Missing Shulamith and The Dialectic of #MeToo
The history of #MeToo has been obscured by the media frenzy that concurrently emerged. Tarana Burke, an African American woman, created a non-profit organization called Me Too in 2006, to help women of color who had been sexually abused or assaulted. This was not about naming perpetrators or holding them accountable; it was only to give the affected women a voice. This, the media ignored. But in 2017 two things happened which did get media attention: The New York Times published revelations about Harvey Weinstein’s sexual abuse of Hollywood women, and following that, an actress, Alyssa Milano, who became aware of Tarana Burke’s work, wrote in social media, “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote “Me Too” as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.” What followed was the flooding of social media with stories of abuse and harassment, and a way for women to tell their experience and stand in solidarity with other abuse survivors. In the first 24 hours of Milano’s post, more than 12 million “MeToo” posts appeared. All these aspects of #MeToo, its mass base and its revelation of the pervasive and perverse alignment of misogyny and power, make it dangerous to the established power structure. Not surprisingly, that power structure has responded quickly in its attack on #MeToo.
As it addresses these challenges, this wave of feminism, of which #MeToo may be the vanguard, will herald a transformative process, a process that would be both revolutionary and healing. I wish #Shulamith_Firestone were here to witness and comment on this moment. The struggle and potential for women and men to lead new lives is stronger than ever. There is still much work to do, leadership to emerge, organizing and theory to be developed, but the era of silence and shame is coming to an end.
#me_too #dialectique #sexisme #harcèlement_sexuel #pouvoir #misogynie #structures_de_pouvoir #patriarcat #féminisme #anti-metoo