Damon raised more than a few eyebrows this week when he suggested that sexual harassment and sexual assault “shouldn’t be conflated,” then gave examples of how he and others should handle different levels of sexual misbehavior in an ABC News interview.
“I do believe that there’s a spectrum of behavior,” Damon said in the interview. “And we’re going to have to figure out — you know, there’s a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right? Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated, right?”
“It’s the micro that makes the macro,” Milano wrote in a tweet addressed to the Oscar-winning actor.
“We are in a ‘culture of outrage’ because the magnitude of rage is, in fact, overtly outrageous,” she added. “And it is righteous.”
Milano helped get the #MeToo movement trending on social media in October after film mogul Harvey Weinstein was publicly accused of being a serial sexual abuser.
Sharing the #MeToo hashtag would help show the world how common sexual assault and harassment are, the actress said at the time. “We might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem,” she tweeted.
Now directing her attention to Damon, Milano shared that she has been a victim of sexual harassment, assault and all notches across the spectrum Damon had suggested.
“They all hurt,” Milano tweeted Friday night. “And they are all connected to a patriarchy intertwined with normalized, accepted ― even welcomed ― misogyny.”
She then expressed the deeper reasons why survivors of assault and harassment are so incensed over the entire spectrum of sexual misconduct: They have long been “gaslighted” and “silenced.”
“We are not outraged because someone grabbed our asses in a picture. We are outraged because we were made to feel this was normal,” Milano wrote. “We are outraged because we have been gaslighted. We are outraged because we were silenced for so long.”
Milano likened Damon’s so-called spectrum of misconduct to the different stages of cancer. Though some stages of cancer are more treatable than others, they’re all cancer, Milano explained.
The tumor, however, is now being cut out, she concluded.
“Sexual harassment, misconduct, assault and violence is a systemic disease,” Milano wrote. “The tumor is being cut out right now with no anesthesia. Please send flowers.”