There is something about the #MeToo movement that just rubs me the wrong way. It’s not that I don’t respect women, or don’t want them to receive justice from sexual abuse, or have equal rights, etc. I feel it has become more than a hashtag for social media, yet is still without a clear definition or purpose. And, people are casually using this movement, initially created to bring unity and justice, to serve their own unjust intentions and motives for financial gain, revenge, defamation, public notoriety, etc… which is not right.
A lot of people have no idea why the hashtag #MeToo originated. Initially it began as a phrase (used through social media) created to unify and empower women who were overcoming sexual abuse. Over the years, the movement has been validated by celebrities and political leaders. Generally used to promote justice for women from sexual abuse in the workplace. And, recently, #HimToo was created as a hashtag for male victimization.
But, what about me? I’m a marginalized person… I’ve been a victim of a lot of things. So, will the #MeToo or #HimToo movements help me receive justice? I can easily answer that. No.
One of the biggest criticisms of the movement is that it assumes truth from claims of accusers of sexual abuse crimes, before any fact-checking. So the accused are judged in the court of public opinion as guilty before being proven innocent. Also, in some cases those being accused have been punished without any due process confirming their guilt. Almost just like how black men have oftentimes received wrongful judgments and harsh treatment by the U.S. judicial system for decades.
Earlier this month, Oprah announced her production of a new #MeToo documentary that’s coming out next year on sexual misconduct in the music industry, which has already received some criticism. As some in the music industry echo the feelings of 50 Cent, as he stated in an Instagram post, “I don’t understand why Oprah is going after black men,”. All because Oprah didn’t include white men who were accused of sexual abusing women in the documentary, it only showcases black men.
If you are going to start calling out wrongs and being judgmental, make sure you’re not being hypocritical or showing partiality.
As even in 2018, a popular music artist, Seal spoke up about how Oprah knew of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual abuse of young women and she did nothing about it. And, let me tell you… when I lived in Hollywood for almost 3 years where I participated in the film and music entertainment industry. The types of vile and predatory behavior going on between producers and artists looking for a big break is casually seen, once you’re in it.
After being invited to Latoya Jackson’s birthday party, I personally saw how rich people party in Hollywood. I’ve also been in positions where I needed money & connections, and in an attempt to network, was asked by older white men to perform homosexual acts for money. I’ve had conversations with professional actors, where I was told stories of how parents would take their own children to parties so to have them engage in oral sex (or fellatio) with Nickelodeon producers… just to have them get a role on a show.
Honestly, I respect Oprah. I’ve met her once when she appeared unannounced at a recording session when I worked on one of her Harpo network TV shows. She spoke to the cast, and talked in depth on her life (some things I’ve never heard her say publicly), which was very encouraging.
What really rubs me the wrong way is how people, not just Oprah, can easily use the #MeToo movement, to benefit their own pursuits. Which isn’t a crime, mind you. But, it just seems as if Oprah is using these documentaries not just to acknowledge victims of sexual abuse, but more so to provide additional public judgments and condemnation towards black men accused of sexual abuse.
However, I do believe the #MeToo movement has done positive things which benefit everyone. For one, it has had an undeniable impact on how people think about power. This is big. As it has brought a sense of accountability to those in power, especially to those who have never answered (or explain themselves) to anyone. Secondly, it has helped to unveil the widespread sexual harassment that occurs in the workplace and life in general; which has made it easier for women & men to open up about their experiences with it.