There has been a depressing amount of sexual abuse revelations the past couple of weeks.
Louis CK, Harvey Weinstein, Ben Affleck, Ed Westwick, and Roy Moore are just a few of the names that have popped up in our news feeds, but we know there are so many more perpetrators out there who have yet to be exposed.
But the thing is, these incidents of sexual assault do not happen in a bubble. And it takes more than just one man to cover up a scandal.
In the case of Louis CK, his assaults were common knowledge long before the New York Times supposedly “broke the story.”
Many reporters tried to write the story a long time ago. Journalist Megan Koester recently documented her tale of trying to reveal Louis’ misconduct only to be threatened into silence by the COO of the Just for Laughs festival, who also happened to be a friend of CK’s.
But that COO wasn’t the only one to cover up the story. Louis’ manager (well, now ex-manager) Dave Becky recently admitted that he had known the truth for a long time and yet did nothing. He released an appalling statement, in which he said,
“I now comprehend that my response was perceived as a threat to cover up sexual misconduct. This is not an excuse. What I did was wrong, and again, I am extremely sorry.”
Becky had specifically heard about one incident, in which comedians Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov were invited to Louis CK’s hotel room, where he then stripped naked and masturbated in front of them.
In Becky’s statement, he also admitted to not taking the incident seriously.
Louis CK did not act alone. He had so much help in covering up the truth and preventing these women from getting the justice they deserved. These men threatened reporters, defended Louis, and refused to believe the truth.
And the sad thing is, we know this happens all the time.
Back in 2012, Assistant Football Coach at Penn State Jerry Sandusky was charged with multiple accounts of sexual abuse of a minor. And the school president Graham Spanier, athletic director Tim Curley, and famed head coach Joe Paterno all helped him cover it up one way or another.
And in case you don’t believe this is happening on a large scale, just remember what happened earlier this year in the Trump White House. No, we’re not talking about how our President is a proud sexual predator (although that is relevant information). Rather, we’re referring to the Trump administration’s decision to rescind Obama-era protections for sexual assault victims on college campuses.
Men wonder why women don’t come forward with their stories of sexual assault. They wonder why they wait so long to tell their truths. But what they don’t realize is that there is often a whole array of people trying to silence them and trying to refute their stories — and they often succeed.
We’ve had a two-week marathon of survivors coming forward, a wide-spread #MeToo campaign on social media, and a #MeTwo march that brought hundreds of victims together. And yet there is still doubt cast upon victims. How many women have to tell their stories in order to be believed? Apparently, not enough.
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, and Tiger Beat. Her favorite Housewife is Bethenny Frankel (by far!), but when she’s not watching RHONY, you can probably find her hanging with her kitty Tom or tweeting at Sen. Chuck Schumer.