Nearly two and a half after the first posts accusing Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault and rape, the ousted film producer was found guilty after a high-profile trial and will spend the next 23 years in prison . The man had pleaded not guilty and claimed to have only had consensual sex with his victims.
Of the five charges against him, two led to a guilty verdict. Weinstein was then convicted of a sexual assault that occurred in 2006 against the former production assistant Miriam Haley and of the rape of Jessica Mann in 2013, she who aspired to become an actress. The one who has long been considered one of Hollywood's most influential has been acquitted of the other three, most important, charges of sexual assault in connection with predatory behavior on Miriam Haley, Jessica Mann and Annabella Sciorra.
The maximum sentence for this kind of verdict is 29 years, Weinstein is sentenced to 23. Justice therefore sends a strong and clear message: even at the age of 67 and with uncertain physical condition, the crimes committed by Harvey Weinstein are very serious and they must be punished accordingly. For their part, the accused's lawyers called for the minimum sentence in the circumstances, that is, five years.
"The incident with Harvey Weinstein changed the course of my life," said Mimi Haleyi, who had to stop crying before resuming her speech. He destroyed part of me. I hope (the sentence) will be long enough for him to realize what he has done to me and others and truly repent, concluded the former production assistant, sexually assaulted by the producer in 2006. "
Source: La Presse, March 11, 2020
Among the hundred women to have denounced the assaults and harassment suffered by Harvey Weinstein, there is the Quebec actress Erika Rosenbaum. She was caught in the cogs of the film producer a little over 15 years ago. The latter always used the same framework: the meeting was transported at the last minute in a hotel room, he compliments his victims before asking them insistently for a massage. The meetings that followed were always moved at the last moment to a hotel room where other acts of a sexual nature were forced by the producer. Like Erika Rosenbaum, several of the producer's victims ended up complying with his requests, for fear of having to leave their careers behind.
“For once in this kind of case, the system worked,” says Erika Rosenbaum. Even a rich and famous man like him has been convicted and goes to jail. There is a real sense of justice and hope today. "
Source: Le Devoir, March 12, 2020
The exemplary sentence given to Harvey Weinstein has a powerful symbolic value for the #MeToo movement, two and a half years later: no more untouchables, the time has come to free speech. Contrary to popular belief, the #MeToo campaign was not really born in 2017 at the same time as the Weinstein affair:
“The movement was started in 2007 by Tarana Burke, a social worker and activist from New York who wanted to create a community of support for victims of sexual assault. Still, it was on October 15, 2017 that the hashtag went viral. On Facebook alone, the social network recorded more than 12 million messages, comments and reactions in 24 hours. And why ? Because actress Alyssa Milano suggested on Twitter that all women who have been assaulted or sexually harassed write Me Too. "
Source: La Presse, January 2, 2020
Closer to home, in Quebec, the #metoo movement has also enabled several women and men to denounce their attackers. Among these, we find two well-known public figures in the " showbiz " Quebecers: Éric Salvail and Gilbert Rozon. Your challenge is to find out about each of their cases and find, on the one hand, the name of the complainant in the Salvail affair and, on the other hand, the name of the group of alleged victims of Rozon.
Disciplines and levels targeted
–History and citizenship education (secondary cycle 2)
- Questioning social realities from a historical perspective
- The feminist movement
- Ethics and religious culture (2nd cycle of secondary)
Targeted dimensions of digital competence
- Producing content with digital
- Developing and mobilizing information literacy
- Harnessing the potential of digital technology for learning
Suggested digital tools
- RWT Timeline
- PowerPoint, Slides or Genially
Educational intention of the guide
Using the following readings and activities, students will question the social reality of feminist movements and women's rights over time.
Objectives of the activities
- Define feminism by focusing on its actors and its demands with the help of the creation of an alphabet.
- Create a timeline that retraces the key events of the feminist cause in Quebec and Canada.
- Take a critical look at the differences between the women of 1960 and today and create a comparative table.
- Learn about the impacts of the #MeToo movement in Quebec with, among others, the Éric Salvail and Gilbert Rozon cases.
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