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"When She Says No, You Gotta Stop"

From entertainment to politics, accusations of sexual misconduct are on their way to bringing change.

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There's a different kind of "creepy" this October.

AP/Andy Kropa / Via salon.com

October is notoriously creepy. Spider webs decorate bushes, fake ghouls hang from trees and classic horror movies strike fear into the hearts of those young and old. However, this October has revealed something that is a different kind of creepy. Throughout the month, women in the film industry have united since The New York Times revealed that big-time Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein made unwanted advances on them over a period that spans decades. With over 40 accusations ranging from sexual harassment to rape, it is no surprise that the mogul was fired from The Weinstein Company or that his wife left him after the accusations.

Sexual assault is not an isolated issue.

Patrick Smith / Getty Images / Via npr.org

However, that is not nearly where the tale ends. With Weinstein’s disgusting acts now out in the open for all to scrutinize, it was clear that the victims had strength in numbers. Throughout the rest of the month, “#MeToo” brought victims of sexual assault together on social media, all coming together to help bring these disgusting deeds to light for the world to finally see. From other film industry icons like James Toback and Ben Affleck to former President George H.W. Bush, women across the country have begun opening their hearts up and sharing secrets that they have long kept hidden from the world.

Never – under any circumstances – is any form of sexual assault acceptable.

It should not be in an entertainment industry. It should not be in politics. It should not be in people’s private lives. There is no place for these scummy acts in society.

It’s this sentiment that shines through in a classic Pearl Jam track that was, interestingly enough, never “officially” recorded. “Saying No”, played live in 1992, tells the story of a couple who is at a crossroads. The man clearly wants sex while the girl makes it clear that she isn’t interested.

Throughout the song, lead singer Eddie Vedder progressively brings more passion and anger when the girl is refusing the advances. Throughout the past weeks of allegations, the public has seen the same kind of thing in the media. The first accusations were not overly hostile, presented as fact more than anything. Then, as public outrage has grown so has public support and activism. The collective voices of women across the nation echo the sentiment of Vedder when, with angst in his voice, he sings “She says ‘Go to hell if that’s all you want me for’”.

Odyssey Online / Via wmky.org

As more of these accusations are brought to light and more investigations are held, there is going to be a new era of change ushered into not only the film industry, but every industry. No longer should women feel like they have to hide what men in power have done to them. Unfortunately, the challenge will be breaking the age-old silence that has surrounded the issue. The words of “Saying No” ring true yet again: “We sit back like they taught us, keep quiet like they taught us. He does nothin’ to remove it, he’s just as hurt cause he wants to prove it.”

If any readers feel that they are ready to talk about a past experience with sexual assault, I encourage you to call the National Sex Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or visit RAINN for more information. Never feel alone in these instances, there are people that care and that can help.

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