Has the #Metoo Movement Been Successful?
The #MeToo movement has shaken up Hollywood and exposed the corruption in the entertainment industry. It has been very successful in exposing sexual predators in Hollywood such as Bill Cosby, Louis C.K., Kevin Spacey and most notably, Harvey Weinstein. However, while sexual assault and harassment are nothing to make light of, there are some who believe the #MeToo movement has been used as a weapon to prosecute individuals on the merits of feelings rather than evidence.
The movement is a positive achievement for social justice, but much like any other movement, it can be taken a bit too far. We live in a country where you are believed to be innocent until proven guilty. Unfortunately, the #Metoo movement has flipped things around and forced those who are being accused to prove their own innocence.
There are multiple faults within the movement that damage the credibility of the larger campaign. One of the most prominent we’re currently seeing is the sexual assault allegations on Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The first woman who accused Judge Kavanaugh, Dr. Ford, testified under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 27.
The accusations were that a young and intoxicated Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge, attempted to rape her while at a party 36 years ago. Dr. Ford has repeated on multiple occasions that she doesn’t remember the location of the party, who was at the party, what time this occurred, how she got there or how she got back home.
Sexual assault accusations are very serious, but what hurts the credibility of Dr. Ford is the timing of her accusation. Her story was presented the week of Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote. Republicans suggest that the sexual assault claim is nothing more than a political move to postpone the vote until after the midterm election, where the Democrats hope to take the majority on both the House and the Senate. This would ensure enough votes to deny Judge Kavanaugh, or any other nominee Donald Trump puts forward, a seat on the Supreme Court.
With two more accusations against Judge Kavanaugh, his confirmation to be the next Supreme Court judge is less likely as time progresses. However, considering the second accuser has time gaps and a faulty memory, the accusations don’t necessarily prove any wrong doing on Kavanaugh’s part.
Chris Coon, Democrat Senator of Delaware, recently stated “It is Judge Kavanaugh […] who I think now bears the burden of disproving these allegations.” The idea that Kavanaugh has to prove his innocence goes against the entire principle of “innocent until proven guilty” that our justice system relies on. This phrase also comes off as a bit hypocritical since many Democrat leaders have a substantial amount of evidence on fellow Democrat Keith Ellison who has also been accused of sexual assault and abuse, but have not demanded his removal.
Sexual assault and harassment in general, cannot be tolerated and should not be ignored. However, we must understand that simply because someone is accused of sexual assault, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re guilty. We should be compelled to avoid letting our emotions distort our judgment, and have faith in the American justice system, where all men and women are innocent until proven guilty.