What and how
The world has been taken by storm by the issue of sexual harassment at the workplace. Women all around the globe have stepped up to admit to having faced sex-based bias. This movement has seen confessions from women holding top positions, actresses and popular personalities, thereby underlining the magnitude of the sexual harassment demon and the need for it to be spoken about. During the 2017-18, this has evolved into a worldwide phenomenon leading to top executives stepping down or being sacked from their positions due to allegations made against them.
In October 2017, American actress Alyssa Milano used the phrase #MeToo on Twitter, to voice her experience of sexual abuse at the workplace, thus alleging former CBE producer Harvey Weinstein. Milano further urged other victims of sexual harassment to step up and tweet about their experience, in an attempt to create awareness about the widespread malpractice of sexual harassment. The hashtag #MeToo became viral on social media, with a huge response from the likes of America Ferrera, Jennifer Lawrence, Lady Gaga, Gwyneth Paltrow. In India, the movement began with Tanushree Dutta accusing Nana Patekar of sexual harassment. This gained momentum with many others from the film and television industry, media and journalism and several others.
Response and critique
The response to the movement has been enormous! This goes on to show that the court of public opinion is more trustworthy than the judicial systems in place. It has been revolutionary, to say the least. The fact here is that the victims had only two alternatives – internet justice, or no justice. As a result, the criticism of the #MeToo movement being just an act of publicity or having no legal impact has become void. As the legal process has become inadequate and too prolonged to address such social issues, social media is the only place through which these events could have been brought to light.
This movement that began from one small confession has taken the shape of a movement. Mistreatment based on sex has been prevalent for too long and this movement has shed light on this misconduct that needed to be addressed. So much so that it has been brought to the notice of the judiciaries and laws have been formulated to ensure such misconduct does not flourish nor continue to exist. Though changing laws will actually take close to a year, this movement has shaken up the world and made it clear that a line needs to be drawn between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour at the workplace. This has, in a way, also highlighted the power of social media in bringing about revolutionary changes to make the world a better place to live in.