The other side of #MeToo ...
– From Hollywood to Bollywood, the #MeToo movement is making its mark around the globe since rising a year ago – with companies, politicians and charities caught up in the battle against sexual harassment of women.
With the behaviour of politicians likely to take centre stage in pending US elections, #MeToo supporters have declared the movement a sweeping transformation permanently altering the treatment of women – though some suggest it has gone too far.
The movement is newly taking hold in India, where one Bollywood actress’ complaint of sexual misconduct sparked an outpouring of support.
Over the past week, women have flooded social media with their experiences of harassment and sexual violence, with senior figures in entertainment and the media and a government minister under scrutiny.
Elsewhere, a Chinese university professor was fired after allegations of harassment and, in such conservative societies as Indonesia and Pakistan, women have been speaking out about sexual violence.
“We are in a new era,” said Ashley Judd, one of the actresses whose accusations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein sparked the surge of voices using the hashtag #MeToo a year ago.
The revelations of sexual misconduct that started in Hollywood spread across workplaces, governments and campuses, spawning investigations and toppling hundreds of high-profile men from positions of power around the world.
But while #MeToo has opened up discussions that may have long been kept under wraps or left unaddressed, some have warned it may be going too far.
The movement lacks nuance, some say, noting not all men accused of misconduct need to be treated with the same broad brush as that used in the case of Weinstein, who stands accused of sexual assault charges he denies.
Others caution that #MeToo will lead to women being locked out of business opportunities by men wary of being falsely accused of misconduct.
Actress Catherine Deneuve famously denounced #MeToo as puritanism gone too far, and US First Lady Melania Trump this week said she supported women speaking out, but they need to have hard evidence to back their claims.
Her comments followed the recent bruising battle over US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, whose confirmation proceedings exploded when a California professor claimed he sexually assaulted her in 1982.
Kavanaugh heatedly denied the allegations, his supporters argued the professor had no evidence and the Senate approved his appointment, marking a victory for Trump and locking in a conservative majority on the nation’s highest court. –