Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Is it too soon to be excited about #MeToo and #TimesUp?

Leye - every-other Wednesday

With the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements steadily gaining momentum rather than slowing down, it feels like the world is finally changing. That patriarchy has finally had its day; that the future will be better than anytime in the modern past; that those of us alive today are experiencing a period of real change; that we are part of something big; that we are part of something unstoppable; that we are part of history in the making.

Incase anyone has slept through the most magnificent force in recent history: #MeToo and #TimesUp are movements to help demonstrate the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and harassment, especially in the workplace. Of course, the direct victims are disproportionately women. Also, let us not forget the inexplicable, illogical, and absolutely unjustifiable pay disparity between the sexes – another form of violence against women.

Such as has been my excitement that I’ve been afraid to say it - incase I jinx it. Or incase it fizzles out, or it gets derailed, or it turns out not to be the grand correction of the human situation I’ve always dreamt of.

It has always been my belief that patriarchy cannot and will not correct itself. That the beneficiaries of a corrupt system will never instigate, aid, or through passivity allow the correction of that system. Men, everywhere in the world, are the direct beneficiaries of patriarchy. And even when humanity losses as a whole as a result of patriarchy, men will rather support, protect, and promote the status quo than relinquish their lopsided privileges.

It is the same reason racism persists; the same reason corruption thrives in governments. Those benefiting from a corrupt system, when put in position to correct such systems, will continue to fail to do so. It is simply against the inherent selfishness of the human psyche. Patriarchy will not correct itself, and patriarchy is the single biggest threat to all of humanity. It’s simple: if half of humanity is barred from participating in all of humanity, then all of humanity is denied of all of the ingenuity, resourcefulness, inventiveness, creativity and all that all of humanity is capable of achieving. And there must be a multiplier effect to creativity, thus we are not just denied of half of what we, as humans can be, we have been shortchanged of infinite possibilities of all we can be.

But with the #MeToo and the #TimesUp, and so many other hash tag prefixed movements disturbing the status quo, giving voice to the oppressed, identifying the oppressors, exposing the oppression, it feels like humanity is finally going through a major adjustment. But is it too soon to be excited?


  1. I have a similar feeling about #meetoo as I did about apartheid. In South Africa, I could never figure out how the supporters of apartheid could believe that their oppression could exist for ever. There were so many obvious - to me at least - reasons, other than moral ones, why apartheid could last, that I sometimes felt I was in Lala land, since I was in such a small minority. Racism isn't dead in the South Africa, but for the most part the country is moving solidly in the right direction. I just hope the same fate befalls the #meetoo movement - that in a few years, society will not only wonder why we condoned it, but will actively work to see its demise.

  2. I'm not sure about this. I mean I agree with most of what you say but there is a growing tide now that thinks some quarters are set on the demonising of men. And I'm not having that. The powerful prey on the weak, gender might alter the method of that predation but a victim is a victim.
    The recent case at the Presidents club? Hostesses needing counselling because of what they were subjected to? Pull the other one ( pardon any double entendre ). The girls/women were employed by an agency. At the interview they were told they needed to wear black underwear, red stilettos and it was an all male do where drink would flow. On those terms each woman accepted the job. What did they expect?
    And now the formula one grid girls have been removed. Yet Myleene Klass is all over the papers in skimpier outfits ? So why is that fine? Oh because it's her choice. Maybe the Grid Girls would have liked some choice if they wanted to continue their job? But they didn't get the chance.
    Of course all kinds of abuse happens, but it's not only women who are the victims and I fear we are in danger of driving a wedge through an issue when solidarity ( true solidarity I mean, not one that depends on gender ) is a much better way to move on.
    I will get off my soapbox now.

  3. "Also, let us not forget the inexplicable, illogical, and absolutely unjustifiable pay disparity between the sexes – another form of violence against women." Don't forget that this is also frequently against children as many of those women are single parents.

  4. This is a movement long overdue, and it expectedly has birthing pains. But I think it will survive and grow. That many powerful have fallen is not lost on anyone, and it is that momentum which will carry change into other less celebrated environments.

    What is necessary in such times, though, is judgement, both to separate the real from the frivolous, and accusations from fact.

  5. Glad to read this post. Yes, we hope that #MeToo and #TimesUp prosper and grow. But there is a growing backlash.

    I do not know a woman in the States who has not experienced sexual harassment at the least and many who have experienced a lot worse. It is intolerable and wrong.

    And this is not an anti-men movement. It isn't. That is not the intention.
    It's about abuse of power and privilege and wanting to keep women down.

    Look at what just happened in the White House. A staff member was hired who abused two wives and the officials in charge who knew about it, hired him anyway. After all, #45 has been charged with sexual misconduct by a slew of women and even confessed it to a TV show, which we all know.

    A really important point is the gender pay equity. Some gains were made under the Obama administration, but the current White House residents removed that goal from its website.

    It's important to remember that more money is made by businesses by paying women and people of color lower wages. Those making the lowest wages in this country are women of color, many of them single parents.

    It's an economic, political and social issue which should be as big an issue as the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement.