On the front of the news articles about the sentencing, there are pictures of Weinstein hunched in defeat. The pictures of his accusers are the polar opposite; standing tall, radiating power and confidence. This is the narrative that Weinstein’s sentencing has written for the future. Regardless of how powerful they may seem, sexual abusers will face the consequences of their actions and their victims will be victorious.
Of course, there is a long way to go before accusations and convictions of sexual assault become as widespread as they should be, but this trial seems like a symbol of what the future could be. None of the articles that I read blamed the survivors, or questioned what they were wearing. None of them excused Weinstein’s actions using phrases like “boys will be boys” or “she was asking for it”. This trial seems to have brought about a societal consensus that rape is wrong, Weinstein is wrong, and the survivors have every right to press charges against him.
The entire world has been exposed to the messaging that there are consequences to committing acts of sexual violence, consequences that no one, not even the most powerful Hollywood executive, is immune to. I hope that this messaging serves as a powerful warning for abusers and an inspiration to survivors everywhere.