What is your opinion on the broadness of the #MeToo
Rape and horrible sexual abuse are worse traumatically to a person than being harassed at work. However, they are on a continuum and they are related to the larger, all encompassing issue of misogyny and a lack of equality in the way American people view females versus males. Which is not to say men can’t be harassed and raped and abused, and they are, but [this movement] is part of a larger context in which women and girls grow up being subjugated and assessed and reduced to our appearance.
How does the #MeToo movement affect survivors of sexual harassment or assault?
I can’t speak for every single person but what I can say is that secrets have an enormous cost on people and so does shame, so anything that creates a culture that is less stigmatizing towards survivors potentially creates a context and an environment for
What do you believe is the next step for the #MeToo movement?
What I feel is missing or is the next piece is the restorative justice. It would be wonderful if, in instances where someone is injured by another person, if there was a place that was not just about punishing the transgressor, but about healing the injury. This approach requires a safe, mediated environment where, if she wants, the survivor can choose to tell her story and to say “this is what I need from you.” With the person who hurt them being prepared to take responsibility and try to make amends. I guess I want to see us move from the punitive place to a place of saying, “Are you injured? Did I hurt you? What can I do to make it better?”
Do you think restorative justice will take place?
I don’t think it can happen on a national level, I think it’s going to have to be a grassroots kind of thing. We as women have to demand that, and be willing to sit down with someone who hurt us in a safe place, with someone who’s skilled and can keep us safe.