I must admit I’ve always admired Weinstein’s movies and the talented, powerful women he chose to cast in them.

Am I surprised by the recent news? Not really. Men like him have existed forever.

When I was growing up this would have been considered normal human behavior. There was no law against it. It was just the way the world was. Male dominated. Female oppressed.

For the longest time Hollywood has embodied a male-dominant culture. Male dominance has been revered and sexualized. In the process Hollywood has taught us much, not the least of which is that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

By now you have probably seen the #MeToo hashtag across all social media. Women are finally rising after having been asleep for decades. It took Harvey Weinstein to wake us up.

This is not just a fleeting cry. It’s a revolution. It’s women who have decided they’re no longer just “hanging in” and taking what may come. It’s women refusing to give up. It’s women who have chosen to be the voice for those who have no voice.

I have a deep reverence for the power of public testimonies, reports of over a dozen allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Weinstein, stories shared now by so many that have brought about consciousness to all the #MeToo movement around the world.

But is it just Hollywood and Weinstein that we are protesting? No, don’t think for a minute that this is all that has triggered this revolution. Women, especially, have been emotionally vulnerable through fear patterns and power fantasies. History can vouch for that. We have been prey especially when struggling with low self-esteem that renders us practically defenseless. We have been made to feel less than by messages the media continues to send our way around our body image and what it is that we must do to prove our worth to the world.

Even religious institutions have failed us miserably.

I remember when a sexual scandal erupted at a retreat center in New England several years ago where the spiritual leader had been taking advantage of the women in his congregation. The first woman who protested was called a liar and shunned by the community for slander. Her personal truth was not strong enough to break through the spell that had a hold on the collective body of the spiritual community. The woman suffered miserably for years and it was not until finally other women stepped forward and admitted they too had been sexually abused that their support eventually caused this “spiritual criminal” to be called out and expelled from the retreat center.

Whether it is a guru, a television evangelist, a social or political leader, or a Hollywood mogul, it always comes down to power, envy and greed. Many die-hard fans and those who “get near the throne” will turn a blind eye to any behavior in order to protect their access to this power. That’s how these crimes happen.

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Today women are finally telling their personal truth. Stories that they thought only happened to them. Now hearing that all these other people have had similar experiences, we are realizing that if it’s happening to all these other people then it is time we got together and did something about it. It’s time we took our power back.

We live in an era where women are suppressed, intimidated, and silenced. Many women are dependent on a man’s income and men’s identities, and they think there’s no choice. It is up to us to support each other and say ‘No More!’ Let us be authentic. Be courageous. Let’s stand up for sexual harassment at our workplace, in the military, on campus, at religious and spiritual institutions, and anywhere and everywhere where men like Weinstein lurk.

Our collective cry is timely and crucial. The words we speak are the first form our hopes take. They are changing the collective consciousness. Although they will not immediately change the reality that exists, they’re definitely the first step toward bringing about social change.

We need men in this movement. Men who will help dismantle the patriarchal culture that privileges them. The more we speak as one voice, the sooner we can affect change in the world.

This kind of toxic masculinity must be stopped. Men like Weinstein are insecure because they’re made to feel they must dominate. And they damn care who they destroy in the process.

It’s time. Time to use whatever power we have to support each other and to oppose the injustice.

It’s time we rise!

#MeToo

© Rani St. Pucchi, 2017

Rani St. Pucchi is an award-winning Couture Fashion Designer, a Style & Image Consultant, and a Relationship Expert. She is a Bestselling Author, a Speaker, an Inspirational Coach and a Trainer. Her recent TEDx talk: Is Your Body Image Holding You Back is worth watching. Her #1 International Bestselling Books, Your Body, Your Style: Simple Tips on Dressing to Flatter Your Body Type and The SoulMate Checklist : Keys to Finding Your Perfect Partner are now available on Amazon and at Barnes & Nobles.

For more information on Rani please visit www.ranistpucchi.com

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