Is This the Next Step for the #MeToo Movement?
For the most part, powerful women. For the most part, wealthy women. For the most part, white women. #MeToo, for all the progress it has made in exposing sexual harassment and abuse—and in exposing the contours of systemic sexism more broadly—has been, from the outset, largely limited in its scope: a movement started, in this iteration, by the famous and the familiar, a movement unsure of how to convert itself from stories into action. The question quickly became: How do you broaden it? How do you move the #MeToo movement beyond the provinces of privilege to be more inclusive, more systematized, more politically effective? How can #MeToo, essentially, move from the realm of the “me” to the realm of, more fully and more meaningfully, the “we”?
- Don’t be part of the problem. For starters, don’t harass anyone.
- If a person who has been harassed tells you about it, believe them. Don’t underestimate how hard it is to talk about these things.
- If you know someone who has been harassed, connect them to resources who can help, such as the ones found here.
- If you are a witness or bystander and see a harassing situation, you can help the person being harassed. You could actually intervene. You could confront the harasser. You could also help the person get out of the harassing situation. If you cannot do any of these things, you can still support the harassed person by corroborating and confirming the account of what happened.
- You can support those affected by sexual harassment by donating to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund.
- If you are part of an organization, look at the workforce and the leadership (management, officers, board of directors). Does it reflect the market where you operate and the world we live in? If not, ask why not and do something to move it closer to that goal.
- Acknowledge that talent is equally distributed, but work and career opportunities are not. Mentor someone from an underrepresented group in your industry. If you are in a position to do so, hire someone who can diversify the perspectives included in your organization; your team will be better and stronger for it.
- You can vote with your wallet: in your purchasing, in your investing, and in your charitable giving. Spend or give to companies and organizations who have more equitable leadership and opportunities for all.