Catherine Scott: Why I wish I had said #metoo years ago

Harvey Weinstein

The revelations about Harvey Weinstein show up an endemic sexism not just in the film industry but in most walks of life.

We had hoped the ‘casting couch’ culture, was a thing of the past, as equality became society’s mantra.

But the hidden truth was that abuse of power is rife, and not just in the movie industry.

The Weinstein revelations and the growth of the #metoo campaign show just how far we are from equality and just how difficult it is to tackle.

And I speak from experience. When I was starting out in my career and just out of university I was propositioned by a man -at least twice my age - in a position of power. He took my rebuff of his advances, saying it was clear I didn’t feel the same way when he tried to kiss me. But looking back I wonder how many times his approach had been successful in other young women eager to get on in the world of media - or was I a one off, somehow I doubt it.

On my return home I told my mum and my boyfriend, and we laughed it off as me surviving my ‘casting couch’ moment.

But it is not a laughing matter and it could have had very serious consequences.

I should have spoken up at the time, but I didn’t and that is something I regret.

I didn’t pursue a career in that particular branch of our industry so I our paths never crossed and I put the incident out of my mind.

But I am now a mother of two girls who in the future will be launching into the world of work.

I had the confidence to say ‘no’ to the man’s advances and stay true to my principals, and I hope I have instilled in my daughters the confidence to act in a similar way, if they find themselves in such a position.

However, I would also hope they will have the courage to speak out - a courage I did not have at the time.

There is no doubt that more men will be ‘outed’ as the #metoo campaign gains momentum.

However, as a woman working in what is often described as a men’s world, I have a word of caution.

While the spotlight on this issue is long overdue, we must be careful not to demonise all men, or for men to become awkward with female colleagues.

It is about awareness. For men to be aware of how their comments and actions make a woman feel.

And women have a part to play as well. To make it clear to the man that they are making them feel uncomfortable and their words or actions are not appropriate.

I just hope that for my daughters they will never have to say #metoo

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