#MeToo Leader is Accused of Assault 😲

 Loic Venance / AFP / Getty Images

Loic Venance / AFP / Getty Images

#HimToo?

This weekend, the NYT revealed that Asia Argento, a leading figure in the #MeToo movement, paid out a $380K settlement to Jimmy Bennett for sexually assaulting him in a California hotel room. The documents sent to NYT revealed that Bennett was 17 and Argento was 37 at the time of the assault.

 

Who is Asia Argento?

Asia Argento gained widespread recognition for her role in the film xXxalongside Vin Diesel. Her relationship with chef and TV host Anthony Bourdain also put her in the spotlight. More recently, she was one of the original women who accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault and gave a rousing speechat the Cannes Film Festival, making her one of the leaders of the #MeToomovement.



Outlets addressing the issue of hypocrisy focus on Weinstein’s attorney’s claims that Argento’s allegations against Weinstein should be brought into question in light of the recent revelations. Furthermore, they emphasize that Argento was one of the first victims to step forward regarding Weinstein’s sexual transgressions and as such is a leader of the #MeToo movement, yet is an abuser herself.

Outlets in support of #MeToohighlight a quote from a sexual trauma therapist stating that sexual assault is complicated and that a victim of abuse may also become an offender. They stress that sexual assault is about power and privilege regardless of gender. Furthermore, they contend that the recent revelation does not hamper the movement, but rather brings to light that it is a system issue.

A systematic issue

The #MeToo movement gained mainstream attention last year following allegations against Harvey Weinstein. Just last week a prominent NYU professor was accused of sexually assaulting a graduate student. While women are the overwhelming majority of sexual assault victims, according to RAINN, men face sexual abuse as well. It is important to not let one case discredit an entire movement as the issue of sexual assault is a systemic one across all genders.


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