Time's Up On Women Resisting Gender Equality
Politics and Activism

Time's Up On Women Resisting Gender Equality

It's time to start at the top.

Time's Up On Women Resisting Gender Equality
Unsplash – Alex Jones

An open letter denouncing the #MeToo movement was signed by 100 French women and published in French newspaper Le Monde on Jan. 9, reported CNN. Among the signatories was film star Catherine Deneuve, as well as other performers and academics.

The letter questioned the benefit of the #MeToo movement. The two-word hashtag spread on social media in October 2017, though the movement was coined by Tarana Burke in 2006. At the time, Burke sought "empowerment through empathy", in particular for women of color in underprivileged communities who experienced sexual abuse.

Now, the movement still strives to acknowledge society’s rampant issue of sexual assault and harassment. More so, as sexual misconduct allegations succeed the ones aimed toward film producer Harvey Weinstein, it is clearer than ever that countless women and men experience varying degrees of intimidation, and the movement offers them a sense of empowerment and the knowledge that they are not alone.

However, even in 2018, men and women are still met with resistance.

Resistance against feminist movements such as #MeToo is an interesting concept because many people believe that men are the sole discouragers of the progression of women’s rights. However, men are usually only part of a much broader, unspoken problem.

Women are historically staunch opposers of equal rights, and their preference to maintain traditional values can limit the agency of all genders.

To better understand our current socio-political landscape, and how women still oppose equality, it is useful to observe past movements and women’s roles in opposing them. After all, it was less than a century ago that voting rights for women was ensured, and "anti-suffragettes" were at the forefront of the suffrage movement opposition.

Corrine McConnaughy, the author of the 2013 The Woman Suffrage Movement in America: A Reassessment, said that women who opposed the United States’ suffrage campaign “were generally women of wealth, privilege, social status and even political power.” McConnaughy further argued that these women, who were protected by the systemic power that they were afforded, did not see the value in upsetting the balance, reported NPR.

These women valued the “femininity” inherent in society’s gender norms, and viewed autonomy as a threat to that standard. In 2018, CNN reported that the signatories of the letter possess a similar viewpoint, including their quote that stated, "Rape is a crime, but insistent or clumsy flirting is not an offense, nor is gallantry macho aggression."

When considering their argument at its most fundamental level, these women — protesting either in the early 20th or 21st century — yearn to maintain the status quo, even if that means silencing women. Their supposed desire for “sexual freedom” that they claim women are threatening to deprive men is granted solely toward men.

Moreover, they further validate the mentality that women exist as objects to be appreciated by men, even if the situation is allowed to escalate due to men’s so-called “freedom to pester.”

The women in support of the recently published letter are, like the "anti-suffragettes", in a position of power or higher-standing. They are not exempt from encountering any acts of aggression, but they do have resources that the individuals Burke seeks to support do not.

Therefore, rather than exude their privilege in a way commonly done by those not fearful of social ostracizing if they tell their stories, these women should offer their support and solidarity.

After all, “empowerment through empathy” regretfully yields stronger results when exercised at the top.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B just dropped the hottest summer single yet. It's called "WAP" and we're going to get into all the intoxicating lyrics.

This song empowers females and their sexuality. These women put the ridiculous music industry female beef to bed, and I mean tucked away in a coma.

Keep Reading... Show less

How To Write Down The Holy Grail Recipe Everyone Begs You To Make

Because everyone has a signature cocktail, cake, or pasta they bring to every potluck.


From back when I used to bring my mom's classic white chocolate chip cookies to preschool on my birthday to now stirring up my signature tequila cocktails at every friends' barbecue, I've always had a couple of standby recipes in my culinary rotation.

Keep Reading... Show less

Meet My Cat: Cheshire, The Stray Turned House Cat Who Lives in Michigan

I never considered myself a cat person, but Chess immediately stole my heart.

Madelyn Darbonne

In 2016, a stray cat gave birth to a litter of three grey kittens on my aunt and uncle's property. I had never considered myself to be much of a cat person, but these furballs immediately stole my heart. I got to watch them grow up until they were old enough to leave their mother's side.

Keep Reading... Show less

How To Binge-Watch A TV Show —And Then Write A Review About It

Writing your favorite and least favorite things about a show could not be more fun.

Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

Looking for a new show to binge? Stop scrolling through your options and listen.

Sometimes a good show doesn't come down to the genre or the actors involved, it comes down to the fact that it is simply a GOOD show. If any of these things sound appealing to you, you should definitely watch.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

11 Reasons Why Getting A Cat Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Mental Health

Cats may mess up your puzzles but they'll always love you unconditionally — as long as you have some catnip, that is.

Scout Guarino

Alright, everyone, it's time to stop spreading the rumor that all cats are mean, aloof, and hate everyone. Like dogs, each cat has its own personality and tendencies. Some like a lot of attention, some like less — each person has to find the right cat for them. As for me, my cats Bienfu and Reptar have seen me at my worst, but they've also helped pull me out of it. They're a constant in my life and they give me the strength to get through the day in spite of my depression, and there's even scientific evidence to support it!

Keep Reading... Show less

I've been bleaching my hair since I was in seventh grade. Yes, you read that correctly, seventh grade. That's nearly 10 years of maintaining a very light shade of blonde that too-often brings about dryness and brittle strands.

Keep Reading... Show less

Chances are if you're here, you're probably interested in writing an open letter. Yay! We're excited to have you.

Of course, not all open letters are created equal. In fact, there's a recipe to writing one for Odyssey that'll get featured on one of our many verticals. When it comes to Swoon specifically (for those new around here, that's our dating and relationships vertical), we receive dozens of open letters each month, many of which are all very similar.

Keep Reading... Show less

With a new phone comes great responsibility: Do not break it! And the best way to do that is with a case. However, picking a case can be a challenge. No need to fret, I am here to help break down some of the best cases for the new iPhone SE 2020. Honestly, I think it's going to be impossible to choose!

Keep Reading... Show less

To some who have been out of the dating world for a while, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things after being single for some time. So, I asked 26 people what they think is important to know before looking for love again, here's what they had to say.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments