The Event that Sparked the Me Too Movement

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In 2006, a woman by the name of Tarana Burke created the beginning of what would later become the'Me Too' Movement. This group was originally created as an outlet for women who had survived sexual assault. Fast-forward a decade later, and the phrase has revolutionized as a slogan of the A.H.S (anti-sexual harassment) movement. This party has ravaged some of the most powerful men in not only Hollywood, but Politics too.

Since the rise of the movement in 2016, thousands of women have come forward with their stories of sexual assault and harassment. All the while, men are coming forward saying they are scared to have any kind of (consensual) sexual interaction with a female, in fear of being falsely accused later on. President Trump, said in reference to the Kavanaugh case and the awakening of #Metoo that “it is a very scary time for young men in America, when you can be guilty of something that you may not be guilty of.”

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Vice President, Mike Pence recently had a comment from 2002 resurface after the Washington Post came across an interview he did with “The Hill”. Pence said he never leaves his wife's side at a gathering where alcohol is being served, because he doesn't want to accidentally “wander”.

With the rise of this comes “The Pence Rule”: a term used in the business world that men are claiming in order to have certain tactics and strategies to build their own “safe space” in order to prevent false allegations. Some have chosen complete isolation from females, if they are attending business trips some make sure they’ve booked separate seats when flying, while others even ensure in the event that the trip requires an overnight stay that their rooms are on separate floors. Personally I feel this is way too much, however I as a female might be a little biased. I invited a friend of mine to do a brief interview in hopes he could give me some personal insight as to what dating or being a male is like “today's age”. We will call him David, David is twenty years old and in his second year of college.

I started off by asking “What is your take on the #Metoo movement?” Here’s what he had to say “It is a great concept and i'm all for it, I think it's an amazing outlet for strong women (and men) but much like any other movement it has its flaws, This group has spiraled into a mess of false allegations a place in which men's lives are ruined”

“Do you yourself personally find it hard to have a consensual intimate relationship with another female?” “Oh no doubt about it, trust is a big part of any relationship but it is something I keep in the back of my mind, I still have a life ahead of me and I don't want to have to worry about a false allegation ruining the rest of it.”

“Do you think those that are caught making a false allegation should serve jail time?” “ Absolutely, that’s defamation of character! Take those two guys from Sacred Heart University whose lives were ruined because of a false allegation, they were immediately kicked out of school and lost everything. The girl later admitted she made the whole thing up had consensual sex with the two boys, it was definitely a relief to she that she had been charged and arrested, Sadly it isn't as common as it should be.”

“Would you say there is a lot of pressure being a young male in 2018 during this movement?”

“Of course, I don’t mean to sound like a broken record but it all comes down to false allegations. It’s such a hard topic because I want to be an ally for these people, i’d never wanna tell someone their accusation never happened. But again we live in a society where if a female were to accuse me of sexual assault my life would automatically be ruined even though I hadn't done anything, it’s societies instinct to believe the woman and there's nothing I could say that would change anyone's mind. Sexual harassment and assault aside i’d still say in today's society they still have it much harder than we do.”

Though the #MeToo movement isn't a school handout where we are asked to list the pros and cons of a matter. It’s cry for change, the majority being from women who have ever felt abused while entering situations that can be quite uncomfortable whether it be in the workplace or at social gatherings. #MeToo is alive and constantly expanding. Abusers feed off of the shame of victims and the fact that girls have been told to shut their mouths for the longest time. This movement has also been used to put big name celebrities on the spot such as; Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby and President Trump. After the presidential election in 2016, propaganda began to arise with the release of private audio recorded in 2005 between Trump and Billy Bush. In this audio president Trump can be heard telling a story to the former radio host in regards to an interaction he had with an unidentified woman; “She was married. I moved on her very heavily.” “ I did try and f**** her anyways, moved on her like a b****, but I couldn’t get there and she was married.”. This sent many democratic liberals into frenzy, President Trump continues to say “I’m automatically attracted to beautiful women — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait,” Trump said. “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.” This pinched a nerve in many of the members of the #Metoo movement; knowing that their Commander in Chief had no problem groping women because he was of “Celebrity status”. President Trump who is known to have mocked the faction has been accused of sexual misconduct several times, ranging from harassment to assault and rape, by at least twenty women. The president is constantly denying allegations of sexual and domestic abuse against him and branding it as “fake news.”

October 5th, 2017, The New York Times publishes an article containing decades of allegations of sexual harassment against Harvey Weinstein. Two award winning actresses Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd are among many of women who’d come forward saying Weinstein “forced women to massage him and observe him naked.” He’d also promised to launch their careers in return for sexual favours. This case is an amazing example what the #metoo movement is capable of. As Weinstein was being silenced tons of women including A-list Celebrities Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow stepped forward saying he attempted to engage in some sort of sexual encounter with them. When it comes down to any case of sexual assault people are quick to patronize the victim by asking or stating overly tedious statements and questions such as; “Why didn’t you say anything?” “It obviously wasn't that BIG of a deal if you haven't reported it” “Oh please you probably liked it”. One might think that’s too “extreme” and that “nobody actually says that” but its a harsh reality all victims face on the regular. Of every 100 cases of sexual assault ONLY 6 are reported to the police. This derives from fear, fear of being assaulted again, fear of being shunned and isolated, fear of constantly being interrogated. Because it never goes away in some shape or way of form you carry it with you for the rest of your life. Here in america we have such a horrible tendency to turn a blind eye to these situations because it makes people “uncomfortable” or more than of half the time we can't be bothered because it doesn't affect us, much like the country looks away from police brutality.

Harvey Weinstein was released on $1m bail over several rape and abuse charges. Right along Harvey Weinstein comes Bill Cosby, America’s favorite comedian. It all began in the mid 1960’s with a woman by the name of Sunni Welles claimed Cosby drugged and raped her twice, she finally stepped forth with her story in March of 2015. Since then 44 other women came forward. As previously mentioned this is the impact that the #MeToo movement has, it’s used as safe haven and helps women to find the courage to come forward and share their own stories. He was later convicted in August of 2018 and will be facing a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. The only brightside to this case is that we’re finally seeing people of power be held accountable for their actions. I personally believe that we let these people slip through the cracks when it comes to the justice system, but it is finally nice to see a person of power be treated as the rest of society and serve jail time for the crimes they’ve committed.

While I do recognize that this party has its flaws I feel that society misses its focal point by just observing what's in the media versus actually looking into the organization. It’s an incredible group for all that have experienced the pain of suffering and silence at the hands of sexual abuse. Instead of bashing and interrogating survivors why don't we ask ourselves “what can I do to help?” or “how can I be an ally?”.

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