Understanding and working to communicate and bridge differences is hard work and humans are often bad at it. History shows that we often run a little amok when first experiencing hard won power and freedoms. But this is not an issue we can afford to let run amok. We need to have a discussion of where to draw the line between acceptable and unacceptable behavior – at home, at work, in circumstances of unequal power, … – so we create a fair and sustainable society that grants women and men what they need to live well.
The #MeToo Movement is both necessary and good and I do what I can to support it. To succeed, we need to ensure we value balance and exercise empathy in every action taken in its name. Already we’ve seen many attacks on public figures based on questionable or no evidence, and that needs to stop.
We also need to address the failure of some to see that women are not monolithic in their opinions and ideals on this issue. In her Washington Post essay, Mona Eltahawy illustrates a failure to understand that women might have different opinions of where the balance line is between flirting and sexual misconduct. Catherine Deneuve and the other signatories are not claiming the #MeToo movement is unnecessary, only that it has unfairly harmed some men and risks damaging the sexual freedom women have worked so hard for by inflicting a puritanism undesired by the majority of women.