Next step of the #MeToo movement calls for men and women to collaborate, say survivors
As Weinstein trial begins, two #MeToo accusers reflect on what's next
The next phase of the #MeToo movement will involve men and women working together to stop sexual misconduct, according to two Canadian women who have gone public with their own stories of sexual assault and harassment.
"Most men want to be allies. They want to do the right thing," Erika Rosenbaum, a Canadian actress who has publicly accused disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of assault, told The Current's host Matt Galloway.
"And looking forward, we need to work together, to pave a path that is just and right for everybody," she said.
Rosenbaum spoke to The Current on the morning that Weinstein's trial on charges of rape and sexual assault involving two women begins in Manhattan. Weinstein has pleaded not guilty on all charges.
More than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual assault or harassment, and his case became the impetus for the #MeToo movement just over two years ago.
"This movement cannot continue without us collaborating with men," said Leanne Nicolle, former executive director of the Canadian Olympic Foundation and now the CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto.
Marcel Aubut resigned from his position as president of the Canadian Olympic Committee in 2015, after several women filed sexual harassment complaints against him. None of the allegations have been proven in court.
Nicolle was one of the complainants, and credits the #MeToo movement with giving her the strength to speak publicly in 2017 about her allegations in an essay for The Globe and Mail.
The biggest cultural shift she's seen in the last two years are men "who do want to behave better," she said. "They do want to learn. They want language. They want tools."
Rosenbaum said that when she gives talks to students on consent and bullying, she addresses the young men in the room directly and says: "Ask me questions. Let's discuss. Let's find a way to move forward with respect and integrity, so that everybody gets the respect that they deserve."
For her, involving men in the #MeToo movement isn't just about stopping sexual assault and harassment — it's about making it easier for people to work together on other major issues as well.
"The problems that we're facing, the rising seas and the burning forests — these are problems that are so much bigger than any one nation, any one gender," she said.
"These are problems that are going to require all hands on deck, and a level of respect that allows us to work together unfettered by any of the nonsense of the past."
Written by Allie Jaynes. Produced by Joana Dragichi.