Despite losing on the confirmation battle of Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the #MeToo movement leaders feel confident that they have won something.
Appearing on NBC’s Meet The Press, #MeToo movement leaders Alyssa Milano and Tarana Burke said the confirmation hearings and Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony may broaden the movement from its focus on Hollywood.
“I think (Ford) stepping out was something that we needed to have happen in this movement,” Burke told moderator Chuck Todd. “It’s been largely focused on Hollywood and on individual bad actors. And I think her coming forward really set the stage for survivors to have a different role in this movement than we’ve seen over the last year.”
Milano said that while the political battle was lost, “I do think we are winning the cultural battle. And often, I don’t fight for the win. I’m fighting so that genrations don’t have to deal with the abuses of power that we’ve had to deal with.” She added that there was a “cultural shift that we’re feeling, this collective pain that we’re feeling from survivors coming forward, is going to be able to be translated into a collective power, to say that we’re not going to be silenced any longer.”
The appearance by Burke and Milano comes on the anniversary of the first stories about producer Harvey Weinstein’s alleged activities. One of the people reading about Weinstein was Milano, who sent out a tweet: “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted, write Me Too as a reply to this tweet.”
She then went to bed, but awakened to tens of thousands of responses and the realization she had kick started the, quote, “Me Too” movement, an idea founded in 2006 by activist Burke.
Todd challenged Burke and Milano on whether allegations alone are sufficient in harassment and other cases.
Citing a story in The Atlantic by Emily Yoffe, Todd noted, “She writes this. “Even as we must treat accusers with seriousness and dignity, we must hear the accused fairly and respectfully and recognize the potential lifetime consequences that such an allegation can bring. If believing the woman is the beginning and the end of a search for the truth, then we have left the realm of justice for religion.”
Milano echoed that concept. “And I also think that, right now, we are defining what due process looks like in this type of situation. Because we’ve never really defined it before, because women haven’t come forward. So we do need to have due process. What does it mean to have a fair investigation in these processes, so that we can move forward, so that we can change the cultural and societal, systemic institutionalization, institutionalization of sexual abuse and assault?”