#MeToo’s dilution: Should male victims have their own hashtag?

I don’t have the answer to the question I ask in the title here. But I fear a budding social movement is at risk of being minimized.

As more and more women come forward to talk about the sexual harassment, sexual manipulation, sexual exploitation and, in some cases, sexual assaults they’ve experienced throughout their lives, some male victims of sexual assault are including themselves in the “MeToo” movement.

I’m not trying to downplay the gravity of their experiences. Most of the men stepping forward were boys when they were sexually assaulted by priests, Scout leaders, school masters, uncles and the like. We’ve been hearing their stories for years now in the media, and we know the psychological damage lasts a lifetime.

What happened to most of these boys is criminal, quite literally. They were sexually assaulted. And the perpetrators in many cases are being brought to justice.

But the #MeToo movement was — and still is, mostly — about women and the sexual harassment and sexual manipulation they experience in myriad forms throughout their lifetimes, from the time they are little girls to the day they die. Yes, many women are sexually assaulted — and those are criminal acts like those experienced by aforementioned boys. But almost every female on the planet has been sexually harassed repeatedly throughout their lives in ways that can’t be prosecuted in a court of law — something that the vast majority of men do not experience.

It brings to mind the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag and people who respond to it by saying “all lives matter.” Yes, of course all lives matter. But, as a Vox article points out, the point of the #BlackLivesMatter movement is to show that “black people’s lives are relatively undervalued in the US — and more likely to be ended by police — and the country needs to recognize that inequity to bring an end to it.” Most white people simply cannot relate to the myriad forms of discrimination encountered by black people, so responding to the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag with “all lives matter” is downplaying the significance the BLM hashtag and the issues that it is addressing.

The #MeToo movement is about the way a patriarchal system has misvalued and mistreated females — and still does — for centuries. It is about standing up to rampant, overt sexual objectification and harassment in myriad forms in most social settings in societies throughout the world.

Yes, we know that some boys have been molested, too. And we cry for them and decry the criminal acts and urge the justice system to act.

But #MeToo was only meant to be about the female experience, wasn’t it?

What say you?

— Jillian

Photo: Alyssa Milano encouraged use of the hashtag after accusations against Harvey Weinstein surfaced in 2017. (Photo credit: Facebook)

7 thoughts on “#MeToo’s dilution: Should male victims have their own hashtag?

  1. You said “But #MeToo was only meant to be about the female experience, wasn’t it?” I don’t know. Who defined “#MeToo”? I don’t believe that anyone has ever claimed that the word “me” can only be used by females. (If anyone has, they need help.)

    If anyone actually knows who defined “#MeToo”, where did they get the authority to make it specific to the female gender in these days of attempted equal rights and gender equality? Why can’t “#MeToo” be used by men? Who is in a position to say that they can’t?


    1. It was coined by Asia, the actress pictured with this post, in response to the Harvey Weinstein allegations and to those of other Hollywood men (and others) who used their power to take advantage of women.


  2. We need more Wonder Woman here, if you know a little of her Pop history. Men have to become “the hunted”. Perhaps, but the discussion for the anthropologists, is that men did the killing and bringing sustenance back to the cave. And women the preparation. Ever been in an Indian community for the seasonal hunt? The bugaboo, of course, is the ability to ensure the progeniture of the species. Something that is appearing to become suspect with the coming of the sex-cyborg in the 21st century. The bingo is whether these “things” will approach “the drive” in the same fashion we have done for 100K years. Perhaps we are on the cusp of evolving. Then, of course, there is the issue of the eggs. Winter is coming %@


  3. If I subscribed to Twitter I’d be starting the #NotMe movement – for the majority of men who are NOT misogynistic gropers, sexual predators, bum-pinching rapists. The impression from all these reports, campaigns and slogans is that we all should be tarred with the same brush. I was brought up on “ladies first”, holding doors open, offering seats, even walking on the road side “to protect the lady from being splashed by passing carriages”. Why did I bother?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This conversation, including the replies, rather points to why the Mens Human Rights movement exists – and is denigrated by the matriarchal conspiracy. (That last only partly tongue-in-cheek.) Human rights are human rights, and any assault is heinous. Women have not cornered the market on being victims, but perhaps have on being Perpetual Victims: “only my pain counts.”


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