Opinion: Society’s problem in dealing with sexual assault

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By Leslie Santibanez

There is a toxic double standard present within our society regarding female victims of sexual assault.

One way it is reflected is in Hollywood’s behavior dealing with sexual assault.

Female victims tend to be ignored. If they ever dared to speak out, media outlets would mock them. These women had their reputations torn to shreds.

Countless actresses have described their experiences being targets of harassment by men in positions of power.

A-List actresses, such as Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow have come forward, but they are still being shunned by society.

Their A-list status is irrelevant. Their experiences are still seen with a degree of skepticism.

Society’s hypocrisy is prominent in the accusations against Louis C.K.  It is a struggle for people to admit that their idols have used their position of power to assault women.

He has a loyal fanbase and even I enjoy his sense of humor, but what he did was wrong.

C.K’s people still excused him. His fans exclaimed that he had asked permission before exposing himself to the women. 

Sure, it was not on the level of Harvey Weinstein, but it is still wrong.

The online commentary was abusive towards the women with several derogatory terms.

The commentary questioned why the women didn’t leave immediately instead of questioning C.K.’s actions.

In contrast male actors who have shared their experiences with sexual assault have been praised.

Actors such as Terry Crews have spoken out against their harassers and named them.

“If I would have just retaliated, in defense, I would be in jail right now,” Crews said.

“That’s one thing I knew, being a large Black African American man in America, I would have immediately be seen as a thug, but I’m not a thug.”

It’s great that more people are speaking out and sharing their experiences with sexual assault, especially men. However, there is a huge contrast in the way Crews’ was treated.

People praised Crews for having the courage to speak out. People didn’t question him.

Comments cheered him on while comments under female victims often mocked them.

The women were always questioned.

The idea that we should wait for evidence before anyone starts to point fingers popped up a lot in online comments.

When men came out against Kevin Spacey, people were outraged. Spacey lost his spot in a hit show and any prospects he had within a day or two.

Weinstein still has not been jailed even though there is a pile of evidence and several eyewitness testimonies.

It took the voice of a man for people to be willing to listen.

It is frustrating to see how women are treated in this society. Their thoughts and opinions are disregarded as if they are not capable of them.

Women are seen as being incapable of anything but at the same time seen as being out to ruin men’s lives.

This needs to stop.

Victims of sexual assault need to have a support system to help them speak out. Victims should be believed regardless of their gender.

That is the only way we can truly deal with sexual assault.

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