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The female voice has never been stronger since Harvey Weinstein's exposure – but the battle is not yet won

What has been remarkable over the week and a half since Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein was exposed as a misogynist predator, is the rise of the female voice.

The media has stood witness to a constant flow of actresses and models coming forward with their own stories of how they were sexually abused as a matter or course during their careers – not just by Weinstein but by other men in positions of power within the industry. Whilst women from all walks of life have brought their own tales of harassment and abuse to light through the #MeToo campaign on Twitter.

Never has the plight of women been spoken about with such fervour and with such frequency before, and, most significantly, never has there been such an available platform from which to do so.

The bravery of this movement cannot be undermined - despite many voices in the media castigating these women for not speaking out before. And the fact we are witnessing this uprising in our lifetime is amazing, but there is still more work to do.

There is still the overriding idea that the man is not to blame for his actions because the woman provoked something beyond his control. Harvey Weinstein has so far used this narrative to his advantage - in turning the now 30 or more accusations of sexual abuse and rape on their head to bemoan that he is the victim. He couldn't control what he was doing because he has a sex addiction.

But what Weinstein has not reckoned with is the fact this movement has only just started. We listened in startled silence when he mumbled an apology and asked for a second chance just before booking himself into his swanky rehab.

Since then there has been a ground swell of opposition to Weinstein and all those like him. One of the most empowering stories has to be from a long-time friend of the late, great Carrie Fisher. Screenwriter Heather Ross told of how the Star Wars actress personally delivered an animal tongue from the local deli to a producer after Heather confided in her about how he had tried to take advantage of her in the back of a car. Carrie swore if the producer touched her friend or any other woman again he could expect another delivery, of something of his, in a much smaller box.

The concern remains about whether Weinstein will be duly punished. The perception is men as rich and powerful as him, who are unafraid to manipulate the legal system with a few backhanders, end up evading jail.

The last thing we want to see is a shiny, beaming Weinstein emerging from rehab saying he is a new man and has seen the error of his ways - only for him to go back to making movies as though nothing has happened.

So women have to keep the indignation going. These are new times and victims of sexual abuse can now feel empowered to speak out on the basis they are not alone and they are not to blame. If this becomes the new narrative, when it comes to Weinstein taking to the dock no one will be able to hear his contrite grovelling over the tumultuous roar of women declaring they will not be shamed.



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