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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

#MeToo



Reading about The Movement of #MeToo ...

[...] On Sunday afternoon, the actress Alyssa Milano used her Twitter account to encourage women who’d been sexually harassed or assaulted to tweet the words #MeToo. In the last 24 hours, a spokesperson from Twitter confirmed, the hashtag had been tweeted nearly half a million times.

#MeToo wasn’t just mushrooming on Twitter—when I checked Facebook Monday morning, my feed was filled with friends and acquaintances acknowledging publicly that they, too, had experienced harassment or assault. Some shared their stories, some simply posted the hashtag to add their voices to the fray. And it wasn’t just women: Men also spoke up about their experiences with assault. Actors including Anna Paquin, Debra Messing, Rosario Dawson, Gabrielle Union, and Evan Rachel Wood joined in. The writer Alexis Benveniste used it to remind people that the messages they were seeing were only the tip of the iceberg. For every woman stating her own experiences out loud, there were likely just as many choosing not to do so ...


I'm among the many who has experienced this kind of harassment in the past. At one of my first jobs, working at a movie theater, the manager would regularly pinch the women employees on the behind. At a later volunteer job at a clinic, one of the docs groped my chest when we were alone in an elevator. A guy on a date forced himself on me. And there's no counting the cat calls and sexual jokes and propositions that most women, including me, endure from the time we're teens.

Many of the articles and news clips I've seen on this subject ask whether this recent attention will make any difference in the situation. I don't think it will. It would be great if tougher laws against harassment in the workplace came out of this, but that doesn't address the cause of the problem.

What seems to be the case is that some institutions in power over vulnerable people take advantage of those people (Hollywood and the casting couch, the Catholic church and child sex abuse). The same is true of individuals - sometimes women are the ones who take advantage, but in the vast majority of cases it is men who see women, children, and sometimes other men as sexual prey items instead of fellow people. I don't know what can fix this tendency, and I don't think most people care enough about the situation to try to fix it ... I mean, come on, we just elected a self-confessed sexual predator as president.


2 Comments:

Blogger Stephen Edward de Weger said...

Hi Crystal, thanks for your contribution to resolving this issue - this is a great comment especially because you acknowledge the following: "sometimes women are the ones who take advantage, but in the vast majority of cases it is men who see women, children, and sometimes other men as sexual prey items instead of fellow people". I am one of those men preyed on by a Catholic priest when I was 20.

I have tried to do something in my own way as well. To that end I have set up a new website, Catholic#MeToo (www.catholicmetoo.com) where I am hoping victims/survivors of clergy sexual misconduct against adults can record their experiences. I hope you might feel you can support me in my attempt to help the Church clean up its own backyard, too, by postng this comment and letting others know of the new website. Thank you.

1:23 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Stephen. I do feel the church's problem with priests assaulting both children and adults deserves more attention. Good luck with your site.

1:43 PM  

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