Mirror Mirror - 2017


Enough is Enough: Thoughts from a Victim of Abuse

By Jennifer Allen

If you've had enough
Don't put up with his stuff
Don't you do it
If you've had your fill
Get the check pay the bill
You can do it
~ No More Tears (Enough is Enough)
Barbra Streisand & Donna Summer

A few months back I wrote about how the entertainment industry was leaning more towards promoting strong women as leads in stories. Well, apparently that influence has already bled over into real life, and making a huge impact on women's rights across the board. More and more women are making a stand in one form or another and saying they won't tolerate it anymore.

One of the bigger bits of news has been the stories concerning men in high positions of entertainment suddenly being outed for their less than professional behavior with clients and employees (women and men both). It's not just Harvey Weinstein but also a YouTube channel creator, a producer for Amazon TV, and a few others have learned that their transgressions would eventually get noticed and their employment would be terminated.

While I do think it's a good thing for this part of the seedy underbelly to be recognized, it has been far too long for this to go on in the first place. Weinstein has gone on record to say that it was just the culture back then. Maybe it was… but that doesn't make it right. It's the same argument when a husband brutally abuses or disfigures his wife or girlfriend for any reason. “It's just how things are" is the usual response.

Unfortunately, human nature's first instinct has always been to follow a more mob mentality because it's safe. You do what everyone else is doing and you know won't have repercussions since, “Hey they're all doing it." When someone tries to break the norm, more often than not this decision is met with ridicule and animosity.

Many of our great leaders and thinkers from Galileo to Gates, Beethoven to Lennon, Buddha to Gandhi… They broke the mold in a time where their ideals were so alien, and yet we almost take them for granted now.

Women's rights have been a heated debate for not just the past 100 or so years, but for many millennia. The first notable cases are with women of power in Egypt. Hundreds of years apart yet driven by the same motivation, women such as Hatshepsut, Nefertiti, and Cleopatra VII rose to power and often overshadowed their male counterparts.

Granted you don't have to be a member of a royal family just to get your point across… especially as seen in recent years. Still, it seems that being a woman means you have to work much harder to receive the same recognition as your male counterparts. What's even more surprising is that even today we as a society tend to act surprised when a woman does an incredible feat when in reality it shouldn't make that much of a difference.

A person did this. That person's gender, skin color, height, weight or any other physical factor shouldn't need to be focused on, and yet we still do this.

All the various bits of news about the abuse of women spinning around our news feeds has suddenly gotten the world to stand up and take notice, but as I previously mentioned, it has come after many, many years of victims having to simply “deal with it" while these people in power were allowed to continue. The oft heard phrase of “…you'll never work in this town again," was very true at the time. Many of the celebrities that these executives abused would either receive cash settlements to keep quiet or be told they would lose work if the secret got out.

It doesn't stop with celebrities either. Many people from all walks of life have been victims of abuse. It's done as a display of power, and more often than not it's quite effective. While not all scars left by these incidences are physical, they do leave a lasting impression nonetheless.

What's even more disturbing is that often the victim will eventually become the abuser for someone else; often to help elevate their own self-esteem. I've been on the receiving end of abuse from multiple sources over the years, and it took me a good long while to finally get away from it all and realize that I do have worth. I couldn't let them break me down even as much as they tried.

“I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it and stick your head out and yell, 'I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going take this anymore!'"
~ Howard Beale (Peter Finch), Network

The times are changing, however. Victims are finally standing tall and saying that they will not suffer any more strife from their oppressors. While it may have been how things were back then… it is certainly not the case now. The world is changing and will continue to change since the internet has made us all just a little bit closer. We can't use “It's just how things are," as an excuse anymore. While respecting each other's culture is one thing… respecting someone as a fellow human being is another.

Those who have abused their power especially against women for so long are now experiencing a rude awakening. Ladies from all over the world all finally saying “enough is enough" and I'm sure this is one step towards a much more open and understanding world for us to live in going forward. My biggest worry is that with known misogynists still sitting in some other high offices around the world, it may take a bit longer than we'd like. Regardless, we are making improvements towards more tolerant times and that's something to be proud of.