The #MeToo Movement’s Generational DivideOctober 30, 2018
The #MeToo movement grows bigger every day, and as its momentum builds, subgroups within it are voicing opposing viewpoints. Going back several generations, sexual harassment was perceived differently, and the opinions of older women are not necessarily in line with younger ones. Victims from past decades had different experiences, and in many cases, they simply kept it to themselves.
Millenial women might hear these stories and not understand why older women did not act when the abuse was taking place. Defining sexual harassment and assault is not a simple task, since women and men have evolved over the past decades. Even the most common behaviors from years past are not unacceptable today. Touchy-feely back rubs, flirty winks, and even pats on the bottom were par for the course years ago, and many women either did not find this offensive or were too afraid to report it.
The Older Generation Speaks Up
Vox and Morning Consult co-sponsored a study that showed older women who experienced sexual misconduct at work years back felt it was something they had to put up with. On the other hand, actress Angela Lansbury, now 92 years old, stated in an interview that women have historically gone out of their way to make themselves attractive and sometimes take blame for the resulting sexual harassment. She did clarify this later, saying there was no excuse whatsoever for men to harm women.
Catherine Deneuve, a 74-year old actress, said in a letter that rape is a crime, but insistent or clumsy flirting is not an offense. Other women have said that the fear of speaking up years back kept them silent and finding support from other women was also difficult. A former University of Maryland college student stated that the victim was often questioned about their motives with questions of what they expected when dressing in an attractive manner.
Opening Up to Others
Ashton Applewhite is an anti-ageism activist and author, and she hopes that this issue does not weaken the #MeToo Movement. If older people are going to make their voices heard, they need to feel confident. For example, they should feel able to discuss a situation that happened 50 years ago without fearing public scorn. Applewhite added that older people can change their thinking and evolve with the movement. She pointed out that everyone does not have to agree on every detail, but every participant should stay aware of developments and be open and empathetic to other people’s experiences.
South Jersey Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Fight for Sexual Harassment Victims in the Workplace
Although the #MeToo Movement has brought about positive social change, sexual harassment is still a problem for many workers. You do not have to put up with sexual harassment or abuse in the workplace. Contact one of the highly reputable South Jersey sexual harassment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. for a free consultation today. Call us at 215-569-1999 or complete an online form. Located in Philadelphia, we proudly serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.