Toppling the House of Cards

Innapropriate sexual behaviour has no place in our society and we shouldn’t let it

I’ll keep this one short and to-the-point.

If you haven’t been keeping up with the news lately, here are a few names that have been circulating: Kevin Spacey, Harvey Weinstein, Dustin Hoffman, and so many more.

It’s sickening. It’s disheartening.

Kevin Spacey has been such a public figure and embedded in many people’s entertainment lives, including mine. From his role in The Usual Suspects to House of Cards, I loved them all.

As these allegations continue to come out about him and all of these other famous individuals, I find myself motivated to continue to speak out against their behaviour.

Thought it may seem so far away in Hollywood is an issue closer to you than you may think. It is an enormous problem that too many people have faced.

I’m sure many more stories and allegations are going to come out in the following weeks about famous individuals we all love—I want this to end. Sexual harassment, abuse, assault, and other related innapropriate behaviour should be unacceptable.

When will enough be enough? How many times do people have to scream for people to hear and understand?

What baffles me is that we still need to preface a lot of what we say with “well, in today’s society” or “in this day and age” or something similar to serve a warning or understanding that you need to be careful with what you say or do around people.

That bothers me. No matter what day, age, or society we live in, the excuse of something being “socially acceptable”—and I use that term loosely in the context of making lewd sexual comments or sexually harassing someone—doesn’t mean we now suddenly have to be careful speaking about these behaviours. It’s not about being careful, it’s about understanding what it means to respect one another. At the root of the fight against transgressors of inappropriate sexual behaviour is the hope that we can understand what it means to be respectful, understanding, and helpful to one another.

Learn and understand the kind of behaviour that is inappropriate—don’t be okay with it. Be kind, be courteous, be respectful.

It takes a lot of courage to come out in front of the Hollywood machine about being a victim. For those who came out against Kevin Spacey and other Hollywood moguls, people hear you and support you. To those who have chosen to keep it to themselves, I respect that and I know that someone will listen to you if or when you believe the time is right for you to speak about it.

These stories serve as lessons to all of us. There is so much more to be done to end this behaviour. There is a lot to teach older generations and younger ones. All of us, myself included, have so much to learn about what we can do to help and teach one another. Transgressors of the past need to take these horrific stories and learn about what not to do when engaging with another individual.

Inappropriate sexual behaviour of any kind is one major problem that can be ended. All it takes to start the road to solving it is listening to one another so we can learn from these mistakes and becoming a safer society.

I humbly ask that we take the time to help those who need to be heard and be continuous activists against such behaviour.

We can become better people. We can do better together.

 

YOURS,
MAHMOUD SAROUJI