Tag Archives: MeToo

Activism against Sexual Violence is Central to a New Women’s Movement: Resistance to Trump, Campus Sexual Assault, and #metoo

By Nancy Whittier

Sexual violence and harassment have been central issues in almost every era of women’s organizing and they are central to a contemporary women’s movement that both builds on and differs from earlier activism. Since 2010, a new generation of activists has targeted sexual violence in new ways. Slutwalks, a theatrical form of protest against the idea that women provoke rape by their dress, brought a new spin to long-standing “Take Back the Night” marches against violence against women. The wave of activism grew as college students began speaking out about assault on campus and gained a broad platform through social media. Students protested institutional failures to follow procedures for addressing sexual assault and used symbolic tactics to highlight the issue. For example, in 2014/15, Columbia student Emma Sulkowicz carried her dorm room mattress everywhere as a protest against Columbia’s inaction after she reported sexual assault. “Carry That Weight,” her project title, became the name for an emerging activist group. Another, “No Red Tape,” led to a cross-campus day of action in which activists attached pieces of red tape to clothes or campus statues. Continue reading

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The New Wave of the Women’s Movement in the United States

By Michael T. Heaney

The facts about the mobilization of women’s movement in the United States over the past 14 months are fairly well established.  A new organization calling itself the “Women’s March” formed shortly after the 2016 presidential election.  It coordinated massive rallies, consisting mostly of liberal women and their allies, in Washington, DC and around the world.  These rallies reached across diverse interests and were among the largest internationally coordinated demonstrations in history.  The Women’s March has retained its momentum over the past year, staging a national convention in Detroit in October 2017, and then reprising its post-inauguration performance this past weekend with rallies in hundreds of cities under the slogan “power to the polls”.  On the heels of the Women’s March, the #MeToo movement and the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund arose to address widespread sexual harassment and assault.  These efforts have spurred the national conversation on the inappropriate treatment of women in the workplace.  Millions of people have joined Pantsuit Nation and other internet discussion forums that discuss gender and politics.  Indeed, the women’s movement has been a palpable force in American politics and society since the 2016 election. Continue reading

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