In 2006, Tarana Burke noted the words “Me Too” on a piece of paper, activating a movement that has helped empower the victims of sexual harassment. In her debut TED Talk over a decade later, she expresses her views on the current status of the movement. She says- “We owe future generations nothing less than a world free of sexual violence. I believe we can build that world.”
The “#MeToo” movement was started as a gender-agnostic movement that would serve as a way for survivors of sexual harassment to stand up for themselves. Today, it has somehow turned into an ugly form as a ‘witch hunt’ and a ‘gender war’. People are using it to ‘settle scores’ in a ‘vindictive plot against men’, instead of bridging the gap between genders.
This movement was started for the 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys who are sexually assaulted every year. However, we are forgetting the latter part of it. On the contrary, men are feeling cornered into maintaining a safe distance with women, fearing the consequences of the movement.
Today, there is a fear among mean to speak up about their experiences. In addition, women are arousing fear among men of false accusations in the form of revenge .
In August 2015, a woman named Jasleen Kaur made a false allegation against Delhi-based Sarvjeet Singh. The Delhi court later refuted this allegation. Such incidents are causing men to feel victimized by the movement. When they should feel empowered by it.
The #MeToo movement begun as a movement to fight for the dignity and humanity of survivors of sexual harassment. Nobody should misuse it to manipulate a victim. Neither should anyone use it to level allegations of sexual harassment against anybody to settle ‘their own scores’.
I think it is due time to re-establish the initial goals of the movement and use it to create possibilities for victims of sexual harassment to speak up against the numbness and the pain that cripples them every single day.