Issue 40 • Week of October 16, 2022
The MeToo movement sparked an international outcry against sexual harassment five years ago this week via a simple but effective hashtag shared 19 million times. Founder Tarana Burke and fellow "Silence Breakers" who risked public scrutiny to shed light on the scale of the problem were named Time's Person of the Year.
Even after these relevations, only one third of men believe there is a very common underreporting of cases. Yet fewer than 8,000 official claims are submitted to the government every year in contrast to nearly half of women who have experienced sexual harassment at work. More than 70% of those filed recently include charges of retaliation that reinforce a hesitation to pursue accountability.
There have been real gains for victim rights since then in cracking down on gag orders in the form of NDAs and mandatory arbitration, but one in five American adults have still never heard of #MeToo. How can we expect further change when the message of one of the largest social movements in history has not reached 20% of the electorate?
Plus, we have laws on the books that are supposed to protect against these actions. Why aren't they effective deterrents to this ongoing behavior?
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