IT’S JUST NOT OK

A POST FOR SISTERS AND BROTHERS OF HARASSMENT, ON A DAY I HAD TO SAY SOMETHING

No this is not usually a site where we get political or preachy, unless it ties into our luxury-lifestyle party-fun social spirit and we’re talking about hot new lipstick shades, shop-spots, sexy glam escapes etc. Exhibit A: You haaavvvveeee to try this new nude gloss shimmer matte, it’s life changing!!

You get it. We’re luxury lifestyle. The fun stuff, which is important too. It brings glam, light, balance, counterpoint.

But that doesn’t mean we aren’t totally tuned into the “breaking news” of the day (ahem hour or is it second or millisecond), fully-versed in the horrors of the moments that have been taking our seemingly much calmer pre-Trump lives by storm.

A recent storm that continues  to build on the harassing, oft life-shattering momentum laid by the power-abusing likes of former sit-com darling and beloved fatherly comedian Bill Cosby, former FOX media titan Roger Ailes (now  deceased) his colleague / prized broadcaster, conservative political powerhouse Bill O’Reilly (now fired) and, of course, the current leader of the free world (you know his name), who, after airing his predilection for  genital grabbing on the now infamous Access Hollywood tape that caused so many women to come forward (but ironically cost Billy Bush his career while rewarding  his pal’s “locker room talk” with the presidency) is the mindbogglingly heartbreaking and hurtful set of mounting sexual harassment and assault allegations (OVER 70) currently circling volcanically around Hollywood heavyweight and career-making (and breaking) movie mogul of moguls, the seemingly untouchable til now, very dangerously touchy  Harvey Weinstein.

And truth be told, it is this firestorm erupting around ‘storm Harvey’ (among other closer to home happenings, keep reading) that has caused me, on behalf of the Diary team and my now screaming conscience, to come forward today with some thoughts on point ’cause well, we, as women, as sisters, as men, as humans and fellow earth and society dwellers, can no longer stay silent, paralyzed in’ pause mode’ to speak out and / or act, for, to a large extent, it is this very silence, this reluctance to speak, powered by the fear of retaliation from those holding the reins of power that has, in many ways, contributed to the perpetuity of this brutal cycle of abuse.

BUT ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. IT HAS TO STOP. ONCE FOR ALL (stress on all). And thanks to the unwavering bravery and courage of amazing inspiring women and survivors of this frightful conduct who refuse to let it define them and soldier onwards and upwards like Gretchen Carlson, Megyn Kelly, Rose McGowan, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, several senators like Elizabeth Warren and numerous others, famous, and not, who, empowered by each other’s strength and resilience and determination to stop the madness, I too feel empowered, empowered to speak out, both as someone who has experienced the unwelcome advances of predators who think that by virtue of their power and / or influence they might somehow be entitled to make untoward advances or demands (i.e. I’m going to make you my mistress Jenn, it’s a great gig, you’ll love it and won’t have to work as hard), and as a sister and human who must stand up and use whatever moderate influence I might have to support those who have been so unjustly, unfairly targeted and victimized, and similarly use that voice to take action, to help change the laws, the system, whatever it takes, to make such harassment and assaults a thing of the past, a bad dream that will no longer plague others.

And, as we have seen too, so viscerally up front and personal here on the home-front in Montreal, Canada, this sort of abuse, while largely affecting women, is not exclusive to them by any means. In addition to numerous allegations made of late by women against Gilbert Rozon, president of the world class Just for Laughs / Juste Pour Rire comedy festival (who resigned in their wake), we see  a flurry of like charges of sexual harassment and misconduct initiated by men against local personality / producer Eric Salvail, who has also stopped production on many projects as these allegations play out.

Clearly, this is NOT, as many have said – in ignorance – a ‘women’s issue.’ It’s actually an ‘all of us issue’ and thankfully, after generations of suffering,  the tide has, and is, changing in the favour of justice and fairness and humanity, an incredibly soul rejuvenating turn of events, as brave souls continue to come forward across the globe, to tell their stories and empower others, here in Montreal and everywhere, to capitalize on the strength and safety in numbers that will ultimately inspire the kind of wave of action, the global movement required, to put an end to this cycle of abuse forever.

The hashtag is #METOO, and I applaud clever Alyssa Milano for giving ‘hash cred’ to the movement.

While no one can erase the horrific pain and suffering so many have endured, we can take comfort in the fact that the silence seems to have been broken as we power on, speaking truth to power, in a fashion that is long overdue but here at last.

Rant over. May the force be with us …