Things That Matter

Military Members Are Sharing Stories Of Sexual Assult In The Military Using #IAmVanessaGuillen

Vanessa Guillen went missing on April 22 from a parking lot at Fort Hood. Before going missing, Guillen confided in her family about alleged sexual assault and harassment she faced at the U.S. Army base. Her story sparked an online movement to talk about sexual assault in the military.

Women are using #IAmVanessaGuillen to talk about sexual assault in the U.S. military.

It wasn’t until recently that movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp made it clear that society was done with making excuses for sexual assault. Powerful and influential men have fallen because of their behavior. The disappearance of Vanessa Guillen is shining a renewed light on sexual assault in the military.

The stories range from inappropriate behavior from superiors to rape from fellow soldiers.

Women see themselves reflected in Guillen and her story. Former military women are shedding the shame and fear of coming forward to tell their stories in a public space. The unity on social media is offering women comfort and support as they open up about the most personal thing someone can talk about.

Some of the stories are absolutely heartbreaking.

According to a report from the Defense Department, sexual assault in the U.S. military went up 3 percent between fiscal years 2018 and 2019. The department reported 7,825 reports of sexual assault on service members. However, Pentagon officials assert that the change cannot be characterized as an increase in assaults. A prevalence survey on sexual assault in the military is conducted every other year.

According to some women, the assault and harassment started quickly.

The same study found that sexual assault at the 3 military academies saw a spike of 32 percent. The figures show an increase of 117 reported sexual assaults in 2018 compared to 149 sexual assaults reported in the academies.

“Our Academies produce our future leaders. At every turn, we must drive out misconduct in place of good order and discipline. Our data last year, and the findings from this year’s report, reflect the progress we have made in some areas, and the significant work that remains,” Elizabeth Van Winkle, the executive director of the Office of Force Resiliency, said in a statement obtained by ABC News. “We will not falter in our efforts to eliminate these behaviors from our Academies and to inculcate our expectation that all who serve are treated, and treat others, with dignity and respect.”

Some men have also used the hashtag to share their own experiences.

According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, 1 out of every 10 rape victims is male. The study also shows that 1 out of every 33 men will experience an attempted or completed sexual assault.

If you or someone you know needs to talk to someone, you can call 1 (800) 656-HOPE (4673) or visit RAINN by clicking here.

READ: Partial Human Remains Found Near Fort Hood During Search For Vanessa Guillen

Lin-Manuel Miranda Says Criticisms Of ‘Hamilton’ Are Valid And It’s All ‘Fair Game’

Entertainment

Lin-Manuel Miranda Says Criticisms Of ‘Hamilton’ Are Valid And It’s All ‘Fair Game’

Theo Wargo / Getty Images

Update July 7, 2020, 4:00 p.m. PST: People are going after “Hamilton” because of its depiction of Alexander Hamilton, who was a slave owner. In a time when Confederate monuments are falling, some people want to cancel the show because it does elevate the people of the time. Lin-Manuel Miranda does not disagree with them

Lin-Manuel Miranda validated the criticism lodged against “Hamilton.”

There was a lot of criticism recently lodged at the musical. The renewed attention is partly because Disney+is streaming the very successful play during the 4th of July weekend. While Miranda has said the criticisms are valid, he did express the difficulty of creating a play and capturing every moment of the Founding Fathers in one play. There is no arguing that the Founding Fathers were not indeed problematic and owned slaves.

During this time, it is important to have tough conversations about the legacy of this country and what we can do to acknowledge and rectify the issues.

“Hamilton” is an exquisite work of art. The casting sets it apart from other plays that do not try to be as inclusive. Yet, it is very important to remember our history. Some of the people we are taught to celebrate and hold in high esteem are not worthy of that praise. Some are responsible for killing off large amount of native people. Others were involved with the brutal slave trade that created one of the largest diasporas in human history. You can honor the work of a Latino creator and acknowledge the flaws even he admits to.

Original: Families across the nation celebrated their 4th of July weekend watching “Hamilton.” The musical is one of the most celebrated musicals in recent history. Yet, some people have a problem with the musical and its debut on Disney+ has angered some Twitter users.

“Hamilton” is currently streaming on Disney+ and fans are so excited.

The very popular musical is a Broadway sensation. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s play is one of the most celebrated shows in recent history with sold-out shows across the country. The play tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.

The play has been celebrated because the actors cast in the production are all actors of color. It took a white story and was filled with people of color showing a side of Hamilton people don’t often address. Miranda admitted that he didn’t know much about Hamilton until reading a biography about the man while on vacation. He felt the story of Hamilton is inherently an immigrant story and deserved to be told with a twist.

