One year later, what’s changed?

The Week (US) - - News 17 -

It’s been one year since the sex­ual as­sault al­le­ga­tions against Hol­ly­wood pro­ducer Har­vey We­in­stein ig­nited the #MeToo move­ment, said Ri­ley Grif­fin, Han­nah Recht, and Jeff Green in Bloomberg.com, and the head­lines since then have been “dizzy­ing.” At least 429 prom­i­nent in­di­vid­u­als, mostly men, have been ac­cused of mis­con­duct rang­ing from lewd com­ments to se­rial rape. The #MeToo hash­tag has ap­peared in al­most 14 mil­lion tweets over the past year. “This is just the be­gin­ning,” said Ju­lianne Es­cobedo Shep­herd in Jezebel.com. Pow­er­ful men such as We­in­stein, comedian Bill Cosby, nu­mer­ous cor­po­rate ex­ec­u­tives, and dozens of politi­cians are fi­nally fac­ing con­se­quences for their ac­tions. And de­spite Repub­li­cans’ con­fir­ma­tion of Brett Ka­vanaugh to the Supreme Court in de­fi­ance of sex­ual as­sault al­le­ga­tions, so­ci­ety is tilt­ing to­ward be­liev­ing vic­tims for the first time in our his­tory.

I wish I could be so op­ti­mistic, said Rox­ane Gay in The New York Times. Many of the dis­graced men outed by #MeToo are now re­port­edly eye­ing come­backs, in­clud­ing for­mer To­day host Matt Lauer and comedian Louis C.K. In re­cent weeks, jour­nal­ist John Hock­en­berry and mu­si­cian Jian Ghome­shi pub­lished self-pity­ing es­says about how their lives have been “ru­ined.” How telling that “in­stead of self-re­flec­tion, men would re­flect on how they had been harmed by their own bad be­hav­ior”—with no aware­ness of how much pain they’ve caused their vic­tims. #MeToo hasn’t made me feel “any safer or more em­pow­ered,” said Bre Pay­ton in TheFed­er­al­ist.com. The move­ment has be­come rad­i­cal­ized by far-left fem­i­nists who turn gray-area en­coun­ters into as­saults. “Do we want to live in a world where the de­tails of a bad date could end up in the front pages of ev­ery ma­jor news­pa­per?”

One year in, #MeToo has just be­gun “the cam­paign to change our sex­ual cul­ture,” said Alyssa Rosen­berg in The Washington Post. Many very hard ques­tions still need to be ad­dressed. How do we de­ter­mine guilt or in­no­cence in cases that don’t end up in court? Given the range of trans­gres­sions, from gross come-ons to phys­i­cal as­sault, “how do we make sure the penalty matches the harm done?” What are the terms un­der which some of­fend­ers should be for­given? These ques­tions couldn’t be an­swered in one year, but we’re fi­nally start­ing to try. “The ag­o­niz­ing sto­ries we’ve heard over the past 12 months have done a great deal to make it pos­si­ble to do that work at all.”

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