Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Is the Era of Open Secrets Actually Over?

[TRIGGER WARNING: SEXUAL PREDATORS, RAPE CULTURE]

I'm very cautious in any optimism around this but, maybe, just maybe, at the very least, "open  secret" culture around powerful men who are allowed to be sexual predators and keep their jobs and face no consequences may actually be over.

Exclusive: Terry Richardson banned from working with Vogue and other leading mags, leaked email shows

I've known about this Terry Richardson for a long time. Not because I'm a fashion model or any of the women who had the misfortune of coming into contact with this human embodiment of sleaze. But because, again, it's not a secret. Women have been speaking out about it for many years and the feminist community has been screaming about it, but because he's a powerful white man, nobody cared.

Until now?

Mr Richardson, whose photographs often grace the covers of fashion magazines and are known in the industry for being sexually explicit, has been dogged for years by allegations of sexual exploitation of models, something he has always denied. 
At the weekend, a UK newspaper asked why the 52-year-old was still being “feted by fashionistas” in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein revelations. 
Mr Richardson’s contract arrangements had been in dispute for some time with Condé Nast International, but within 24 hours of the article appearing an email was circulated telling staff not to work with him.

It's 2017. Maybe, finally, we have reached a point where men openly known to be sexual predators, harassers, assaulters, rapists, will no longer be allowed to go on making money and having careers that give them ready access to women to abuse. Maybe our society is finally beginning to reject them. Maybe they'll finally be ostracized like they should be.

We still have a long way to go. If we finally have reached this stage, then the next step is going to be intensified efforts to fight accusations. They're going to do anything they can to discredit these women. Attack them. Intimidate them. Try to ruin their lives. Legions of rape apologists will support them in these efforts. We need to be ready to stand with the women who come forward. They're going to need us more than ever.

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