Genevieve Angelson’s essay about her Hollywood sexual harassment experience is incredibly powerful
Writer, activist, and former Good Girls Revolt star Genevieve Angelson penned an essay about sexual harassment for Refinery29, and it was absolutely beautiful. The actress is sharing her story in the wake of the recent Harvey Weinstein sexual assault allegations. And unfortunately, it sounds a lot like other celebrity experiences with sexual assault and harassment.
The actress’s essay is yet another voice in the “Me Too” sexual assault awareness campaign sweeping the internet. The essay, entitled,”I Can’t Believe I Said Yes,” perfectly captures the fear that a lot of people have when it comes to saying “no” to those who are in power. It’s heartbreaking to read. However, Genevieve’s bravery in sharing will give other sexual assault and harassment victims hope.
In the essay, Genevieve Angelson shares how sleeping with her boss almost destroyed her life.
As a 21-year-old intern in search of a career in producing, Genevieve had a “romantic” involvement with an industry executive. The two met at Sundance Film Festival, and while taking a group of aspiring producers under his wing, the exec showed that he was also interested in Genevieve romantically.
Genevieve explains that the extra attention given was unwanted. But she didn’t put up a fight, out of fear of gaining a “bad name” in Hollywood. The actor wrote, “When I slept with the boss, it didn’t look like Harvey Weinstein trapping me in his hotel room.”
Her guilt for entertaining the exec rattled her for years after.
And she did everything in her power — including self-medicating — to try and escape it. In the end, the actor realized that even though she consented, she was still a victim of sexual harassment.
"Many of us were, knowingly or unknowingly, terrified of what would happen if we so much as demurred male attention at the workplace (if even that were something we could control), because it was tethered to our economic livelihood, our dreams, our survival," she wrote in the piece. "I understand this now. Sexual intimidation doesn’t have to look like a bad man in his hotel room in order to intimidate. Intimidated, in a state of fight or flight, looking for the path of least resistance, for many of us that path is consent."
Sexual assault or harassment is never OK.
And as Genevieve noted, the violation comes in many shapes, sizes, and experiences. Speaking up will help to further expose this behavior. And will even help to stop the violators from lurking in the shadows.
We seriously can’t thank Genevieve enough for sharing her story. Hopefully it inspires more people to step forward or come to terms with their own experiences. You can read her complete essay on Refinery29.