#MeToo has emerged as one of the largest grounds of debate and discussion. Resistance or revenge, voicing out or voicing against?: The questions the movement has brought into the picture of sexual harassment are plenty. While some may see it as a platform for women to break their silence on the centuries old sexual violence, some others just seem to see it as a string of false allegations thrown against men.
The Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund is one example on how the movement has helped provide legal aid to the victims of sexual harassment. The victims don’t come just from women but men as well, breaking any misconceptions about sexual harassment we may have. The larger question, however, is what has really been the movement’s result. While some people reported it as simply poking on dried wounds, some others saw it as a necessary social awareness measure.
In such a context, Sarah Jackson, professor of Communication Studies from Northeastern University brings in some important points. She talks about how what matters in such a public mass outcry is the context that each one of those emerge. She says that, #MeToo is not a movement. Rather, it is a campaign that is part of a larger movement like feminism and women’s rights. She adds on that #MeToo becomes a starter on the kind of conversations that need to happen. What Jackson points out is the need for voicing out. Addressing a problem, alone, can bring the change we want to see.
#MeToo has perhaps been used and misused. However, one factor that no one can deny is how it is a platform that is at last unveiling gruesome scenes society is too afraid to acknowledge. #MeToo may not end sexual abuse. It is just a starting step.
N Malavika Mohan