The naming, shaming and dethroning of a growing number of powerful men for reprehensible behavior toward women is long overdue. The United Nations has deemed gender-based violence a "global pandemic," affecting one woman in three around the world. Rising consciousness of this problem is critical since a culture of complicity is one of its most powerful enablers. It is hoped that this moment marks a paradigm shift in thinking about and reactions to such behavior.
The unraveling of a powerful norm — tolerance and acceptance of sexual harassment — began with allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein, a Hollywood kingmaker, has been accused by dozens of women of sexual harassment, sexual violence and rape. He denies all charges of nonconsensual sex, but says that he "came of age in the '60s and '70s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different."
The charges are not new, but they got no traction until this year when stories in The New York Times and the New Yorker confirmed what had long been whispered. Once the dam broke, the trickle became a flood. Some women have come forth, despite signing nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) that bought their silence.