Breaking the Silence

The power dynamics of gender are undergoing a tectonic shift.

In July of 2016 we heard about a sexual harassment scandal involving Roger Ailes, the chairman and CEO of Fox News. In April 2017, Bill O’Reilly, then a top-rated Fox News anchor was dismissed from his position. On October 5, the New York Times reported on multiple allegations of sexual harassment against the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. By November 6, more than 50 women had come forward with allegations against him. Since October 17, when Roy Price, quit Amazon Studios there have been career altering allegations against the following media personalities: James Toback, Hollywood screenwriter; Mark Halperin, veteran journalist; Kevin Spacey, Academy Award-winning actor; Michael Oreskes, top editor at NPR; Brett Ratner, Hollywood director and producer; Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam Recordings; Louis C.K., comedian; Jeffrey Tambor, actor; Glenn Thrush, New York times reporter; Charlie Rose, CBS news correspondent and host of his own PBS interview show; John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Pixar and Disney Animation; Matt Lauer, NBC’s Today co-anchor (who is now being called a hypocrite for his interview of Bill O’Reilly); and Garrison Keillor, former host of “A Prairie Home Companion”. This is not even a comprehensive list of the media personalities who have been accused of sexual harassment, misconduct or worse since July 2016. There is another growing list of politicians (including former performer on Saturday Night Live and currently US Senator Al Franken). Today Rep. John Conyers Jr. resigned over sexual harassment allegations after a half-century in Congress. Most (but not all) of these allegation have been brought by women, who, collectively, have increasingly stopped being afraid to speak up.

There has always been a murmur of accusations, rumors and gossip, with the powerful making out of court settlements with those they have influence over, but this flurry of allegations and lost jobs is something new.

As women become more empowered, the relationships between all men and women are shifting. Read about the Gender Reconciliation work that is going on in many places around the world to address this issue.

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