand and pretending this harassment didn’t – and doesn’t – occur is wishful thinking. It’s real, it won’t go away, and it’s about time it was addressed. So many women have internalised society's misogyny – a culture of victim shaming and blaming. Nothing will improve until the culture changes at the top.
“So many people knew. But no one stopped it. The perpetrators were promoted, while the sufferers were silenced. It was – and remains – a protection racket.”
These are the initial findings of Fairfax Media columnist Tracey Spicer’s investigation into sexual harassment and indecent assault in Australia's media and entertainment sector. So far more than 500 women have come forward, naming 65 men.
This is only the beginning of an investigation that will take years, until all workplaces are safe for those within their walls.