Finally, someone is saying out loud what women everywhere have been thinking for weeks: Sexual assault and harassment are not exclusive to the entertainment industry. They’re problems that women everywhere face, in all places and in every industry.
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“Sexual violence is everywhere — in the industry where I work, in business, in universities, in politics, in the military and across the world,” she told an audience during the U.N. Peacekeeping Defense Ministerial conference in Vancouver. “All too often, these kinds of crimes against women are laughed off, depicted as a minor offense by someone who cannot control themselves, as an illness or as some kind of exaggerated sexual need.”
She continued, “But a man who mistreats women is not oversexed. He is abusive.”
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According to Jolie, sexual violence is a “critical obstacle” to women achieving true worldwide equality.
“It is cheaper than a bullet, and it has lasting consequences that unfold with sickening predictability that make it so cruelly effective,” she said.
Jolie’s speech comes after dozens of women accused Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of decades of sexual misconduct. Jolie was one of Weinstein’s accusers.
“I had a bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth, and as a result, chose never to work with him again and warn others when they did,” she told The New York Times in an email. “This behavior towards women in any field, any country is unacceptable.”
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Weinstein has since been fired from his company and entered into a treatment center as similar allegations have come to light about other, similarly powerful men, including director Brett Ratner and House of Cards star Kevin Spacey.
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