#metoo ‘Harvey Weinstein’ sexual assault reflection blog

pulp fiction

“Everyone’s got their chains to break
Were you born to resist or be abused? Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?” Foo Fighters

So – I wasn’t going to comment on this campaign but.. I couldn’t help but reflect on the discourse going on before me.  Many strangers and friends have been posting the #metoo hashtag on twitter and Facebook. Male friends stating their shock and support at the amount of people coming forward. And getting ‘likes’ in double numbers.

The  ‘Me too’ hashtag isn’t just about creepy dudes in bathrobes, you know.” (The Independent)

Don’t get me wrong – it’s great that this is coming to the forefront and being discussed. However. I started to reflect a bit deeper on the movement last night. Why is it that men or women posting in support are suddenly being congratulated on supporting the sexual assault campaign? Shouldn’t that support be standard anyway.

The #metoo campaign has evolved after concerns to Harvey Weinstein – a ‘once’ powerful Hollywood producer, who now faces allegations of sexual assault/harrassment. This allegedly also includes two of rape.

Weinstein formed the film production company Miramax with his brother. Think – Pulp FictionClerksGood Will Hunting some of your favourite movies right?

Some of these allegations – made by some of the most powerful female celebrities/icons/models on our screens today lead back to more than two decades ago.

So I came to thinking. Of the Jimmy Saville scandal – and of the widespread public disgust that arose from that.

When asked why nobody did anything, Mr Lemmon said: “I suppose because it was Jimmy.” (Telegraph)

And I ask myself the question – WHAT HAS TAKEN SO LONG????!!!? For the world to listen? If even the most powerful women in our society have fought so long to be heard.. (over two decades) what does this say for the rest of the population who have suffered such trauma (male and female).

The #metoo hashtag was actually created by 44-year-old activist Tarana Burke ten years ago. She founded the campaign as a grass-roots movement to reach sexual assault survivors in underprivileged communities. As a way to connect with #survivors with #survivors. (Ebony Mag)

I look to the Hollywood actors and actresses speaking out and starting a much needed conversation as well as many other celebrities that have made their stories of sexual violence known by using the “me too” hashtag, starting a much needed domino effect. And I commend them. And you!

Because it’s an uncomfortable topic. That is ignored all (most/a lot) of the time.

I recently read the recent post on The Independent  which offers an interesting alternative perspective on the matter talks about “being shunned as a whistleblower”.

It seems very easy to write disgust at assault on Facebook and get a few hundred likes but. What will actually change?

Whilst Facebook is a powerful tool – and writing in solidarity is great and that the ‘me too’ hashtag is a good start, I worry that it could dangerously minimalize the importance of the topic if not careful.

And I mean, by forgetting those that suffer in silence. Those whose first validation of exposure – at rape or sexual assault – who might write a ‘#metoo’ post.. that it might be ignored. Or passed by. And those that are perhaps even too ashamed to write the first letter ‘M’ on their social media site.

“According to a study by the NSPCC on young people (aged between 13–18), a third of girls and 16 percent of boys have experienced sexual violence and that as many as 250,000 teenage girls are suffering from abuse at any one time. 12 percent of boys and 3 percent of girls reported committing sexual violence against their partners.” (Wonderslist)

And those that have had to face their perpertrators in court. That are too afraid to speak out. That don’t get their voices heard due to not being passed through the CPS system. Those shunned. Those so overwhelmed with shame to say anything. Anything at all. Despite knowing verbally that it wasn’t/isn’t their fault. And those – too young to even know the words that fit the description of what is happening to them.

“we love celebrities because they are an integral part of culture. They have made it in the worldview we are so entrenched in. By worshipping them (to an extent), we feel as if we are participating in this hugely important cause/belief system. And that makes us feel all warm and fuzzy, and like our life matters” (Pyschology today)

And I question – as this mirrors the whirlwind of the Jimmy Saville scandal once again –  why has it taken a case like Harvey Weinstein’s to get something like this moving? Does it feel more close to home the further away it is? What about the girl or boy next door. Or indeed in other countries.. where women can be sent to prison for being raped.

“With an estimated of 500,000 rape cases every year, the country has one of the highest rate of Rape Crimes in the world. It is estimated that more than 40% of South African women will be raped in their lifetime.”

And I find myself pondering – perhaps – it is those that are famous and on our TV screens – that can actually really change things. And I accept that, that is the way society is built. And I commend the bravery coming from those places. For whilst, these men and women might be ‘famous’ I’m sure the evidence that appears; of the length of time that even the most powerful amongst us struggle to be heard – well. That is very telling. And aren’t we all simply humans?

And so as someone said to me once “you have shamed shame”. And to you I urge… Keep it up. For the path to victory, is rarely linear, let’s hope the Weinstein case will be a change in history for millions of women and men around the world.

And as a friend posted on Facebook after disclosing ‘not that it will actually change anything’. I feel her anger and I too, can quite often retreat into a state of despair. But like he say’s in #shawshankredemption

“Remember, Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” #ohDearyme

Peace and love.

