Is the #MeToo Movement Really Making Change Happen?


Illustration by Giana Sozzi | Photos and Graphics Editor

In this photo illustration #MeToo movement can be seen printed on a hand.

Movements have created no change in accordance with the culture going on today. We are so passionate about so many things, but what is unfortunate is that it is not enough. We have wants and needs that we consider fundamental to continue to live and survive in the United States, but ultimately, it’s the government that can create change, and the prospects are not looking good.

The #MeToo movement was created to have a safe space for people to confess that they have been a victim of sexual assault and or sexual harrassment. Culturally, this has prompted social media users to show support as an ally to these victims. When #MeToo is mentioned, the first person many people think of is Harvey Weinstein, founder of The Weinstein Company, an independent film studio. As of Feb. 24, 2020, Weinstein has been convicted of “criminal sexual assault in the first degree and rape in the third degree,” according to the New York Times.

This had been an ongoing case for the past two years, and its closure may be seen as a win for the #MeToo movement. However, this is only in regards to Hollywood. I am in no way undermining struggles of the women who were assaulted by Weinstein — However, they have the press coverage to ignite the discussion. But what about the people around us? Where is the justice for them?

“Now an online survey launched in January by a nonprofit called Stop Street Harassment offers some of that missing evidence,” wrote Rhitu Chatterjee for NPR. “It found that 81 percent of women and 43 percent of men had experienced some form of sexual harassment during their lifetime.”

If we take a look at the proportions of men and women who report their assaults, it is astounding. In a graphic created by the National Sexual Violence reseach center, it is stated that “43.3% heterosexual women reported sexual violence other than rape during their lifetimes… 20.8% heterosexual men reported sexual violence other than rape during their lifetimes”.

There has been some improvements in the way some jobs show that there is support for men and women who report sexual misconduct to their employers. There have been open-door policies that were implemented to show that employees and employers are an asset to one another. Unfortunately, this does not reach everyone. Culture has proven that it is hard to confront those in charge, especially if they are men. In the workplace, men and women are scared to bring retaliation to the person in charge. This is why it took years to put Weinstein in the hot seat. This is a result of internalized fear of losing jobs and reputation.

On a social level, many simply do not believe the men and women who report it. There have been multiple occasions in a row on which I have logged into Twitter, seen a post about a woman calling out her partner and showing her bruises and cuts, and then seen someone asking the questions “Why didn’t you report it?” or “Why didn’t you leave him?”

We have reached a point in the age of technology at which the content we release on the internet can easily make or break a person. These tweets spread across the internet and help these women get the satisfaction they need. Something that people consider very little is the fact that destroying someone’s presence online can easily destroy their reputation in the context of day-to-day life.