What ‘She Said’

It’s almost unbelievable how many women it took to make these allegations believable


 “Lets see what it takes to be a star,” spoke Roger Ailes, to his newest recruit to the newscast Fox. Ailes was known for his 1 on 1’s with the new girls…he was practically famous for them. The one on ones consisted of sexual assault by Ailes trying to see if their bodies were screen ready: lifted skirt, unbuttoned shirts, and occasionally…oral sex.

 If Bombshell was this big explosion of women speaking out and this tsunami of opinions, why  did it take until 2019 to speak up? Ever since director Jay Roach dropped a “Bombshell” into the traditional rom-com and thrillers of Hollywood, the most paramount movies seem to be writing themselves. 

 Here is some background of the movie that started it all and the ones that followed:

 “Bombshell’’ took a running start in 2019 by putting into play the fall of Roger Ailes, former CEO of the news channel “Fox”. According to an article for the New York Times, Ailes was keeping a running system of inviting women up to his top office to test these women to see if they have “what it takes for you to be a star.”

 “She said,” released in Oct, 2022, was played from the point of view of the reporters and interviewees as they unpacked the twisted power trip of Harvey Weinstein in his years spent as a producer for Miramax. “She Said” did a deep dive into the lives of women who spoke up against him and the long process of gathering enough evidence to prove him guilty of sexual assault.

 While interviewing young women who attend Summit High School, they all seemed to follow the same mindset: 

 Do you agree that these women should have come forward 

  A freshman who preferred to stay anonymous answered, “Yes, of course, suppression is not the answer.” 

 Lucy Misischia, a Summit High School Junior, said, “We live in a society that makes women feel like they can’t, so the fact that they did speak up is super empowering to me as a woman.”

 Summit High School junior Jayn Willis said, “The movie empowers other women to stand up and not be scared and to have confidence in themselves.” 

 Interviewing these girls it’s easy to wonder, is there any other expected answer? Nobody expects a girl today to voluntarily say they feel women should stay quiet, but coming forward isn’t as easy as saying they should. If it was, everyone would speak up. Just food for thought.

 It’s a touchy topic for some, but maybe the reason there are so many contradictory thoughts out there is from personal experiences, anyone who has ever been silenced or chosen to be silent wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to tell all women to stand up. It’s easy when none of us have ever been made to feel small to tell others to be big.

 Does it empower you that these women came forward?

 Anonymous, “Yes, it really is empowering and encouraging and for some people shows they are not alone and gives hope to those who have stayed quiet.”

 Both Willis and Misischia responded with a simple “yes.”

 It’s that simple, no explanation needed. There doesn’t always need to be this big explanation as to why everyone should feel empowered by these women, because it’s simple. These stories help create that community of empowerment. 

 With movies about sexual misconduct in large corporations constantly being made, the silence is shattering. Every movie released is another girl [or women] potentially gaining the confidence to speak up.

 Does it scare you that this has all happened?

 Anonymous, “Yeah it is really frightening because there are so many people in so many workplaces that this probably happens much more than we know.”

 “It doesn’t scare me, just makes me sad that we still haven’t overcome that issue of believing women,” commented Misischia.

 Willis said, “It’s just weird to think that as a young girl in 2023 I’m not able to walk alone, it’s also annoying that people still tend to victim blame. It scares me that we have to take safety precautions in public workspaces to make people feel safe.”

 It’s unsettling how it has become a tendency for young women to still be afraid. To know that just picking at random, every high school girl had a version of the same scared answer.

 Do you feel like you are growing up where speaking out is becoming more and more common? Or do you think there is still a level of silence?

 Anonymous, “I definitely think today’s culture and social platforms empower less silence and more promotion to get loud.” 

 To this Misischia replied, “I think we are moving in the right direction, just still not there yet. It is definitely not all the way there and we still have a lot of work to do but getting there.”

 Willis agreed, “It’s still hard for a lot of women to speak up but as a society, we are moving up and [there are] programs for people to communicate, hot lines, but it’s still super hard and people still deal with lots of negative commits like ‘you’re lying’ or ‘no he didn’t mean it’ or ‘she was asking for it.’

 Probably the most notorious quote men seem to excuse their behavior is the “she was asking for it”—usually she wasn’t. But that excuse has driven the questions of “what was she wearing” or “how many drinks did she have,” putting the blame on the woman in question, instead of placing the blame where it belongs..

 Would it ever make you nervous to go into a workforce with a male-dominated faculty?

 Anonymous stated, “When I picture myself as a woman in the workplace I find it to be a little bit daunting but it’s also an opportunity to prove to yourself and others that you can work just as [well if not even harder than other men.” 

 Misischia responded, “I already do work with all guys. I wasn’t nervous, but I feel like going into a bigger corporation, I will always have that idea in my head whether it scares me or not.”

 “Not necessarily scared, but I would be intimated, men treat women differently in the workspace so I think I would be nervous they would treat me as an inferior,” replied Willis.

 I try to tell myself I could never be intimidated by a group of men, that they could never make me feel inferior or nervous, but sadly I know if you put me in a room, with just men, I’d cave, I’d become small, I’d become the girl that’s so afraid. 

 The next generation of the working force—my generation—will be directly impacted by the making of these movies, as seen in these quotes. Women have become completely unmasked when it comes to standing up, the upcoming work face It’s difficult to watch and listen as these movies portray real life occurrences, 

 If it’s so obviously wrong and will eventually come out, how do these men think they can get away with it?  The power that was once stripped from these women, is now put in the hands of the next generation of nobody is really in the mood to keep their mouth shut. Movies are being made about these men, and they can’t say a thing about it.

 Who has the power now?