Celebrities, politicians, and sexual assault

With April being Sexual Assault Awareness month, I decided to educate those still a little confused about some stuff I’ve been talking about in a few of my articles over the years. Women’s rights is a huge passion of mine because, well, I was born one. This will also be my trigger warning for those who are sensitive to the topic of sexual assault.
Let’s review some statistics before we dive into some other educational material. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, or the NSVRC, over 81% of women are sexually assaulted or harassed in their life time. That’s about 1 in 5. About 1 in 3 of these women experience rape between the ages of 11 and 17. That is a scary high number for actual children. On top of that, out of all of these cases, only 16%-40% are estimated to be reported. Only 2%-10% are proven false.
With the development of the internet over the past 20-30 years, social media has gained more traction than anything else online. News and information travels within seconds which means within days, as long as it’s trending, people know what’s going on.
Although before the burst of internet it used to be a hushed topic, sexual assault allegations started to become much more frequent, which then resulted in the #MeToo movement, coined by sexual assault survivor Tarana Burke in 2006. In 2017, Ashley Judd’s accusations against Harvey Weinstein and Alyssa Milano’s tweet “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet,” spurred the movement to life and lots of women came forward about their experience with sexual assault. The reactionary “movement” “Not All Men” soon followed.
As a society, we hear about a lot of popular celebrities, politicians, and just men in general getting accused of sexual assault by a fan, a secretary, a friend, anyone. It doesn’t matter who accuses them, though, because they almost always get off without any legal punishment. It seems to be a trend within rich people.
Unlike Weinstein and gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, sometimes the behavior by the rich and powerful isn’t always illegal but just gross. Leonardo DiCaprio, 48, and his rumored 19 year old girlfriend is unsettling and making people uncomfortable all over the internet.
A less widely known example includes bands from the punk scene, in which sexual assault has been a big problem since the scene first emerged. Most of the time when this happens, the band is big enough to the point where nothing happens and life goes on or the member accused leaves or gets kicked out. Legal action is very rarely taken place. One of the biggest bands in the scene, Pierce The Veil, is victim to this too. Singer Vic Fuentes’ brother, Mike Fuentes, was accused and immediately kicked out. No legal action followed.
Other people in power are also more than guilty of this. The most popular must be former president Donald Trump, gathering more than 25 accusations since 1970. There have been clips circulating the internet that were more than enough proof as well, but no legal action was taken. The reason he was recently arrested was because of falsifying business records as well; nothing to do with his countless objectifications of women.
I’m not going to start listing politicians no one has heard of but any quick google search will bring up politician upon politician that has been accused of sexual assault. Keep in mind, I mention that no one has heard of most of these politicians. That’s because they’re immediately swept under the rug and, you guessed it, no legal action has taken place.
All in all, it’s a trend. Someone with a lot of money did something really bad (sexual assault) and then they use their power, money, and what have you to make the problem go away. They’re allowed to get away with this kind of stuff because of a few reasons, one of them being that our justice system has failed us. According to the Central MN Sexual Assault Center, there is only a 50% chance of being arrested IF you are accused. In total, only 6% of all rapists actually serve jail time.
Let that sink in. Sit with that statistic for a minute. 1 in 5 women get sexually assaulted in their life time and only 6% of the men that assault them spend any time in jail. Just writing this makes me sick to my stomach.
Another reason why celebrities are allowed to get away with this is because of their position in society. People like politicians and celebrities have millions of followers, fans, people that adore them. The biggest example of this advantage is with Melanie Martinez. She was accused of sexual assault and when the whole ordeal passed, her fans flocked back to her like birds. The system of how we elevate those who are more likable and popular to the point where they could do no wrong is extremely harmful to our society.
More often than not, these celebrities and politicians also feel as though they need to protect their societal image as well. When an accusation takes place, the person accused scrambles to cover up any and all tracks to make it all go away.
In conclusion, this is a problem we’ve been ignoring. Although it’s just a small factor in the current, constant oppression of women, especially in our country today, it’s still a factor. A lot of celebrities and politicians are so egotistical to the point where they think they can get away with it, and then we’re letting them!
With April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month, it’s important to remeber those victims and how they never got proper justice because the person that hurt them just so happened to have a lot of money and were well liked.