Author: Guest Contributor
I've been trying to wrap my head around an article I just read recently on Areo by Race Hockdorf (reference and link below) about the dark side of the #metoo movement. While the movement has shined a light on real world scumbags, it has also opened the door for women (and men in some cases) to misuse the movement for their own personal advances.
One quote that stuck out to me from the article was a reference to Emily Lindin, a columnist for Teen Vogue, who tweeted: “Sorry. If some innocent men’s reputations have to take a hit in the process of undoing the patriarchy, that is a price I am absolutely willing to pay.” Here is the full context of her tweet taken from her Twitter feed:
Here's an unpopular opinion: I'm actually not at all concerned about innocent men losing their jobs over false sexual assault/harassment allegations.
This woman writes articles for a magazine that directs its content to teenage girls (Teen Vogue). As a person who firsthand had to deal with the repercussions of being falsely accused of domestic violence, these comments are haunting. Is this person a representative of the powerful voices behind the #metoo movement? I really hope not. What Mr. Lindin fails to understand is that the men that are false accused are ALSO VICTIMS.
The article also references a series of tweets from Jessica Valenti, a writer for The Guardian where she tweets:
“I keep hearing that men are afraid about the sexual harassment reckoning. Scared that innocent people (them) will get implicated. Women are afraid, for good reason, every day. So I don’t care even a little if men are feeling uncomfortable or scared right now. Better men are afraid than women are hurt. Deal with it. Honestly, I think part of the problem is for too long men haven’t been afraid enough. In short: Make Men Afraid Again.”
The viewpoints of people like Ms. Lindin and Ms. Valenti provide a clear pathway for false accusers to ride the #metoo movement as a weapon to hurt their intended target. Its an invitation for those would be wrong doers to take action, knowing there is little if any consequences to their actions. Rather than acknowledging the fact that men are falsely being accused everyday, they go out of their way to make the point that it is okay.
What these authors also fail to acknowledge is the disservice false accusations have to the real victims that they are standing up for. Accepting these false allegations will lower the volume on the voices of the real brave victims who are coming forth to speak their mind. This also possibly brings a question of credibility in our minds when a actual victim does come forward (I know for me personally, when I see any accusation in the news, I tend to question the credibility of the claim now). In time, if this is allowed to run rampant and not be addressed, this will ultimately hurt the underlying cause of the #metoo movement. "Is this real or just another fake accusation?"
My point? Every life should matter regardless or gender or race. Collateral damage should not be ignored and accepted but rather effort should be made to minimize it. The #metoo movement is powerful, but the wake it is leaving behind has had some unintended consequences. Its time for the powerful voices behind the #metoo movement to step up and acknowledge the dark side of the #metoo movement. There are solutions if everyone works together.
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