The Aftermath of #MeToo on Men

An op-ed criticizing the #MeToo campaign’s effects on men.

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The Aftermath of #MeToo on Men

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The #MeToo campaign has conquered Hollywood and ultimately the country. It is seen as this positive, necessary, revolutionary movement. Yes, this campaign is necessary and has positive effects. Yes, this is revolutionary. However, in some ways, I find it more similar to the Salem witch trials than the other social justice movements. Why, you may ask, could this movement empowering women be likened to a ridiculous superstition-filled hunt in Massachusetts, some many years ago?

Well, every time a woman shares a #MeToo story, she is assumed to be truthful, whether or not she has any evidence. This means that when each woman shares a #MeToo story, there is a man being affected. Whether the story is true or not, other women instantaneously comment with love emojis and other supportive comments leaving the man to face hate and misery. Many men are forced to step down from jobs because of the hate they experience, even if these men are wrongfully accused.

Javier Palomarez, Chief of the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, was accused of sexual assault. Mr. Palomarez responded, “I categorically deny these deeply troubling allegations.” Nevertheless, he still resigned even though there was no evidence to prove these allegations. Another notable man accused of sexual assault is Garrison Keillor. Newsday comments on Garrison Keillor’s downfall stating, “Keillor was fired by Minnesota Public Radio after being accused by a woman of inappropriate behavior. He said he was fired over ‘a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard,’ and told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he put his hand on a woman’s bare back in an attempt to console her.” The Minnesota Public Radio suspended their relationship with him even though it was simply only one allegation and the truth is still unclear.

A number of prominent men, just like the two examples above, have experienced downfalls on the grounds of people who provide no evidence. In these cases, should we really ruin people’s lives over mere accusations? If there is no proof, if there is a chance that the accusation might be false, then it shouldn’t be molding someone’s life in this negative way.

I know some accused men are guilty. I know there are women who have been abused and who deserve to be taken seriously. Even when I experience catcalling, especially in my modest gear, I feel extremely violated. But I do not hold all men as evil. When a woman accuses a man, we should hold the accusation as neither true nor false until further investigation.

I think this view to believe every accusation is utter madness. Do we really feel the need to ruin innocent people’s lives? This is why I feel these accusations are so similar to the accusations that took place in Salem, about 325 years ago. Innocent people were accused of witchcraft and were forced to admit it or face execution. Today, there are innocent men being accused of sexual assault who are forced to either apologize and accept undeserved consequences or deny it and be seen as misogynists.  Have we progressed, or are we still the same block-minded colonials that settled in America all those years ago?