Ana Karina Diaz

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Critics of the #MeToo movement claim that it has gone too far, that not enough hierarchies of abuse have been created to distinguish between the worst kinds of behaviors and those that are problematic but not criminal. The contention is that the #MeToo movement casts too wide a net. In this paper, I make an argument to the contrary: the #MeToo movement has not gone far enough in calling out the totality of abuse women, and some men, face daily. Left outside of the sexual harassment paradigm is gender-based sexual harassment that is not imbued with sexuality but nonetheless happens because of a person’s sex. I advance two related claims. First, the history of how we came to our current understanding of sexual harassment shows the sexualization of sexual harassment occurred because of political, legal, and practical reasons. Nothing confines us to our current view. Second, I argue against the position that sexual harassment is sui generis from gender-based harassment; rather, both emanate from the same psychological states and are thus on a continuum. I conclude by connecting the prevalence of quid pro quo forms of harassment to gender-based harassment to show that if we do not expose and attempt to end the latter, it is unlikely we will make inroads in preventing the former. It is incumbent upon proponents of the #MeToo movement to use a more expansive definition of this phenomenon.


#MeToo Movement, sexual harassment, feminism, sex discrimination, gender

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22190/FUPSPH2003199D


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