The #MeToo movement gave many people a voice to speak out about sexual harassment and abuse. These topics are often emotionally difficult for people to talk about on their own. The momentum of hearing other stories helped people come forward.
While many people felt that the goal of the movement was good, in that it exposed activity that was often criminal and fought for justice for the victims, recent reports show that some people are actually starting to push back against this movement. For instance, one study claimed that around 40 percent of those asked noted that they felt the movement had “gone too far.”
What does “too far” mean in this context? The surveys did not technically define it, so it could mean something slightly different to everyone involved. However, common themes that they cited included:
- Concerns about the public rushing to judge people who were accused
- Worries about careers and reputations getting ruined before the cases went to court
- Concerns that people may join the “bandwagon” and claim they had been harassed or assaulted when what happened to them really did not qualify
For instance, when a 53-year-old woman was asked about it, she said she thought some allegations were not real. “I feel like in the last year, that girls are like ‘Oh yeah, me too!’ ” she stated in an interview reported on NPR. “I feel like some of the girls want the sympathy and the attention. And I feel like that really, really takes away from the girls that it really happened to.”
Reports like this raise many questions, not the least of which is what these negative comments about the movement may say to others who are thinking about coming forward. It is very important for anyone who has been sexually harassed in the workplace to understand their legal rights, no matter what the public may think. Everyone deserves justice and safety, in their daily lives and at work.