- Christian Hartmann/Reuters
- As dozens of women have accused top Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault and harassment, women across many industries have been speaking out about their own experiences. Joining the #MeToo campaign, lawmakers, journalists, and athletes are telling their stories of sexual abuse and calling for change.
In the aftermath of a flood of sexual assault and harassment allegations against top Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, thousands of women all over the country – and across the world – spanning diverse industries are speaking out about their experiences as victims of workplace sexual abuse.
Actress Alyssa Milano, an outspoken Weinstein critic, encouraged women to write “Me Too” in social media posts to indicate that they had been sexually abused as a way to “give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”
Milano’s #MeToo campaign – a version of one initiated by activist Tarana Burke a decade ago – resulted in millions of social media posts by female lawmakers, athletes, and journalists, and others.
On Tuesday, Milano wrote, “One tweet has brought together 1.7 million voices from 85 countries. Standing side by side, together, our movement will only grow. #MeToo.”
Here are a handful of the stories that have been told so far:
Women lawmakers in the European parliament
- Christian Hartmann/Reuters
Members of the European Parliament joined the #MeToo campaign last week, standing up in front of their colleagues to denounce the “widespread problem” of sexual harassment in European politics.
“Me too, I have been sexually harassed, just like millions of other women in the European Union,” Terry Reintke, a Green Party MEP from Germany said from the parliament floor, continuing, “and I think it’s about time that we say that we should not be ashamed, but that the perpetrators should be ashamed.”
Women in Hollywood
- Rick Kern/ Getty Images
The allegations against men in Hollywood keep coming.
During a speech at a women in Hollywood event, Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon revealed that she was sexually assaulted by a film director when she was 16 years old.
Hundreds of women, including top Hollywood actresses, have come forward to accuse director and screenwriter James Toback of sexual assault or harassment. Amazon Studios chief Roy Price was forced to resign after allegations surfaced against him.
The A.V. Club put together a more comprehensive list of women in Hollywood who have come forward with stories of sex abuse.
Female senators and congresswomen
- Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Female lawmakers across the country – and the world – have spoken out against sexual harassment and abuse in politics and government.
Four female Democratic US senators – Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Claire McCaskill, Mazie Hirono, and Heidi Heitkamp – told stories of being propositioned, assaulted, or harassed.
“I was a very young state legislator and in my 20s and I was single – and I was nervous about getting my first bill out of committee,” McCaskill told NBC News’ “Meet the Press.” “So I cautiously approached the dais and went up to speak to the very powerful speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives. And I explained to him the bill I had, and did he have any advice for me on how I could get it out of committee?”
McCaskill went on, “And he looked at me, and he paused, and he said, ‘Well, did you bring your knee pads?'”
Rep. Jackie Speier, a California Democrat who shared her own story of sexual assault, told Politico that Congress’s Office of Compliance, which handles sexual harassment claims is “toothless” and “a joke” and that she will introduce legislation to reform it.
Women in media
On Wednesday, CNN reported that veteran political journalist Mark Halperin sexually harassed his female colleagues while working at ABC News, according to five women.
Other women, including Dianna Goldberg May, a former ABC researcher, and Emily Miller, an author and political correspondent for the One America News network, have alleged that Halperin harassed or assaulted them.
“I did not report Halperin to ABC because I thought I was the only one, and I blamed myself, and I was embarrassed and I was scared of him,” Miller wrote in Twitter and Facebook posts on Thursday.
Halperin was pulled from his contributor position at MSNBC and NBC News and lost his book deal with Penguin Press.
Many other male journalists and editors have been accused of sexual misconduct in recent days. Former New Republic editor Leon Wieseltier lost funding for his new magazine, while VICE News journalist Sam Kriss, Vox Media’s editorial director Lockhart Steele, and British GQ’s political correspondent Rupert Myers, were fired.
- Ronald Martinez/Getty
American gymnast McKayla Maroney, an Olympic gold medalist, shared her story of repeated sexual assault by her team doctor, who has also been accused by dozens of other alleged victims.
“It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was ‘treated,'” Maroney wrote in a Twitter post. “For me, the scariest night of my life happened when I was 15 years old. I had flown all day and night with the team to get to Tokyo. He’d given me a sleeping pill for the flight, and the next thing I know, I was all alone with him in his hotel room getting a ‘treatment.’ I thought I was going to die that night.”
Other prominent female athletes, including WNBA star Layshia Clarendon and golfer Paige Spiranac, have also shared stories of sexual abuse as part of the #MeToo campaign.
Female state legislators
- Jim Young/Reuters
Hundreds of female state legislators across the country, including in Oregon, Rhode Island, and Illinois, shared their stories and accused their colleagues of workplace abuses.
Over 140 female lawmakers, lobbyists and consultants in California signed an open letter describing the “pervasive” culture of sexual harassment at the state capitol.
Sacramento lobbyist Samantha Corbin told NPR that the Weinstein allegations “elevated conversations that already happened under the radar between women colleagues and friends for years.”
“Even for women in the Legislature, men often control fundraising, your ability to get bills passed – even women at the highest levels feel that they’re not insulated” from abuse, Corbin said.