The Me Too Twitter Campaign and ‘Why Do Men Still React in Shock to Women’s Sexual Assault Stories?’ (editorials)
Unfortunately, after the “Me Too” hash tag campaign on Twitter -which opened the floodgates for various women to feel more comfortable speaking publicly about sexual harassment or abuse they’ve experienced – I’ve seen my fellow conservatives nit-pick and berate the “Me Too” movement.
It’s appalling to see right-wingers push back against women stepping forward en masse to finally start demanding a stop to sexual abuse and harassment in all its forms in culture and the workplace. (And, there again, I am a right winger saying this.)
I’ve actually seen a few conservatives, including one female author, if I remember correctly, who are concerned or angry about the “Me Too” hash trend, because they feel the hash tag movement is unfair to men in general, or that it’s “going too far.”
Oh please. Please. You don’t have my sympathy. Men don’t have my sympathy here, either.
American culture, and most cultures around the world, are still dominated by men (even though women these days are outpacing men in some areas, such as gaining more college degrees).
Women are at an unfair advantage (even still in the United States), and sexual abuse victims (who are usually girls or women) are not usually believed but rather grilled and harassed to provide proof to the Nth degree.
Sexual harassment of women is brushed aside as though it’s nothing, especially by conservatives.
In particular, in light of the “Me Too” campaign, I have actually seen block-headed conservatives, male and female, brush off cat-calling on streets, and sexual harassment on the job, and other unasked for sexual male attention, as being “no biggie” that women should just put up with in silence.
These types of conservatives believe that only full-blown rape is important or wrong, but, infuriatingly, they think girls and women should just accept, as normal, things such as (but not limited to)
having their breasts or butts groped or pinched by supervisors or co-workers, or getting unwanted flirtation by men in the workplace, and receiving any other unwanted sexual commentary or actions by men that don’t include rape.
No girl or woman should have to “accept as being normal or part of being a female” unwanted sexual or romantic attention, commentary, or touching at school, the job, or on a street.
Rape is evil and wrong – but so too is a man, without a woman’s consent, groping a woman’s breasts or buttocks, or shouting obscene things at her as she walks down the street, or to continually flirt with her on the job, when she’s made it clear she is not romantically interested in the guy in question. I am horrified and repulsed to see so many conservatives and Republicans insist otherwise.
A full year after the release of the infamous recording of Donald Trump bragging about how he could get away with grabbing women “by the pussy”, columnist Eva Wiseman is warning people to temper their expectations about real change emerging from the #MeToo movement.
After all, she writes in The Guardian, men are still responding with “shock” to the pervasiveness of sexual abuse and assault — even though, just a year before, men reacted exactly the same way when women shared their stories of assault in the wake of now President Trump’s “pussy grab” boast.
The article referenced in The Guardian:
by Eva Wiseman, October 2017
…And then time happened. It is one year later, and all that’s different is what’s playing on the radio. Post-Weinstein, women have been sharpening their experiences, again of harassment and assault, again into little hashtagged spears.
A Twitter campaign is not the perfect solution to inequality, sure. Lumping Weinstein in with every other sexist dick in the world seems often to be very kind on Weinstein.
But again shock has been expressed. People had known it happened of course, they just hadn’t known, their memories now the length of half a piece of string.
… [Movie producer] Weinstein’s big crime was to promote his liberalism while quietly assaulting women; Trump made no such mistake. It was Weinstein’s hypocrisy that got him – the women’s voices still don’t appear to be the things driving change from the front seat.
I really agree with her concluding paragraph, which reads:
Women have been expected to fight every side of this battle, providing evidence, commentary, their bloodied bodies and patience. But at some point, surely, the victims of power should no longer be held responsible for proving it’s damaging.
Women have laid out their experiences of abuse end-to-end, again and again, and now it’s time for men to follow it as a path for change. They’ve been shouting for years, they need reassurance that all this has not been for nothing. It’s someone else’s turn now.
Ending abuse is not a women’s issue, nor women’s responsibility.
And we owe it to every one of the people who took a risk by sharing their story online to make sure our memories don’t fail us, or them, again.
I have noticed that yes, some men (and some women) keep demanding or expecting women to keep proving, (usually to male satisfaction), that we women are at times targeted by men with unwanted sexual attention.
Even though I was raised as a devout, conservative Christian girl and woman, I have received, over the span of my life time, from the time I was a girl to womanhood, unwanted male attention, sexual in nature – at schools, walking down the street, and where ever else. I shouldn’t have to prove this to be taken seriously or believed.
This sort of thing happens – even nice, Christian, Republican-voting, good girls (as I was) are sexually harassed by boys and men.
Girls and women are not making it up.
It’s not a “liberal feminist” agenda to make a big “to do” out of this subject.
I do wish my fellow right wingers would take sexual harassment and sexual abuse and sexism seriously, admit it’s a problem (not just admit rape is a problem, but so too are things like unwanted male flirtation in the job, or cat-calling, etc), and I wish they would work with other people to halt it, instead of viewing all this is some sort of sneaky, liberal feminist agenda to punish all men.
Forty percent of American women say they have experienced unwanted sexual attention or coercion at work. Historically, few of them come forward, and even fewer of those who do keep their jobs.
As one study baldly states, “Sexual harassment has been identified as one of the most damaging and ubiquitous barriers to career success and satisfaction for women.”
The toll that sexual harassment takes on their jobs, their career paths, and their psyches — including their ambitions and dreams — is enormous. It can last for decades, shred their networks, and toss years of training and education in the trash, but it’s one we rarely talk about.
Over the last two weeks, I’ve spoken with a number of women across industries about what they’ve gone through professionally and mentally after experiencing sexual harassment.
For many, it changed the course of their professional lives forever. Meghan Tozer, for instance, had been training to be an opera singer since her early teens. In graduate school, one of the most influential music teachers there started making inappropriate comments about her body.
The final straw was when he caressed her in front of her class.
After she reported him, no official action was taken, but he knew about her complaint and Meghan’s relationship with him was never the same.
Meghan knew that success in the industry depended on mentorships and connections — and that a good relationship with her professor was critical. So she left the industry. “It was career-destroying,” she said. “In opera, if you don’t have relationships with the right people, you’ve wasted a decade of your life.”
…Jessica Wakeman, a writer and editor, decided to leave her job after only six months rather than work with a supervisor who was frequently inappropriate.
At a holiday party just months into her tenure, her boss drunkenly told her a joke with the punch line “Show me your titties, bitch.”
After hearing that his behavior was worse with her co-workers, she chose to leave instead of report him. She still worries it hurt her prospects. “It makes me think people are going to look at my résumé and think I left after six months because I fucked up,” she said. “Is there a way to put some sort of asterisk like, ‘I left because of the creepy boss who was making people uncomfortable’?”
Perhaps it’s no wonder that jobs remain highly segregated by gender. When we talk about women “choosing” to stay in female-dominated fields, we should consider that women are trying to protect themselves.
When we talk about women’s career choices contributing to the gender pay gap, we have to think about how harassment contorts their options.
….The psychological impact of harassment can also affect a woman as she moves into a new role. “The injury and the harm is not just the comments or even the groping,” Wang said. “It’s that the person who’s doing it represents or embodies the corporation or the institution that surrounds you, not just your source of livelihood but the source of how you define yourself … how you’re trying to succeed.”
Katherine* got a job at a financial firm right out of college. But when she reported a boss’s aggressive sexual harassment to the human-resources department, she says she was fired despite being just a year into a four-year contract. “It changed my life,” she said. She started having panic attacks.
(read more of that page here )