“This documentary on Harvey Weinstein is really important,” says Atty. Twyla Rubin, OIC of Gender Equality and Women’s Human Rights Center of the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines. “It is able to show the rare account of women who are able to stand up, come together, to hold into account a perpetrator who’s very influential.”
The case of Harvey Weinstein was one that sent shockwaves across the film industry and the world at large. It was a monumental trial for the women’s rights movement since it showed the world that justice can still be served despite a perpetrator’s power and vast resources.
As a women’s human rights lawyer, Atty. Rubin has been following the case of Weinstein as it developed and reignited the long-standing fight for gender equality. The case provided fuel for the transformative #MeToo movement, encouraging women to speak out against sexual violence and share their own experiences with it.
Recalling the day she heard the final decision in the Weinstein case, Atty. Rubin shares that she was happy––not only for the women who spoke out, but also for the justice they finally achieved after years of silent suffering. She also cited a friend coming to understand the passion she has for her work.
“I remember a friend messaging me saying that they finally understood why I stand up for women sexual assault survivors. They finally understood why it’s important to listen to their stories, to adapt an attitude of belief, and to understand what they are going through. It’s amazing how the #MeToo movement made a friend realize how important it is to listen to survivor stories. Even in that small story, I would say that it is a success because it shifted the consciousness of people about sexual violence and how it takes a toll on women’s health and lives,” she said.
Even with the progress made with the victory of the Weinstein case, Atty. Rubin also brings up a sobering reminder that issues of sexual violence need to be addressed within their proper context. Especially for women who experience layers of vulnerability and marginalization.
“There is a part of me that is also sad because we know, as women from developing countries, that there are many cases of sexual violence that are still without justice. There are many women who have been denied justice or unable to report because of an insensitive justice system, because of power and influence, because of lack of accountability, and because of the many layers of vulnerability and marginalization,” she said.
Adding in a hopeful note, Atty. Rubin acknowledges the strength of sisterhood saying, “There’s power in collective storytelling. There’s power in sisterhood, and this case inspired global sisterhood. We can draw inspiration from this case to slay our own Harvey Weinstein in our own context.”
Harvey Weinstein, Discovery Channel’s documentary on Weinstein’s trial, reveals first-hand accounts of women who spoke out against him and their experiences in pursuing the case. The latest re-run will air on Wednesday, August 5 at 10:40 PM.
Visit Discovery Channel’s Facebook account and watch Atty. Rubin’s reaction video on this documentary for more of her insights.
Discovery Channel is available on Sky Cable CH 39, Cignal TV CH 140, and Destiny Cable CH 56.