Is #MeToo Dead?

Is #MeToo Dead? April 1, 2020

Joe Biden is now the presumptive Democratic nominee. Tara Reade has accused him of sexual assault, and a number of other women have complained of sexual harassment and inappropriate touching.

Eighteen months ago, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was accused by Christine Blasey Ford of sexual assault. Three other women subsequently came forward with similar accusations.

The accusations against Kavanaugh sparked weeks of outrage, demonstrations, and some very contentious moments on the floor of the United States Senate. The current accusations against Biden have sparked, well, nothing. A few days later, and they are already almost gone from the headlines.

As Christians, we are called to believe women (Luke 24) and to withhold judgment against them (John 8), yet I am seeing so many colleagues and friends rush to discredit Reade based on nothing more than the same stale arguments made by Kavanaugh’s defenders just a few months ago. She supports a rival. Her timing is suspect. She wrote something weird about Russia.

There has to be a line, and that line has to be clear. The moment the #MeToo movement becomes a partisan weapon used only to smear those on the political right is the moment the movement dies. There has to come a time, even when it is hard, to practice what we preach (Matthew 23:3).

No doubt, as scrutiny on Biden intensifies in the coming months, there will be more accusations, and more details on the accusations that have already come. No doubt his campaign and others who have already tried to shut Reade down will continue their efforts. No doubt we will all be told—with merit—that the alternative has done the same and worse. In all of this, our obligation is still clear. Get the facts. Believe women. Hold ourselves to the same standards we would hold others.

There has to be a line, and that line has to be clear.

_______

For more information on the Me Too Movement and their efforts to support survivors and end sexual violence, click here.

About Jim Coppoc
Jim Coppoc is a seminarian at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, and the award-winning author of three books and two chapbooks of poetry; four good plays; a forgettable textbook; and a host of articles, essays, short prose, etc. He was among the founding faculty of the low-residency MFA program at Chatham University, and he taught writing, literature and American Indian Studies for many years at Iowa State University. Jim has collaborated with groups from the National Endowment for the Arts to the Iowa and Wyoming Arts Councils to prisons, preschools, churches, bars and everything between. He currently lives in Ames, Iowa with two amazing sons and the best dog ever, and he is hard at work on a novel about angels, demons, boarding school, and what it means to be blood. You can read more about the author here.
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