'Welcome to our world, men': The Current's #MeToo panels spark debate online
As more and more people add their voices to the #MeToo moment, the discourse surrounding consent and sexual assault surges on.
It's a continuing conversation as the movement shifts to accommodate different perspectives — as made evident by the diverse response to The Current's panels (one all-female, the other all-male) on #MeToo.
On Tuesday, The Current explored the idea of a generational divide in the #MeToo movement after an op-ed by writer Margaret Atwood received backlash over her reservations.
Rania El Mugammar, an artist and equity consultant who works on gender-based violence, was one of three women on our panel. She believes it's important to expand our understanding of sexual violence, and to realize that events ranging from "bad dates" to violent rape exist on a spectrum.
"Those are all part of the same culture that enables and fosters rape culture," she says. "There's room for both of these conversations to happen at the same time."
Her words struck a chord with readers and listeners.
<a href="https://twitter.com/TheCurrentCBC?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TheCurrentCBC</a> Yes, reporting sexual violence IS a ‘generational thing’. I relayed an event I experienced at work last week to my 11 year old and she immediately says “Did you tell your boss!”. We have been trained that sexual discomfort/awkwardness is something to tolerate.—@Anica_v
Try to imagine carrying the impact of a brutal sexual assault or rape all alone, for 50 years - I suspect it breeds a desire for silence. When you think of the "backlash to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/metoo?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#metoo</a> try to imagine the taboos of 50 yr ago.—@PamelaHalifax
Let's have an all female panel to discuss White Male Privilege. This is just fueling the backlash against women finally speaking out.—@Moe456
Not everyone was happy with The Current's approach to separate our #MeToo discussions by gender.
I am not sure who at <a href="https://twitter.com/TheCurrentCBC?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TheCurrentCBC</a> decided we needed an all-male panel on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MeToo?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MeToo</a> but WAY TO COMPLETELY MISS THE POINT <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/omg?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#omg</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/why?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#why</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/sopainful?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#sopainful</a> <a href="https://t.co/in34DQWqEo">https://t.co/in34DQWqEo</a>—@katethefj
On Wednesday, it was the men's turn to talk about their role in the #MeToo movement.
"I think men's primary role should be to listen," Jordon Veira, an artist and youth worker, said.
"This is an opportunity for us to understand the nuance and specific ways that we can participate in various forms of violence."
What role do men have in the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Metoo?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Metoo</a> movement?—@TheCurrentCBC
1) Listening<br>2) Amplifying<br>3) Repeat—@johizzle
Be a fiercely clear & intentional example. Especially to their daughters & ultimately to their sons. A purposeful example of unfaltering respect and honouring of women and of their boundaries. That there is no other acceptable way of being.—@eabbottevans
Acknowledge your errors. Make amends and apologies. Change your behaviour. Every single man without exception has abused their priveledge and acted inappropriately at least a few times in their lives.—@Spirogeek
The movement isn’t exclusive to women as victims, but in that respect, we need to be humble and respectful. Treating all people as valuable and of worth isn’t a cultural norm, but it needs to become so. Men; listen and be slow to speak/act.—@jasonrosewell
.<a href="https://twitter.com/TheCurrentCBC?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TheCurrentCBC</a> Welcome to our world, men. Women lose their livelihoods all the time because of the "unpleasant experience" of sexual harrassment and violence. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MeToo?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MeToo</a>—@IsabellaTatar
For criminology professor Neil Boyd, the notion that men were losing their careers over an ill-defined understanding of sexual assault or harassment didn't sit well.
"There are some times when we've crossed boundaries," he told Anna Maria Tremonti, "when we've described activities that amount to a bad date, rather than sexual assault or sexual harassment."
"People shouldn't lose their livelihood as a consequence of an unpleasant experience."
Advice columnist David Eddie agreed.
"We're talking about a person's livelihood, you're talking about their ability to put food on the table," he said. "All of a sudden that vanishes, on the basis of allegations."
Other people responding to this conversation have a different way of seeing things.
<a href="https://twitter.com/TheCurrentCBC?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TheCurrentCBC</a> Ah, the "What about Men" gang, always trying to turn attention back to themselves when women get attention. Diligently telling women how they "should" be handling "me too." How about the WOMEN who lost livelihoods?? Never mind; "THINK OF THE MEN" for gods' sake!!—@kashicat
For panelist Jordon Veira, focusing the conversation around men's livelihoods, although important, is the wrong approach.
Here's his call out to how men can move this #MeToo moment forward:
Listen to the episodes:
- Is there a generational divide in the #MeToo movement?
- Men and #MeToo: 'People shouldn't lose their livelihood over an unpleasant experience'
The Current always values your opinion and feedback on the stories we share every day. Keep sharing your thoughts, moving the discussion forward and and we vow to keep listening!