Sexual harassment at the workplace can be presented like one of the most serious problems, happening to both men and women. “Sexual harassment is an unwelcome sexual advance, unwelcome request for sexual favours or other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature which makes a person feel offended, humiliated and/or intimidated, where a reasonable person would anticipate that reaction in the circumstances”.(Humanrights.gov.au, 2017). It is understood that every sexual behavior recognizes differently from each individual but when this act makes the other person feel either uncomfortable or frightened then it is clearly intimidation. Because of the fact that sexual harassment is not a recent problem, but it prevails decades, American society trying to address the problem, decreed laws that recognize sexual harassment as illegal action and also any other type of differentiation. In accordance with Civil Rights Act Title VII (1964), sexual harassment is rendered illegal as it is a form of gender discrimination. (AAUW: Empowering Women Since 1881, 2017).There are 2 types of the sexual harassment in the workplace according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), ‘Quid pro quo’ and ‘hostile working environment’. ‘Quid pro quo’ is like exchanging something for something else and being executed by someone at a high position, offering rewards or threatening the victims. In contrast with the ‘quid pro quo’, the ‘hostile work environment’ harassment can be perpetrated by anyone and it come up when someone’s behavior or speech makes the other person being affected negatively. (SHRM, 2017). Although, unfortunately, as we can see through different researches analyzing the reaction of the victim who encountered sexual harassment, we can realize that the approval of the law was not enough. More specifically, in the article of Good and Cooper (2016) it is written that “The research highlights the need for more proactive organizational and manager action and public policy awareness campaigns to alter the social norms that give rise to informal responses”. So, society considered that the law by itself does not cause a reduction in the sexual harassment. There are still racism and sexism, and they had to act differently. In their effort to prevent or reduce that, they had made many different types of movements. The last and more powerful is the social media ‘#Metoo movement’. Like most social media issues, this movement has become global and million women have decided to publish testimonies of abuse, harassment and rape. By fact, the hashtag ‘metoo’ went viral, with 4.7 million posts on Facebook only the first 24 hours and it obviously has brought many consequences. Although there are many positive effects for female population through these campaign, negative consequences like the fear of men co-working with women, the male backlash against #metoo and the destruction of trust between women and men are unfortunately more powerful.
It was Sunday, 15 of October (2017) when actress Alyssa Milano wrote on Twitter this persuasive post “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Metoo’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.” By this post the victims of sexual harassment spread globally on the social media their personal stories either posted just for support. The most interesting part is that the ‘metoo hashtag’ was not invented by Alyssa Milano in 2017 but is in existence ten years now, originally founded from Tarana Burke. Her main goal was to be specialized on communities were rape crisis centers were not helping. (Feminist.org, 2017) Despite the fact that women that talk about these experiences, are admirable, telling their stories may lead them to the fear of being threaten by the defendants. For instance, before Wendy Walsh shared her story about O’Reilly, she said “I was afraid for my kids, I was afraid of the retaliation, I know what men can do when they’re angry.” (as cited in Time.com, 2017). Even assuming that talking about their ugly experiences will make them feel better and most hopefully the guilty ones will be punished, the ‘#metoo’ movement also brings along with it bad results. As Aldon Morris, a professor of sociology argued, “All social movements have highly visible precipitating factors.” (as cited in Time.com, 2017).The chances of offenders paying huge amounts of money or lying that the stories aren’t true are very big and if these people have power and it is very difficult to prove that you are right. Many examples are written in Time.com magazine (2017) like Al Franken who was accused from several women for sexual harassment, after calling the Senate Ethics Committee, a Michigan Democratic Representative John Conyers withdrew all the accusations of Al Franken, claiming that the allegations “are not accurate; they are not true.”. Also, it is written that Blake Farenthold in 2014 paid $84,000 to settle accusations for sexual harassment and of course he denies everything. On the whole, in recent months, international newspapers and channels have been publishing and constantly renewing victims and offenders, and the consequences of resignations, redundancies, quarrels and more are followed. But when everything is dominated by politicians, and when someone who has almost admitted to being a sexual predator is in the White House, it is clear that the change of the society that ‘#metoo’ movement is trying to make, will be difficult.
