#Me Too Raises Awareness of Sexual Harassment

By Dave Jasmin ’20

Sexual harassment is an unwanted and pressured sexual advance between two or more individuals, as well as other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Types of sexual harassment include rape, attempted rape, sexual assault, inappropriate touches, unwanted gestures, inappropriate language, and sexual demands.

In order to raise awareness about this epidemic, Hollywood celebrities created the Times Up movement.

The Times Up movement was created as a response to the sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein and the “#me too” tweet. According to The New York Times, the Times Up movement was founded on January 1, 2018 after a letter written on behalf of over 600,00 female farmworkers by the Alianza Nacional de Campesinas against Harvey Weinstein was published on New York Times website.

I believe this movement is effective in putting an end to sexual harassment because it does not solely support women, but also men, people of color, and the LGBT community. It opens the eyes of the public and the media to ensure that they understand what is happening in our society. The more people who are aware of this pandemic, the more people who will step forward and play a role to ensure that we discontinue this trend. This movement is also beneficial because it allows other celebrities and supporters to donate money towards the movement and helps the Times Up foundation increase their revenue.

Although this movement was founded to promote anti-harassment, opposers believe a hashtag alone won’t solve a problem as big as sexual harassment. As stated in the Washington Examiner, they believe that the Times Up movement is just a “publicity stunt.” They believe that the times up women are not role models. They don’t do anything to help protect young women from these encounters and are solely trying to make money off of a national issue. In other words, the Times Up movement will not end sexual harassment. It only captures the media’s attention to make sure that the organization earns money and increase their profits.

Although Times Up may be making money because of its purpose, it is not a publicity stunt. Times Up ensures that we put an end to sexual harassment; celebrities and other organizations donate money to make this become a reality. Even though it does not directly address younger women, the actions being taken are to prevent these encounters from occuring to anyone, now and in the future. For example, at the 75th Golden Globe Awards several celebrities spoke out about sexual harassment. Oprah Winfrey, for instance, said, “There are some little girls watching as I become the first black woman to be given this same award. It is an honor — it is an honor and it is a privilege to share the evening with all of them.” During Oprah’s speech she directly addressed “little girls watching.” Even though she is only talking about receiving an award, all these actions that are being taken to stop sexual harassment being done to anyone, including young women.

Another group of people who have opposing views about the sexual harassment movement, like Catherine Deneuve and French women who believe that the “#metoo” movement, similar to Times Up, is only categorizing men as criminals. Catherine Deneuve believes that although rape is a crime, the act of flirting should not be justified as sexual harassment. According to the New York Times, Catherine Deneuve and others believe that these movements are a “hatred of men and sexuality” and that men should be allowed to express their “macho aggression.”

Sexual harassment may come in many forms, but flirting is not one of them. People are being “preyed” on and due to these movements, we can ensure that this stops. Crimes like sexual harassment shouldn’t be sugar-coated as something they are not. Times Up is a solution to sexual harassment and due to the buzz and consciousness being increased, more people will be motivated to do something about it.

The hashtag is not what is solving the problem; it’s the many women who have the courage to promote it and speak up. More people feel the courage to speak out about their situations. Before, that was not possible. No matter what opposers may say, this movement is beneficial and will help the many victims who have dealt with these encounters. Times Up provides hope that someday we will officially stop sexual harassment. It may take some time, but it will happen.

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