Hi, and welcome back to Sophie’s Choice, where I give you my personal input!
Today’s article is going to be a bit different because it’s a very hard subject to talk about in a way I won’t offend someone or other. Please know that I am just trying to make light of events that could happen anywhere and are unfortunately happening every day as we speak.
The #MeToo movement started on Twitter in 2016 and has been going strong for years. It has gotten a lot of backlash from loads of people and has been criticized for various reasons that I am not going to get into. I think that this movement has been important for us to move forwards and come closer to taking sexual harassment more seriously, especially in the workplace.
#MeToo had a major impact on the film industry and changed how many people view work in such an environment. We could talk about how a lot of companies are trying to diversify their casts and crews so they can reach their quotas but...
I want to talk about how the #MeToo movement has (or rather hasn’t) impacted work for young women such as myself.
As a young woman starting off at her new job and not working in the industry before, you’re already subjecting yourself to feeling out of place and confused. Unfortunately for us, this also means subjecting ourselves to being the young new girl that doesn’t know how things work just yet and being “fresh meat”. It’s fine, until you start noticing the different ways people act towards you. Harassment is taken lightly by everyone, including other women on set and it feels almost demeaning when another woman laughs at you for being mad that someone touched you inappropriately.
The problem lies in the complaints.
I’m certain that if a young woman that is new to this environment such as myself, complains that a person is being inappropriate with her on set, that she wouldn’t get praise. People wouldn’t think of her as brave for coming forward, they would rather hate her. The accused would get fired and it would be her fault and any credit that she has gained during her time there would evaporate. Word spreads fast in the film industry, especially in a small country like the Czech Republic, where I’m from. Therefore, soon every production company would know of her and how she acted. If she were to go for the same job as the accused, do you think that they would employ the accused or the new girl who starts problems because “she can’t take a joke”? Exactly. That’s the problem.
It's a never-ending loop where the woman loses the battle. The accused may have lost this job but they’ll get the next one, it’s fine. Yet the woman is forever on the blacklist because she wasn’t afraid to put her foot down.
The film industry is a battleground that won’t quiet down. The constant gossiping and generally sleazy behavior that goes along with it is frankly tiring and hard to be around. I don’t want to say, stand there and take it, but do we really have a choice? Is there a way we could change the narrative? #MeToo was a start but where can we go from there?
And that’s that on that!