First of all, an obvious negative consequence of the ‘#Metoo movement’ is that men are afraid to work and meet with women. As psychologist Kim Elsesser argues, “Men will be afraid to be alone in an office with a woman, and women will be nervous about being alone in an office with a man.” (as cited in Health24, 2017). Of course I am not in favor of sexual harassment and I fully agree that it must be reduced or even stopped, but by publicly disrespecting men, makes them turn against women and thus creates a party that will avoid cooperation and communication with them. Unfortunately, men have already begun this campaign and I do not think it can benefit women in any way. For instance, according to BBC News (2017), “It is known here as the Pence rule after Vice-President Mike Pence, who said he doesn’t ever meet alone or have dinner alone with female colleagues in order to avoid any perception of impropriety”. Meanwhile, Mike Pence is one of the many men who try to avoid any encounter with women, even the most simple and indispensable for their career. Here is another issue, women who are almost only associate with men at work what will they do? Their career will begin to descend and to be destroyed. As it is written in Americanthinker.com (2017), “Ana Quincoces says her business and its success involves working mostly with men, and sales and other activities are often concluded over lunch or drinks. Those opportunities, she says, are dwindling, because many of the men she knows through her business “are terrified.” The risk in the workplace between men and women is getting bigger, creating a gap between them. The rules of communication at work suddenly and inevitably change, causing negative effects for female population. Schumer (2017) points out that “If men won’t meet with women that means women can’t advance. Similarly, if women fear powerful men at the top, they miss out on career opportunities, as well.” In my view, good gender coordination is essential for a smooth co-operation that will lead to high results. Usually men are in high positions, and women can hardly achieve their goals without communicating, meeting or working with them. Finally, since men are publicly denigrated and their career may be negatively affected by it, they will avenge women.
Second of all, the male revenge is coming and is backlash against #Metoo. According to Bowman (2017) “Margaret Renkl, also in the Times, lamented that “the Raw Power of #Metoo” claims of sexual assault against a whole world of powerful men could not last long.” ? believe, that this movement will not last long because all this powerful defendants will not admit their responsibilities so easily and will surely try to get rid of accusations accused by women who have done so. This fact will provoke controversy between them that may lead to war of two genders. When men will refuse accusations, women will have to prove the truth but how to prove it to be true without stubborn evidence. The truth is that it is very difficult to prove sexual harassment after a long time. Moreover, Marcotte (2017) emphasizes the men’s attempt of making false evidence. Basically she said “The second attempt was to deliberately make false accusations, with James O’Keefe trying to sell a false accusation against Roy Moore and someone, likely Mike Cernovich, falsifying a document accusing Sen. Chuck Schumer of harassment.” So, we notice that revenge and backlash has already begun and they started to deliberately display various false accusations so that they can then say that since there have been many false accusations, no one guarantees that the other stories are true and thus creates doubt for everyone. According to Jaron Lanier (2017), the #Metoo backlash cannot be predictable but it will happen and it will gradual turn positive things to very bad. Always the backlash against these movement is stronger than the initial start (as cited in Business Insider, 2017). Concluding, in my opinion the #Metoo movement it is a threat to women because the efforts of defendants will continue and with the power and money they say you can do a lot and I think regrettably defendants have a lot of power and money.
Last but not least, the agitation created by the ‘#Metoo’ campaign leads to destruction of trust between women and men. McAllister (2017) observes that each person is different from his own experiences and opinions and to live peacefully in a society there should be something very important among people, trust. We all hope in a society of trust that in recently have lost. People start to confuse themselves with the latest actions that have taken place. Luck of trust is created, distrust is growing, and so a very important relationship – of men and women is infected. Lack of trust between the two sexes is created with the #Metoo campaign. Women show men as “enemies”, believing that this will reduce sexual harassment and women will be safer. While women accuse men of criminal behavior and believe in the eradication of this crime, trust between men and women breaks. The mistrust becomes stronger when a simple touch compares with rape and mistreatment and this does not put us in positive results. Men by their nature are sexual and they will not change because women are afraid and consider them dangerous. If women believe that all male sexuality is dangerous, trust between men and women will be lost, and men will become very insecure. At each meeting or conversation, even if it is not sexual, the man will not trust the woman that she will not use it against him, saying that she was being harassed and the woman will also be afraid that the man might do something inappropriate. By this way, the creation of fear is on both sides and fear collapse trust. When all our relationships are filled with fear and mistrust, society breakdown. When sexes do not trust each other, nothing cannot be rightly developed. Everything must be controlled and thus trust will be destroyed and when trust will be destroyed the democracy will debacle.
As shown above, the negative consequences of the feminist campaign ‘#Metoo’ are intense and very strong. In order to come to a conclusion from a movement, we must first analyze all the sides and look at all the consequences. It may seem like an initial phenomenon that this movement appears to be very empowering for women, but the future consequences that are created are negative. Men’s fear of working with women, the male backlash against #Metoo and the destruction of trust between women and men is destroying our society. “It’s hard to be optimistic when we have a president of the United States of America who said, “Grab them by the pussy,” and apparently meant it and did it.” (GOLDSTEIN, 2017). When the ‘King of sexual assault and harassment’ is the President of US, the hopes that the feminist movement will work are scarce and it is also obvious that he with all the other defendants will try to avenge. It is supposed that this movement was created for a better and safer future for women but in the end this movement turned things against them. No woman wants to desert herself from her job, to be called ‘a liar’, or to have difficulties in growing her career.