Sexual Harassment and Abuse
August 3, 2018
Is the #MeToo movement making a difference?

The #MeToo movement is no longer confined to Hollywood. In the eight months since more than 100 actresses and others alleged that film producer Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed or, in some cases, assaulted them, women have publicly accused men in a wide range of industries and fields, including in the literary world and religious organizations. The movement spawned the Hollywood-led Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which assists sexual harassment victims nationwide in their efforts to find legal redress. And it helped prompt more than 400 women to run for Congress this year. In addition, Congress — which lost nine members to sexual harassment allegations between April and October — and 32 state legislatures are considering or have adopted laws to punish lawmakers in sexual harassment cases. But critics of the #MeToo movement warn of overreach, noting that a sexual harassment accusation can automatically derail a career and harm a reputation, even before wrongdoing is proved.

Film producer Harvey Weinstein appears in Manhattan Criminal Court on July 9, 2018, where he was arraigned on new charges of sexual assault. (Getty Images/Pool/Jefferson Siegel)   Film producer Harvey Weinstein appears in Manhattan Criminal Court on July 9, 2018, where he was arraigned on new charges of sexual assault. (Getty Images/Pool/Jefferson Siegel)

The latest prominent men to lose their jobs amid sexual harassment charges work far from Hollywood.

Paige Patterson, the 75-year-old former leader of the Southern Baptist Convention, was fired from his job as president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in late May over allegations that he advised a rape victim not to report the crime and to forgive her rapist. A few weeks earlier, 71-year-old Jean-Claude Arnault was denied this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature amid allegations that the Swedish photographer used his prestige in the arts world to pressure young women into having sex. He has since been charged with rape. 1

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