The aftermath of the strings of sexual allegations faced by Harvey Weinstein, one of the most powerful faces of Hollywood, the Me Too movement went viral in social media. This innovative and creative movement was initially launched in 2006 by Tarana Burke aimed at helping survivors of sexual harassment.
Me Too Movement Sexual Harassment
According to the UK Equality Act 2010, harassment is “unwanted conduct or unwelcome behavior related to a relevant protected characteristic (sexual advances), which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual”.
However, the term unwelcome behavior is problematic because it does not mean “involuntary.” A victim may consent or agree to certain conduct and actively participate in it even though it is offensive and objectionable.
Therefore, sexual conduct is unwelcome whenever the person subjected to it considers it unwelcome. Whether the person in fact welcomed a request for a date, sex-oriented comment, or joke depends on all the circumstances.”
In short, sexual harassment can be defined as a form of harm inflicted upon a person via physical, verbal or even psychological acts bearing a sexual tone. It is often an act of power domination mediated via spatial and social control, buttressing subordination.
Therefore, experiencing any form of sexual harassment anywhere could be humiliating, demeaning, traumatizing, and degrading.
Not surprisingly, for the first time in history, the Me Too movement has emerged as a powerful whistle-blower hitting the highest offices of the world—the European Parliament, the Westminster, and much more, from where the narratives of accusations of inappropriate behavior or sexual allegations continue to surface similar to ants coming out from their habitats.
The Time magazine of 18 December 2017 has featured few celebrities— Ashley Judd, Susan Fowler, Adama Iwn, Taylor Swift, and Isabel Pascual labeling them as silence breakers. At the same time, it is sad to note that when feminism has reached its heights in the occidental world, why these women chose to remain silent for years.
Nonetheless, millions of common women too have joined Me Too movement. This markedly signals that women even after decades continue to hit the iron as the recently heated hammer continues to remain too hot.
For instance, in January 2018 Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentenced 175 years in jail to the predator, USA gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, who sexually abused a large number of young women gymnasts. This was a historic judgment and perhaps, one of the most powerful judgments in the world where more than 150 women confronted the predator face-to-face in the court.
Although, sexual harassment is tantamount to women but #me too movement is not restricted to women facing sexual harassment alone, it is also about those powerful women preying on their subordinate men or a homosexual man /woman preying on another man/woman in his/her office or elsewhere under the shields of their power.
There is very little or robust statistics of sexual advances at the workplace.
According to a report of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Campaign to End Violence Against Women unravels that in the USA, 83 percent of girls within the age-group 12 to 16 years faced some form of sexual assaults in their schools.
The same report further unveils that within the countries of the European Union; approximately 40-50 percent women experienced some form of sexual assaults like inappropriate touching or unwanted physical contacts, while 30-40 percent women of Asia-Pacific countries reported different forms of harassment—verbal, physical, and sexual.
Appalling rape statistics (2016 – 2017) from Rape Crisis Centres across England and Wales unfolds that every year, about 85,000 women and 12,000 men become victims of rape demonstrating that while both women and men can become victims of despicable sexual assaults, women are far more likely to become victims of sexual exploitations.