Is #MeToo out of control?
‘Iwas worried about writing this column, because I was scared to say I didn’t want to join in or contribute to the #MeToo campaign, the online forum where women share stories of their experiences of sexual harassment, assault or attacks.
Don’t get me wrong – of course I’m in favour of women brave enough to speak out about sexual assaults, such as the alleged rapes committed by movie producer Harvey Weinstein. In fact, I hope this forum helps them. But lines are becoming blurred. We’re at risk of losing perspective on very serious issues.
Rape is wrong. Power should not be abused, and women should never feel intimated in the workplace. BUT, as journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer, 49, said when she heard that government minister Sir Michael Fallon has apparently resigned after admitting to touching her knee, “Both my knees are still intact. Get a grip, people.”
Julia went on to say that it was “absurd and wrong to treat workplace banter and flirting – and even misjudged sexual overtures – between consenting adults as equivalent to serious sexual harassment or assault”.
She added, “I don’t think a man putting his hand on a woman’s knee 15 years ago should be a front-page story. I think we are in the middle of a witch-hunt.”
I know there will be women out there saying it’s never OK to brush off leering, and why do older women like me and Julia tend to laugh off this sort of behaviour? We don’t. We just tell those concerned to p*** off.
By exaggerating the seriousness of incidents like knee-touching, aren’t real crimes – rape and predatory sexual offences – in danger of being demeaned and devalued?’
RADIO PRESENTER JULIA HARTLEY-BREWER JUST SAY NO!