We have all experienced sexual harassment in some way or another. And ever since the whole Harvey Weinstein affair, the topic has been a constant focus in the media. Something that should only be encouraged. But sometimes there is too much of a good thing.
In a recent article in Cicero, Editor in Chief of Philosophie Magazine, Svenja Flaßpöhler couldn’t agree more. As a feminist it’s important to question the debate. She argues that #MeToo should be about the women who actively said ‘No’. The women who didn’t suffer in silence but courageously fought against sexual assault, abuse and discrimination. There and then. About #MeToo Flaßpöhler says;
“Don’t get me wrong: A platform like “#MeToo” is welcome of course; for women to defend themselves against male violence and rape, even long after the fact. “
But she adds that the original focus of the #MeToo campaign has become blurred. Rape and lewd comments are no longer differentiated and as a result there is an increased amount of uncertainty. There are situations in which women are not taking action when they should be. And we have to start asking ourselves why? The answer can’t be passively waiting it out and complaining about it afterwards.
#MeToo should not reduces us to mere objects
I support and admire Flaßpöhler’s opinion because we all have to take responsibility for our actions. There is no time to look the other way because we need to be acting now! If we don’t, we will be living in a society where women are systematically suppressed. Instead of strengthening women’s rights we will have created a destructive feminism that reduces us to mere objects. We have come too far to let that happen.
The fight against sexism is an essential one but we cannot allow ourselves to stay in the victim role. We have to take a hold of our sexuality and shout it out loud. Emancipation means standing up for the right to female desire in today’s society and not letting feminist criticism be reduced to the #MeToo debate. It’s not a man’s job to ensure our equality, but our own. We are responsible for our rights and how we use them. And if we don’t make use of them we will only be repeating the same mistakes. We are not victims but powerful women who can be a role model for others.
Our support for one another should be key and not the who-did-what horrors that are spread everywhere by #MeToo media sensationalism. The more shock and anger there is, the less serious the actual debate can be taken. The key issues are drowned out and so it’s not surprising that words such as hysteria, smear campaign and men-haters are making the rounds. To be clear, Flaßpöhler: “A potent woman does not devalue a man’s sexuality, but values her own. “
Feminism is about positive strength. Strength, which lifts each other, up and voices an opinion. To know whom you are and not be afraid to show it. We love women and we love men. We know our rights and we fight every day for a better, safer and more equal future. And that is why it’s really ok, even as a self-proclaimed feminist, to have had it with #MeToo.