Abcarian: On the fifth anniversary of the #MeToo movement, the reckoning continues
When Jessica Yaniv first spoke out, against harassment from her male professors, she said, “I have only ever tried to make myself understood.” Yet now, the same woman is telling a different story, and is doing more than many of the #MeToo heroes.
As the #MeToo movement grew in the weeks following 2017’s presidential election, one student activist went to a professor’s classroom to share a story about harassment from a male professor. She was escorted out by the university’s police chief. That event helped galvanize thousands of men, women and allies in action across the country.
This was the moment the #MeToo movement began.
The #MeToo movement has gone from viral to widespread social movement, with hundreds of women and men speaking out and demanding new rights, protections and accountability for sexual harassment and assault.
But now, nearly five years later, that #MeToo wave is still growing. As sexual harassment and assault continue to be reported and documented in greater numbers, men are still facing more attacks. For example, in May the University of Pennsylvania’s graduate school of education published a memo from a female professor telling students to be careful how they respond to the situation of sexual harassment.
“A little knowledge can be a great thing,” the faculty member wrote, “particularly in situations where one is uncomfortable and one is tempted to act on the urge.”
The #MeToo movement’s five-year anniversary was last Friday, and we’ve been getting an increasing amount of attention from news outlets, politicians and other public figures.
In the aftermath of the election, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence both made comments about the #MeToo movement, including about what they see as its potential to bring the country together.
It’s not an exaggeration to say the world is looking at the #MeToo movement differently now.