#MeToo is not a witch hunt

Clara Sloan, Web Editor

Since its 2017 manifestation, the #MeToo movement has had one simple aim: to make the world safer for women by ensuring they are free from sexual harassment, abuse, assault and rape. No, this goal cannot go “too far.”

Yet some men, and even some women, believe it already has, or will. Although the hashtag originally created by Tarana Burke emerged over 10 years ago, the recent heat around the #MeToo conversation is not even a year old, yet some already want to discuss the hypothetical dangers for men. Instead, the focus should be on how the movement brings justice to victims of harassment, abuse, assault and rape.

Some celebrities such as Liam Neeson have openly condemned #MeToo, arguing that the movement has become something of a “witch hunt.” And with Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s recent controversial appointment, the conversation around whether #MeToo has gone “too far” seems to have opened back up.

#MeToo is not a witch hunt. It’s not a lynch mob, and it’s not like McCarthyism. Like David Perry said in an Op-Ed for The Pacific Standard, “#MeToo is a rebellion against the kinds of entrenched powers that persecute; it is not an act of persecution.”

Let’s keep our attention on the real victims and the truly oppressed. Until victims of assault are safe from the very real and often violent consequences of speaking out against their perpetrators, the country’s most powerful should take a break from claiming to be victims of a witch hunt.

Besides, the very men who now worry about witch hunts, it seems to me, are the ones who would have willingly lit the stakes beneath wrongfully accused women in other eras.