Negative and positive consequences of #MeToo

The movement #Me too me too) was unveiled in October 2017 as a social media campaign, promoted by actress Alyssa Milano. Their goal was to report sexual assault and harassment against women to show the magnitude of the problem and raise public awareness.

The campaign was started following allegations of sexual abuse against the American film producer and executive Harvey weinstein. However, its resonance was such that it transcended Hollywood, and the complaints, from women and men, were manifested in various areas of society.

Progress of the #MeToo movement

The Me Too initiative is not new, was created by civil rights activist Tarana Burke. In 2006 she ran a campaign on the Myspace network to promote “empowerment through empathy” among black women who had experienced sexual abuse. But it was the great media impact through social networks driven by Milano which gave the movement a worldwide impact.

What have been the positive and negative consequences of #MeToo? Among the positives is his contribution to making sexual assaults and harassment visible, especially of those anonymous victims not linked to public life. The denunciations and pronouncements of famous and influential people have undoubtedly spread the message and served as support to the common people.

In this way, the movement has made progress in the following aspects:

  • Victims are encouraged to share your experience, freeing yourself from feelings of guilt and shame repressed.
  • Victims of sexual abuse feel accompanied by the movement. They know that they are not alone and that there are people willing to support and defend them.
  • Perpetrators, including those in positions of power, do not feel they can act with total impunity. They will think twice before trying to commit sexual assault and abuse.
  • Abused women are taken more seriously in their complaints, the treatment of the media towards the subject transcends the superficial and anecdotal.
  • The power of social activism, the union to demand that there be no impunity for abuses.
  • A more aware and informed public about what sexual abuse means: a manifestation of power. This shows the aggression of the harasser, who does not accept a “no” for an answer, and imposes his power on the victim.
  • More women are aware of gender inequality.
  • A increased awareness by companies and governments about abusive sexual behaviors.
  • Debates have emerged about new laws to protect against sexual harassment and abuse.

Negative consequences of #MeToo

The #MeToo movement has also been criticized for its negative impact. Among the consequences that have been identified as negative are:

  • Extremist militants within the feminist movement have set themselves up as judges and executioners. They are accused of Point out any male behavior towards women as suspected of sexual harassment.
  • The danger of false accusations that could damage or destroy the career of a person, usually a man.
  • The risk is that justice does not act to discover and punish cases of false accusations made only with the intent to harm.
  • In the Laboral scene, women are being treated differently, they are being discriminated against out of fear. Caution, out of fear of being accused of sexual harassment, has made men uncomfortable dealing with co-workers.
  • The complaints of assault and sexual abuse have not materialized as much as expected, in criminal charges, trials and convictions.
  • A a discouraging message to victims and activists when the culprits are not punished.
  • The #MeToo has exposed powerful perpetrators, but to a much lesser extent the common men who commit sexual abuse. Therefore, impunity continues.
  • The movement has failed to convey that the responsibility for sexual abuse lies with the aggressor. You have failed to build consensus on what is right and wrong about sexual misconduct and where the blame lies.
  • The #MeToo, in many cases, has exposed the women who make the complaints to being harassed, humiliated and threatened. The risk of being discredited and not believing in their complaints is present especially if they are active in feminist movements. Likewise, if they are women in a situation of vulnerability and not involved in public life.

Involving men is necessary

The problem that the #MeToo movement has put into the public debate is complex. The director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, realize it. Thinks that the #MeToo gave women a voice, but it takes work to change stereotypes. And in this work the participation of men is essential.

It is necessary, in his opinion, that the voices be heard and that the aggressions stop. That is why it has created campaigns such as He for She to engage men in the pursuit of equality.

Ideally, more women should report, but be aware that these reports can lead to threats and attacks. Working with the aggressors, says the official, would make them accept their responsibility, and would contribute to changing stereotypes in society.

Back to the roots of #MeToo

#MeToo founder Tarana Burke at a TEDWomen conference He said the movement is not anti-men, nor is it aimed at accusing and shaming. Highlights that the media impact of the initiative has led to the movement being branded as “a witch hunt” when it is not. “It is not a vengeful plot against men.”

Framing #MeToo as an anti-men movement is intended to disqualify victims, he says.

Burke you want the movement to return to its roots: that it be the impetus for an action plan against sexual violence in the communities. The activist believes that the global and media #MeToo is neglecting the people it originally wanted to help when it created the movement.

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