Remember #MeToo? After dozens of women stepped forward in 2017 to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, the floodgates opened and for months we saw what came to be known as the “Weinstein effect.” Powerful men in media and many other industries were brought down. That’s why you don’t see Matt Lauer or Charlie Rose on morning television these days, and Louis CK and Bill Cosby aren’t packing arenas anymore. That’s why the only time you see Al Franken, he’s giving an embarrassing TV interview with a liberal host who’s clearly struggling not to cringe.
Then last year a woman named Tara Reade accused Joe Biden of sexual assault, and #MeToo came to a screeching halt. Suddenly, women were no longer believed automatically. An accusation no longer served as its own evidence. In a single news cycle, #MeToo became #MaybeNot. All it took was the possibility of four more years of President Trump to make everybody take a step back.
But now Trump has gone back to Mar-a-Lago, and apparently it’s safe again to accuse men of rape. Here’s Westworld star Evan Rachel Wood, writing on her Instagram page today:
“The name of my abuser is Brian Warner, also known to the world as Marilyn Manson.
He started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years.
I was brainwashed and manipulated into submission.
I am done living in fear of retaliation, slander, or blackmail.
I am here to expose this dangerous man and call out the many industries that have enabled him, before he ruins any more lives.
I stand with the many victims who will no longer be silent.”
In the past, actor and activist Evan Rachel Wood has spoken about the alleged abuse she was subjected to by an unnamed ex. In an Instagram post early Monday morning, she put a name to the allegations…
In a show of solidarity, at least four other women posted their own allegations against Manson, detailing harrowing experiences that they claim included sexual assault, psychological abuse, and/or various forms of coercion, violence, and intimidation…
In 2018, Wood testified before a House Judiciary Subcommittee as part of an effort to get the Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights passed in all 50 states. “My experience with domestic violence was this: Toxic mental, physical and sexual abuse which started slow but escalated over time, including threats against my life, severe gaslighting and brainwashing, waking up to the man that claimed to love me raping what he believed to be my unconscious body,” she told the subcommittee, though she did not name a perpetrator at the time.
My gut reaction to this accusation is: I believe Evan Rachel Wood. It’s not too tough to be convinced that a man who named himself after Charles Manson might not be such a good guy in real life. Brian Warner has spent his whole career trying to shock people, to the point where The Onion mocked him for it 20 years ago. He’s gone to great lengths to convince you he’s a bad person. Maybe he really is.
But if you can believe Even Rachel Wood is telling the truth, why can’t you believe Tara Reade is telling the truth? Are you really that shallow?
All in all, #MeToo has been a good thing. These guys got away with it for far too long, and I’m glad they were brought down. But I refuse to be scolded about it by anybody who worked to put Joe Biden in the White House. Yes, Alyssa Milano, that includes you. Either sexual harassment is wrong or it isn’t. If you look away when your team does it, then you can just shut up about it from now on.
I hope Wood, Reade, and all the other victims of sexual assault get justice. No matter which men in power are brought low.