Becki Bx

I follow other #survivors on Twitter campaigning endlessly for better rights for #survivors – including Ian McFadyen , Sammy Woodhouse , David Lean who tirelessly campaign for the rights of #survivors and I commend their work.

It is not aimed to offend – just a blog about the general confusion that quite often appears in my head. 





Running since the 30th October and finishing up on the 17th November the UK Jewish Film Festival is way under way. The festival itself features screenings of over 80 films and other special events across five cities – London, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester.

If you don’t fancy stepping out you can view films on it’s special player which you can rent or buy HERE 

My pick of the festival so far is Afternoon Delight which screens on the 13th NovemberJill Soloway won Best Director at Sundance, this year, with this acutely observed drama on sexual relationships.

Storyline: Despite the trappings of a successful life (uber cute husband/son and Silver Lake home) Rachel, played by Kathryn Hahn, has lost all sense of self, purpose and libido. To kick-start the latter, she and her husband visit a strip club where she meets mesmeric sex worker McKenna (Juno Temple). Hoping to save McKenna, Rachel takes her home as a live-in nanny.

Although predictable in storyline (go on guess what’s going to happen… ) that’s by the by with this engaging tale of heartache, sexual frustration and relationship boredom. The film is excellent at depicting the psychological behaviours of a woman frustrated with her life “I’m sorry I put a bomb in the middle of our life” states Rachel to her husband. A little depressing, but an excellently engaging film…

Make sure check out the timetable HERE and get involved..




A few years back I was living in South Korea. I was living alone in a city called Cheongju. Every Saturday and without warning a siren would radiate it’s shrill call throughout the small town. A test siren. And a dark reminder of the problems still prevalent with the North. I remember how I jumped the first time I heard it… my initial reaction being: OMG! WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING!! As I sat alone in my small bedsit studio..  I wondered if there was going to be an evacuation and my main worry was whether my boss at the English Campus I was teaching at would remember about me and would come and get me if needs be! But she never came… and when I saw that people were getting on with their daily grind.. my fear of invasion/evacuation/world war three dissipated. It was a situation that they had grown used to. And had simply forgotten to inform me of. Most of my learning about the North and South Korean divide came from the children I taught – who had a lot of empathy for their North Korean neighbours. Them and a young man called Kaka who was a researcher on North Korea at a university in Busan. When I received an invite to the Human Rights Watch Festival – I was drawn to go and view Camp 14 – Total Control Zone.

This film details the true story of a young man called Shin Dong-Huyk who was born into a prison camp called simply ‘Camp 14’ to political prisoners. Here Shin worked throughout his childhood oblivious to the world beyond the barbed wire fence. This film consists of interviews with a former camp guard, a member of the secret police and an interview detailing the memories of Shin Dong-Huyk himself – as a person born into and brought up in a world of destruction, abuse and control. Filmmaker Marc Wiese purposefully leaves in the long, uncomfortable silences of Shin’s testimony of his life within the camp – almost respectfully so. After all – this is a story that details a real life dystopian horror and it cannot be told in haste. This is a place where mind control and abuse is actually very real, very prevalent and happening not in the future.. but right now on Planet Earth. But Shin’s dramatic escape to ‘civilization’ details an unexpected and interesting take on how society in the modern world has trappings of it’s own. An incredibly brave and honest film.

For the film site click HERE

Another film I highly recommend is The Parade created by filmmaker Srdjan Dragojevic. This film is set in Serbia where gay men and lesbian women face extreme discrimination. It follows the problematic attempt of a group of people to hold a Gay Pride Parade in Belgrade.  This film is cleverly funny highlighting the importance of the issues involved without trivialising them. An excellent movie!

For more on the Human Rights Watch Film Festival who are doing an excellent job on raising awareness on very important human rights issues please visit HERE.. 

Becki Bx





Photographer: Alexander Piatti

Wow. What to say about this film? Most definitely one of the most important films to be released in 2013. Due out on the 29th March One Mile Away is an award winning documentary directed by Penny Woolcock that highlights the war of the ‘postcode’ between two Brummy gangs (that’s Birmingham to all you Southerners) who call themselves The Burger Bar Boys (B21) and the Johnson Crew (B6). One Mile Away was begun by Shabba – who has links to the Johnson side. Penny Woolcock became involved due to the trust she had built with both sides of the gangs – after her film about gun crime entitled ‘1 Day’. She introduced Shabba to Dylan Duffus – who was the lead actor of 1 Day and who also has affiliations with the Burger side.

So why is this documentary a must watch? It follows the story of two real life peacemakers starting their very own revolution. A revolution of the mind.

The war between both the gangs The Burger Bar Boys (B21) and the Johnson Crew (B6) is predominately a postcode war – with no real roots apart from pride.

Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 14.58.53

When a young man is quizzed on camera about what it is the gangs are fighting about he retaliates ‘I don’t even know you know!’. Another man states ‘it’s a shame I’m so used to people getting shot…’

This film documents the painful journey that Shabba and Dylan experience in their desire to make peace between the two gangs in order to improve the living conditions of their community. But the worry of getting ‘lighted up’ or in other words…killed and the suspicion from both sides is constantly at the forefront of their fight. Why are they trying to appease the war? Do they have an ulterior motive? Money? But Shabba and Dylan set out to prove that the building of trust between the gangs can be created with patience, determination and a lot (A LOT) of perseverance.

At one point the team visit diplomat Johnathan Powell – who was Downing Streets Chief of Staff under Tony Blair until 1997 for advice. One of Mr Powell’s responsibilities at the time of his service included the Northern Ireland peace talks. The point that he makes to the team about the government and the lack of help that they are currently providing to appease the conflicts between gangs is that ‘they’d like it to stop but they’re not going to invest in it so you’re gonna have to do it yourselves’. He hits the lads with the reality of what they are up against. They are out there on their own and there is no one at the top listening. Or if they are listening – they aren’t showing that they care. Mr Powell reiterates the importance of keeping faith and having patience.

This movie touches bravely on many topics – including the reality of the justice system (including witness intimidation), the reality of prison, the breakdown of the relationship between the police and the community, police brutality, racism, black on black crime, the power struggle of the streets and the death of innocent people. And the discussions captured between the generations highlight the many layers of how ‘the lost generation’ have become how they are. A lack of discipline? How to discipline? How this problem came to be this way?

One man states ‘You know nothing else since 13… it’s just normal. It’s life. It’s not even bad. When you don’t know nothing else’. Another man’s suggestion on how to change the problems is that young people should vest their interests in joining an academic gang. But then the distinct problem of ‘friendships’ that can get in the way of self help becomes apparent. And so this documentary highlights the many hurdles the team have to face. Just making peace.. is not so simple.

I asked a friend ‘JH’ whom I met at the Urban XFactor in South London his thoughts on the film as a young man who has had experience himself of serving time in prison..

From the perspective of an ex convict my view on the film itself is that of understanding and support towards the cause! I totally understand where Dylan Duffus “Flash” is coming from in regards to putting an end to the ongoing feud that has cost many people their lives which is very commendable. I also understand that from the point of view of someone looking in and not being involved or exposed to such lifestyles and environments it may seem like senseless killings and unnecessary extreme behaviour on the parts of the perpetrators. This would be a fair comment coming from a person that has had the opportunity to grow mentally and/or experience or have experienced another side of life  which one may call a more stable upbringing! Without this help or guidance whatever a person knows to be their reality that’s what they adapt to deal with and survive through in anticipation of not becoming a victim to their society themselves. In an area where the role models are career criminals with all the flash items and belongings it’s hard “but not impossible” for a person to rise up and not succumb to following in the footsteps of the ones they idolise and look up to for answers! With all of that being said on top of all of the environmental strains being a young black male myself I have to state that life for us seems even more challenging especially when the topic of prejudice and race comes into the equation! It’s added pressure when the system that’s put in place to protect and serve have an already built up guard against a person just because they may fit the demographic of a usual suspect!

So.. many many many reasons to watch this film. Get educated – stand up be counted – let’s work together for change! It’s out on the 29th March… Don’t miss it. Get involved…! View the trailer HERE:

And most importantly – whatever it is you are trying to do – don’t give up – keep dreaming – be patient – if you want to escape the trap you’re in – you can do it…

You can see the film as part of Birmingham’s Flatpack Festival on 26th March… see more screening dates on the One Mile Away site HERE

Pledge money to get the film talked about in schools HERE

Follow the film @onemileawayuk

Becki Bx


Movie review: Limitless ‘Don’t Make Me Your Competition’

I have just been to see Limitless – starring Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper. Story cut short: writer faces creative block…girlfriend leaves him.. he looks like shit.. and he is about to lose his apartment. Then out of the blue – a solution! He bumps into his ex wife’s brother.. who also used to moonlight as a drug dealer.. he offers Bradley Coopers character ‘Eddie Morra’ a pill.. this pill will help Eddie access 100 percent of his brain instead of the usual 20. In case you thought this sounded a bit familiar there is a well placed quote thrown into the film that states ‘this is not the Matrix..’. But it was Robert De Niro’s speech that for me really stood out.. one that I also might rehearse for times of need…(anyone guess who I’m thinking of?)

A gift not earned.. you do not know what I know because you have not earned those powers.. you’re careless with those powers.. you flaunt them and you throw them around like a brat with his trust fund you haven’t had to climb up all the greasy little rungs.. you haven’t been bored blind at the fundraisers.. you haven’t done the time in that first marriage to the girl with the right father.. you think you can leap over all in a single bound.. you haven’t had to bribe or charm or threaten your way to a seat at that table.. you don’t know how to assess your competition because you haven’t competed.. don’t make me your competition..

Ahh sorry you’ve seen the best bit now. Whilst it might not be in the same league as the Matrix it is definitely a good escape.. leaving the viewer with plenty of things to think about.. for instance – is David Cameron on some crazy super drug? If he’s on it then Rupert Murdoch is definitely on it.. and Nick Clegg.. would he play the part of the powerless junkie? Hmmm. Worth a watch I’m giving it a 4/5 and remember kids… drugs…are never the answer!!

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