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10th October 2018

The rise and fall of #MeToo

Hollywood and U.S. politics are undoubtedly intertwined. Despite the #MeToo movement, both are still bound by a mistreatment of women.
The rise and fall of #MeToo
Photo: RandomUserGuy1738 @ WikimediaCommons

Hollywood and U.S. politics are undoubtedly intertwined, and as seemingly innocuous as this relationship usually appears to be, there is a more insidious link between the two — their consistent and perpetual mistreatment of women. When the accusations of sexual violence against Harvey Weinstein became public, they created a reaction amongst the U.S. female demos. Despite being strained, this battle cry was growing and with it, came a demand for respect, recognition, and understanding. Combined, this birthed #MeToo.

The #MeToo movement arguably created one of the largest political movements in modern global, politics. The mistreatment of what is consistently the largest minority, began a much-needed shift in the global perception of the way women are treated. Nevertheless, during Brett Kavanaugh’s hearing on the 6th of October, the efforts and hopes of millions of women around the world crumbled as he was confirmed on a ‘vote’ of 50-48. Hope was completely shattered.

This wasn’t a vote; this was a thinly veiled farce — an opportunity for the true essence of U.S. politics to rear its ugly head and remind all Americans that “due process” is nothing but a buzzphrase. That as seemingly credible, white, and successful as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was, she was a woman, and lost that fight the moment she was conceived. If people thought times had changed since the ‘Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearing’, they were wrong.

It is not as if there is little evidence against Kavanaugh. Dr. Ford is currently one of three accusers who have bought claims against Kavanaugh, and on the 1st of October, Chad Ludington, a Yale classmate of Kavanaugh’s, accused him of making a “blatant mischaracterisation” of his drinking habits during the hearing. Funnily enough, had Kavanaugh’s nomination failed to go through, it would have most likely been because Ludington, his white, male, Yale-educated classmate, accused him of committing perjury, not because he had been accused of sexual assault by three different women.

That is the running narrative throughout. Hollywood and U.S. politics are both boys’ clubs — the frat boy’s opportunity to continue his antics after graduation, un-abetted and unhindered by the morality of laypeople. Yet, it beggars belief that Hollywood somehow has a marginally better system for holding perpetrators of sexual violence to account than its own government. Weinstein was arrested, and Kavanaugh will never be. The President of the United States and the man who took Anthony Kennedy’s seat in the United States Supreme Court are being held to a lower moral standard than the likes of Roman Polanski.

Now, more than ever, is the time to try and fight for change. For Americans, voting Democrat on the 6th of November is a mild shift in the right direction. However, after the Kavanaugh vote, it brings little solace. The Democrats are as partisan as the Republicans; though they sided with Dr. Ford during the hearing, they spent their allotted time grandstanding and attacking the opposition. For the Republicans, Dr. Ford was an obstacle, at best. For the Democrats, she was a pawn — there was no desire for the truth. Dr. Ford’s #MeToo moment was quashed by the two opposing sides — either trying to make her sound more credible or trying to destroy her credibility. Her humanity sacrificed.

It is hard not to feel discouraged. As they watch Kavanaugh finally being forced through the nomination process to take his seat in the Supreme Court, women across America and the world find themselves not only thinking of how they felt when Trump was nominated, but how they felt in the aftermath of their own #MeToo moments. Until women are given a chance to represent themselves, we will continue to watch and weep, in silence.

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