#CancelHamilton started trending over the weekend and a quick search shows that most of the tweets are from conservatives.

There is a movement happening right now in the U.S. with people tearing down statues honoring Confederate soldiers and leaders. The Confederacy is the side of the Civil War fighting to preserve slavery and lost the war. The hashtag is filled with people complaining that other Confederate monuments are being torn down, so why not cancel “Hamilton.”

One argument being made against canceling “Hamilton” is that it is fiction. Those for the cancellation of “Hamilton” claim that is should be torn down like Confederate statues. Yet, those against the cancellation claim that the show is a fictitious account and not the same as monuments and statues built to celebrate a legacy steeped in slave ownership.

Some of the people defending the show are pointing to the cast of filled with people of color.

The show made history with its diverse cast offering a glimpse into history through the voices of people of color. This kind of representation gave young people of color a chance to see themselves represented in history. It might only be a play but it is a play that has captivated an audience of Black and brown people who can see people who look like them representing U.S. history.

It has reignited the debate about cancel culture being weaponized and weakened by bad actors.

The cancel culture has come after several celebrities and businesses calling out bad practices. It seems though that every week there is a new attempt to cancel someone or something. Cancel culture has come under fire for cutting people before giving them a chance to learn from their mistakes.

Some people want to cancel cancel culture instead of “Hamilton” and that thought is spreading.

Cancel culture has claimed a lot of people. It started to grow in prominence as social media became more and more popular and far-reaching. What do you think about Cancel Culture?

READ: ‘Hamilton’: Disney Plus Drops Trailer For Musical Film — Watch Now!

A Group Of Women Who Sued Harvey Weinstein For Misconduct Have Reached A Nearly $19 Million Settlement

Entertainment

A Group Of Women Who Sued Harvey Weinstein For Misconduct Have Reached A Nearly $19 Million Settlement

Spencer Platt / Getty

Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein might be in prison but his legal woes continue.

The former film producer and convicted sex offender who founded the entertainment company Miramax and was toppled by allegations of sexual assault amid the early days of the #MeToo movement is still paying big time for his depraved acts of sexual assault and harassment. This week, Weinstein was successfully sued for sexual misconduct by a group of women and reached a nearly $19 million tentative settlement.

Late Tuesday evening, New York Attorney General Leticia James announced that the settlement, which is part of a class-action lawsuit against, meant the women would also be released from confidentiality and NDA agreements.

Speaking about the suit which was filed two years ago, Caitlin Dulaney one of the plaintiffs involved described the lead up to the decision as a “long and grueling battle.”

“Harvey avoided accountability for decades, and it was a powerful moment for us to band together and demand justice,” she said in a statement. “Knowing that we will help so many women who are long overdue for relief gives me hope that this settlement will continue to empower others to speak.”

If the lawsuit is approved by bankruptcy and US district courts, the settlement will give Weinstein victims between $7,500 and $750,000 each.

The suit also accuses Harvey Weinstein’s brother Robert Weinstein who co-founded the entertainment company Miramax with him as well as and other administrators of the Weinstein company of failing to prevent predatory sexual misconduct.

According to reports, the suit says Weinstein “created a hostile work environment by repeatedly and persistently sexually harassing female employees, including frequently remarking on female employees’ physical appearances, berating female employees, and requiring female employees to perform work while he was naked or only partially dressed.”

The suit also says Weinstein made employees help him with his erectile dysfunction injection. On top of this, women employees were also often forced to engage in sex to continue working for him or advance their careers. Some were even made to clean up for him after he had sex.

In 2017, The New York Times reported the first allegations of misconduct against Weinstein which ultimately helped spark the #MeToo movement. As a result, dozens upon dozens of women came forward to accuse Weinstein of rape and harassment.

The announcement comes three months after Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison for raping Jessica Mann.

He was also charged with engaging in a criminal sexual act against Mimi Haley. Currently, he is being held in prison at the Wende Correctional Facility in Buffalo, New York.

Still, not everyone involved thinks the settlement is enough. Attorneys for six other women who have sued Weinstein for misconduct have called it a “complete sellout.” They also underlined that the settlement does not hold Weinstein accountable.

Speaking about the decision, Douglas Wigdor and Kevin Mintzer, two lawyers in a case against Weinstein said in a statement that they “are surprised that the Attorney General could somehow boast about a proposal that fails on so many different levels. While we do not begrudge any survivor who truly wants to participate in this deal, as we understand the proposed agreement, it is deeply unfair for many reasons. We are completely astounded that the Attorney General is taking a victory lap for this unfair and inequitable proposal, and on behalf of our clients, we will be vigorously objecting in court.”