|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Criminal law Domestic violence Human rights Sexual assault|
The MeToo Movement founded in 2006 with the intention of helping the survivors of sexual violence particularly women and girls of color to find healing has evolved to be a global social movement against sexual violence, assault, and rape. The movement has had a tremendous impact on the United States that touch on national and state legislation with regards to sexual abuse (Hebert, 2018). Driven by the vision of mobilizing resources to help survivors build a community of advocates with aim of finding solutions to sexual violence in the community, the MeToo movement has become an instrument of eradicating the rape culture, sexual abuse, and assault. As a new social movement with a different approach, it is a culture shock for many because women and girls and generally anyone with a sexual abuse experience has a voice and is not alone anymore. As such, legislative reforms are necessary because there are rape kits across the country that needed to be tested so that the survivors who were assaulted can find some sort of justice through that system. The #MeToo Congress bill gets rid of the forced 90-day cooling-off period that people who work on Capitol Hill have before they can file a sexual harassment claim. When the bill is passed, it will set a precedent, hopefully, for the country. A lot of time survivors are not even asking for people to be fired. There are millions of women disclosing their experience with sexual violence and there's no container to process this. Similarly, there is nobody here to help them to walk through what disclosure feels like.
People with the experience of sexual abuse, violence, assault, and rape find it hard to disclose their pain due to the stigma associated with the vice. As a result, the growth of the MeToo Movement has provided survivors with the voice and authority to discuss their circumstances. The emergence of the resource mobilization theory was a breakthrough in the comprehension of social movements because the success of such a movement depends on time, money, and skills which are fundamental resources. Furthermore, support from various organizations including the government provides the channel for social movements to thrive. With this note, legislative reforms are essential to facilitate the success of the MeToo Movement to fight gender-based violence that includes rape and sexual abuse.
The political process theory is an integral aspect of determining the success of social movements. According to the theory, political opportunities must be present before a social movement can achieve its mission and objectives. Since it has been a year after the success of the #MeToo on social media platforms, the Congress has done little to pass the MeToo Bill. However, states have taken up the challenges of reforming legislation to meet the demand of the new social movement against rape and sexual violence in general. California has responded to high-profile sexual harassment allegations with multiple bills according to Grover (2018). Employees with the complaint about sexual harassment to the employer as well as the employer will be protected against defamation claims effective on January 1, 2019, in California (Grover, 2018). Sexual harassment complains must be made without malicious intent and the survivor or plaintiff should provide credible evidence. Furthermore, employers in California should facilitate protected time off work to the employees faced with violence (domestic or sexual) to obtain relief such as counseling and medication. Likewise, the Senate Bill 1300 aims at protecting workers against workplace harassment of all forms. The passage of the bill will require employers to update their policies and training materials about sexual and workplace harassment. Apart from that, the Senate Bill 1343 and the Assembly Bill 3081 require the employer to undertake training on harassment prevention (Grover, 2018). Despite the differences in the two bills, the legislative process will amend the bills before they become law.
The impact of #MeToo in the community particularly with regards to government agencies is because of the rational actions were undertaken by brave celebrities and victims of harassment across the broader spectrum of the society. According to the rational action theory, individuals make choices that maximize their utility, satisfaction or benefits. People from all walks of life irrespective of whether they have experienced harassment support the #MeToo legislations to create a better tomorrow where gender-bias, sexism, rape and assault are things of the past. As a result, victims are pushing hard for the perpetrators of sexual harassment to meet the wrath of the law to ensure that they are punished for their actions (Hebert, 2018). In the same thought, employers are working hard to lobby for the non-disclosure agreement where employees sign before joining the workforce, an aspect of the rational action theory. The non-disclosure agreement is among the legislative reforms because employers and accused politicians use it to harass victims (Beitsch, 2018). With this note, #MeToo presents a form of social agency in which there is an intersection of political goodwill (authority figures) and the might of the people in promoting reforms in the society. The collective behavior of the advocates, survivors, politicians, and employers to tackle the social evils like the rape culture, presents an opportunity for change in which people can live together harmoniously irrespective of gender, class, religion, ethnicity, and political affiliation.
In conclusion, the MeToo Movement is a powerful new social movement fighting to eradicate sexual violence, rape, assault, and harassment. The 'MeToo' hashtag has created a voice and an opportunity for survivors of sexual violence and harassment to advocate for changes in legislation regarding harassment and to test the country's rape kits. As a result, the change in legislation is necessary to provide justice to victims and punish the offenders.
Beitsch, R. (2018). #MeToo Has Changed Our Culture. Now It's Changing Our Laws. Retrieved from https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2018/07/31/metoo-has-changed-our-culture-now-its-changing-our-laws
Grover, M. J. (2018, July 18). The #MeToo Movement Prompts Legislative Action in California. Retrieved from https://www.law.com/therecorder/2018/07/18/the-metoo-movement-prompts-legislative-action-in-california/
Hebert, L. C. (2018). Is MeToo Only a Social Movement or a Legal Movement Too? Electronic Journal. doi:10.2139/ssrn.3236309
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