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The Future of MeToo

by Kate Quinn 3 years ago in feminism
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How will false allegations affect this important movement?

Excerpt from a Court Document from Johnny Depp's Law Team

Johnny Depp, it seems, has been vindicated in several areas of the "Court of Public Opinion." His lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard, where he is suing her for no less than fifty million U.S. dollars, has shed new light on that which has plagued the media for nearly three years. Now, after so much rage from MeToo protesters about Johnny Depp's continued employment as an actor and musician, people are stepping back, and realizing that yes, Amber Heard just might have lied after all. Not only that, but new evidence points to Amber, not Johnny, as the abusive partner in that relationship.

Is this an "oh shit," moment or what?

After three years of tireless efforts to cancel Johnny Depp, many are now calling for the cancellation of Amber Heard. Former supporters of Heard are publicly apologizing on Twitter and other social media platforms, for their misconceptions of the story that has all but fueled the MeToo movement, along with that of Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis CK, and many others.

This is one example, of what could be many cases, where women have falsely accused men of abuse. Whether it be rape, domestic violence, or any other kind of crime against women, the sad truth is, some women have lied, and have gotten away with it. The question is, however, what will this do to the MeToo movement? What does the future hold for what has actually been long overdue, in more areas than that of Hollywood workplaces? What will happen to those female survivors of real abuse who need and want to speak out about it?

Will these women feel afraid to speak out now? More to the point, will they be listened to even if they do?

I have always said it's not merely about believing. It's about listening and understanding. If someone accuses someone of abuse, they should be heard, and given the benefit of the doubt. We need to hear their side of the story in full, giving them the support and encouragement they need. However, before we publicly trash or shame the accused party, we need to also hear their side of the story, as well. This is the only way we can get a clear picture on what may or may not have happened, even from our limited viewpoint as an outsider.

If this sounds overly simplified, it is not meant to. I have always felt that going public with accusations is a bad idea, without letting the actual courts of law do what they do best; figure out what the truth really is. These courts of law, after all, are about due process. While they have to weigh and measure both sides, they do not dismiss women who bring forth allegations of abuse by men. They do not call them liars. They do not go to people's apartments, which have actually been trashed while the woman inside has serious bruises on her face, and walk away saying that a crime did not take place. Cops, in particular are required by law, as part of their job, to take accusations of domestic violence very seriously. A woman may even obtain a temporary restraining order if they want one, until such a time as the case goes before a judge.

MeToo roared in like a lion in November of 2017, with women calling for immediate belief for all their accusations. It must have seemed pretty cut and dry, even under extraneous circumstances, to merely believe women when they say something happened. Just believe them... and the world would be a better, safer place. Meanwhile, how many men are not only falsely accused, but are actually victims of abuse themselves? Abuse by, none other than, the very women who have alleged abuse by them?

It's frightening, because it raises so many complications, one could sit in a courtroom with their head spinning before they figure it all out. However, I don't want the MeToo movement to meekly walk out like a lamb. I want it to expand. I know it won't be a simple process, but somehow, there has to be a way to incorporate false allegations as a form of the abuse we all need to fight. The best way I can think of to do that is to stop focusing on the gender of the abuser or victim, and focus more on the perpetrators and victims themselves, whoever they may be.

Can we do that effectively, or will it take more time to figure out how to discern false allegations from the truth, without silencing genuine victims and/or survivors entirely?

Then there is the issue of men who were abused by women. Giving them the space and safety to speak out about it without being bullied, dismissed, or otherwise made to feel like they should have stayed quiet, is every bit as important as giving women the long-awaited safety to tell their stories. The MeToo movement could benefit from allowing men to have the ears and eyes when they need to go to court with allegations of real abuse by women. Men have been demonized in MeToo for far too long. It's one thing to be aware of genuinely abusive men, like Weinstein and Bill Cosby, but to cancel men who were merely accused, not found guilty, has to stop. We need to hear their side of the story, and allow it to sink in. The best way is to incorporate logic into the emotional storm that is only natural while fighting for positive change. Using logic, not mere emotion to form an educated opinion, seems to me to be very effective. Sure, it may not be as easy as all that, but it is possible with some mental discipline and critical thinking.

The only thing that needs to be "cancelled" in my opinion, is the idea that abuse is based on gender. It is not. Gender-specification has held back the MeToo movement from being the positive force it is meant to be. Let us expand our understanding of all forms of abuse, by any and all humans, be they men or women.

Let's also not throw away the MeToo movement. Let's expand it and make it better! Let's do it now. We can. We owe it to ourselves as well as our children, friends, and loved ones.

Let's make social change effective again!


About the author

Kate Quinn

"“Don't step into lives that aren't yours, make choices that aren't nourishing, or dance stiffly for years with the wrong partner, or parts of yourself.”

― S.A.R.K.

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”

― Marcus Tullius Cicero

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