Over the past few weeks, dozens of women have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment and assault against some of the biggest names in the TV and film industries, including Harvey Weinstein, James Toback, and Bill O'Reilly. Their stories are heartbreaking and infuriating, serving as an urgent reminder that we need to address rape culture in our society. And while the process is sure to be painful, actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth believes that we have reason to be hopeful.
Chenoweth appeared before the University Philosophical Society in Dublin, Ireland, on Monday, where she talked about her own experiences with sexual harassment. Though she didn't call out names, The University Times reports that she recalled times when she "made arm farts" and "tap danced" to avoid sexual predators.
"But we shouldn't have to do that," she said. "So I'd say: Don't have any meetings in a hotel room — and it's probably not just women who've had it. I bet you this is going to start a whole thing."
She's correct to assume that women aren't the only people who experience sexual harrassment and assault. Since the allegations against Weinstein came out, men like James Van Der Beek and Terry Crews have detailed their own encounters. And as the #MeToo movement has proven, gender non-conforming folks have been victims of unwanted sexual advances or violence, too.
As a self-proclaimed "eternal optimist," The University Times reported that she said "good is gonna come out of [the scandal]." Until then, she said "We just have to keep praying."
While there, Chenoweth also received the Gold Medal of Honorary Patronage. Later, she celebrated the experience by tweeting out a series of photos and a sweet message of thanks.
"I am full of love and gratitude," she wrote. "Thank you to the @TCDPhil for granting me an honorary patronage this week."