Harvey Weinstein

In many ways, the movement for women that feels like a bold new tide of feminism started with Harvey Weinstein. When his decades of sexual assault and harassment were exposed in October the floodgates of #MeToo opened and a great reckoning began.

Weinstein is becoming a part of the reckoning again. He is set to surrender himself to authorities Friday to stand trial for various crimes associated with his legacy as an acclaimed Hollywood producer and sexual predator. This comes shortly after a grand jury was impaneled to consider indictments against him for his sex crimes and possible financial fraud.

He is also being investigated in Los Angeles and is facing numerous lawsuits.

Weinstein will be facing these charges in the shadow of the conviction of Bill Cosby, which was the first high-profile sexual assault conviction after the #MeToo movement began, which was itself decided in the shadow of the great cultural reckoning that started with Weinstein.

This reckoning has brought many celebrities to account for their sexual abuses from Kevin Spacey to Matt Lauer, from Mario Batali to former U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota), men in powerful positions across all walks of life have been brought to account for the ways that power has been abused to coerce and control others into providing them with sex. TIME made “the Silence Breakers” their people of the year in 2017.

Even today, Morgan Freeman is apologizing for the fact that in addition to being a beloved and talented actor, he has a history of being a far less beloved perpetrator of inappropriate behavior. But #MeToo has made it clear that apology is not enough.

The reckoning has gone global, with South Korea and India among the many countries with a growing momentum.

And the stone that shattered this particular pane of glass, Harvey Weinstein, will have to stand trial for the atrocious crimes that struck lightning into the global women’s movement. There may be few examples of chickens coming home to roost nearly so satisfying.

 

Katelyn Kivel is a contributing editor for Grit Post in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Follow her on Twitter @KatelynKivel.

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