The Truth About the #MeToo Movement

The Truth About the #MeToo Movement

Just because a movement is doing great things does not mean that it is closed to critiques.

The #MeToo movement has taken the country--and the world--by storm. Hardly a week goes by without a woman coming forward with stories of assault, harassment and sexual misconduct. I love that women are coming forward and being empowered to speak out, and I truly believe that this is necessary to create a safer, better society. But just because a movement is doing great things does not mean that it's closed to critiques, and like any social movement, #MeToo has its fair share of issues.

First off, #MeToo is hardly gender inclusive. Yes, statistically more women than men are sexually assaulted and harassed, but that does not mean that we can present the entire issue in terms of this dichotomy. Men are also harassed and assaulted, and these men deserve just as much anger and support as the women. Take Terry Crews, for example. After he came forward with his own story of sexual harassment there was plenty of indignation and a brief moment of broader awareness. But that has quickly stalled, and Crews' assaulter hasn't seen any repercussions. Crews himself has spoken out about this double standard when he tweeted "SOMEONE GOT A PASS" after his alleged assaulter, talent agent Adam Venit, returned to work after a 30-day suspension. At a time when powerful men like Harvey Weinstein and Louis C.K. are seeing the end of their careers due to women speaking out, shouldn't male victims get the same support and recognition?

On a related note: women can be the harassers too. Sexual assault and harassment are about power and control, and while the overwhelming majority of the accused are men, we cannot overlook the fact that women can also be the perpetrators. Whether it's Hollywood, academia, athletics or any other field, anyone can be harassed, and anyone can be the offender. Regardless, everyone deserves the respect of the #MeToo movement, not just those who fit the stereotypical image of a woman being attacked by a man.

Finally, the #MeToo movement is not a witch hunt, it is not a trend, and it is certainly not going away. I get it: you don't want to believe that the world you live in can be so full of horrible people. It's a scary realization. But the men and women who have been victims of sexual misconduct have known this their entire lives. We don't get the privilege of burying our heads in the sand and pretending that none of this exists. It affects our lives every day.

So next time you start to open your mouth and argue that every single accusation can't possibly be true, think of each person that you are devaluing with that argument. You are telling them that they aren't credible, and their voices don't matter. Terry Crews put it best: "This is not a 'witch hunt' everyone. It's a FUMIGATION."

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.

It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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A Florida House Committee Is Undermining Your Vote On Amendment 4

Before felons can regain their right to vote, they must pay court fines, fees, and take care of any other "financial obligations." Essentially, this is a poll tax.


Amendment 4, also known as the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative, was added to the Constitution of Florida after being passed this last midterm election on November 6, 2018.

Amendment 4 restored the voting rights of Floridians with prior felony convictions after all terms of their sentence have been met, including parole and probation. This amendment only applies to felons who have not been convicted of murder or sexual offenses.

On January 8, 2019, an estimated 1.4 million ex-felons regained their right to vote. This is monumental. Prior to this amendment, Florida was one of four states that used felony disenfranchisement. Amendment 4 gives voice, and rightfully so, to felons who have served their time. Amendment 4 is also putting to rest, finally, years and years of disenfranchisement and suppression.

Now, only two months after its passage, the House Criminal Justice Committee is trying to water down this piece of legislation. This is a direct violation of the will of the 64% of Floridians who voted for the legislation as is. This amendment was not to be "clarified," as Governor DeSantis put it, but rather to be self-implementing.

However, the House Criminal Justice Committee proposed a bill that would tack on some extra qualifiers in order for felons to be enfranchised. The bill will require court fines, fees, and other "financial obligations" (in addition to fees administered in a judge's sentence) to be paid in full before a felon's voting rights are restored. This seems awfully similar to a poll tax to me. Obviously, this is going to affect people without a lot of resources rather than white-collar criminals who can afford a $500,000 bond.

This new qualifier will prevent felons from voting based on the money that can be coughed up as if they don't have to worry about their finances long after they leave prison.

Some may argue that these felons shouldn't have committed a crime in the first place. However, I would argue that holding a felon's vote hostage on the basis of money is unconstitutional.

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