4 Things the #MeToo Movement Gets Wrong
1. Stirs up unwanted emotions of survivors & doesn’t offer support.
The resources for trauma survivors are left out of the news reports and online articles. The National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-656-4673) should be published with every #MeToo article and post along with local resources for survivors. We leave out the solutions and the ways trauma survivors can come forward for assistance. The media attention is a frequent reminder of the abuse and trauma. The media attention triggers a psychological response from trauma survivors and has a negative impact on the individual. Encourage individuals who reveal abuse, harassment or assault to reach out for professional counseling.
2. Excludes male victims of sexual assault and harassment.
The #MeToo movement has primarily focused on female survivors of sexual assault. This leaves the male survivors to suffer in silence. We need to start the dialogue to acknowledge abuse occurs in both genders. Male survivors often carry additional shame for being violated. They often do not come forward or report the incident. We need to be there when male survivors come forward with their stories. Approximately 2 in 3 women experience sexual harassment and 1 in 3 men. That means 30% of men are survivors too!
3. Assumes all survivors should come forward.
Asking victims to set aside their shame to come forward is harmful to the survivors because it takes away their power to decide when and how to share personal information. Not everyone wants to make their story known. There are often consequences to coming forward with charges or reports of sexual misconduct. The consequences can range from shame and negative emotions to substantial consequences such as job loss or even death threats. Allow survivors the choice to come forward and don’t judge them for staying silent.
4. Polarizes the issue of sexual assault and harassment.
It has been said that Democrats highjacked this issue and used it for political gain. On the other hand, some individuals claim this is solely a feminist movement. The #MeToo narrative speaks of male perpetrators and female survivors of sexual assault. This narrative divides men and women. This dialogue leaves men out of the equation and leaves them wondering how to navigate the post #MeToo world. Both genders support the wellbeing of sexual assault survivors. Realize, we can all agree that sexual assault and sexual violence are wrong and against the law and the workplace should be free from sexual harassment.