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IQ2 Debate: #MeToo Has Gone Too Far

Has the #MeToo movement gone too far, reversing sexism instead of rebalancing it and labelling awkward sexual encounters as serious assaults? Or has it not yet gone far enough to put criminal men behind bars?

United by social media and shared experiences of harassment and assault, women across the globe are collaborating to create the biggest feminist movement ever. It began in the creative industries with the fall of Hollywood giant Harvey Weinstein. Actress Alyssa Milano’s clarion call for women to tweet #MeToo showed how prevalent the problem was. Next came Australia’s television gardening hero Don Burke. Then comedian Aziz Ansari and “Grace” complicated the movement, dividing opinion on what is abuse and “bad sex” and where women’s agency and vulnerability starts and ends.

On 5 June 2018, The Ethics Centre and Vivid Ideas presented a special IQ2 debate to a record-breaking crowd of over 1400 people. We asked our speakers and audience: Is #MeToo bonding women together to create an inspirational force to affect behavioural change, or is it pitting woman against woman and driving feminism’s efforts backward?

Watch the event:


The result? 
After impassioned arguments from both sides of the argument, a huge 68% of the audience decided that there's still plenty more work to be done by the #MeToo movement in the fight to end sexual violence against women. 

SPEAKERS

FOR


Libby-Jane Charleston is an author and journalist. The former model and associate editor of Huffington Post AU has published books, worked as a newspaper columnist, and been a television producer and reporter with every Australian network. She was an early responder to the #MeToo movement, writing, ‘Why I'm Not Joining The #MeToo Hashtag Even Though I Was Sexually Harassed’.
 
Michael Salter is a criminologist whose research specialises in gendered violence, sexual assault, and complex trauma. His book Crime, Justice and Social Media explores online harassment and social media justice campaigns. Michael sits on the Board of Directors of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation and is a senior lecturer in criminology at Western Sydney University.
 
AGAINST 
 
Benjamin Law has a PhD in creative writing and is a writer of books, screenplays, essays, and columns. He authored The Family Law, which was turned into a television series, and Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East. Benjamin started a hashtag for men in response to #MeToo that took off around the world, #HowIWillChange.
 
Jeannette Francis, also known as Jan Fran, is a journalist and host of SBSVICELAND’s, The Feed. She has shot and produced documentaries and news and current affairs programming across the globe, including Bangladesh, Uganda, and the United States. One of Jeanette’s professional interests is women’s issues and her role has seen her address the #MeToo movement.