OP ED: The Future of the #MeToo Movement in a Post-Kavanaugh Age

Alyssa Purcea, Sophomore and Steph Munn, Junior

The confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court exposed some underlying problems in the American government. One of these issues is the aging, male-majority demographic of this country’s legislative branch of government. This isn’t an attack on either Democrats or Republicans, but an observation of the Senate. This results in decisions which the American public may not agree with. An ABC/Washington Post poll released on October 12 showed that 51 percent disapproved of his confirmation — an ironic number given that Kavanaugh was confirmed by a vote of 50-48. This may cause some to wonder, how could the Senate almost exactly flip negative approval ratings numbers into a positive outcome. So, why did 50 senators, who claim to represent the people, vote “yes?” Is it a boy’s club retaliation against the #MeToo movement?

While one tries to avoid generalities in forming conclusions, sometimes it’s hard to overlook the evidence. The Senate is made up of 67 men and 23 women. According to FraternityAdvisor.com, 76% of all Congressmen and Senators belong to a fraternity.

Now, fraternities as a whole shouldn’t be vilified, but the culture does have a certain reputation. Though many fraternities provide community service, as movies so often depict, fraternities’ primary mission is socialization. They often throw parties, and sometimes these involve alcohol and drug use. Intoxicated or not, sometimes people do things at parties that they later regret, or commit actions that border on illegal, if not the morally questionable. According to a study conducted by Association of American Universities in 2015, 23% of undergraduate women are victims of sexual assault while in college. Due to the stigma created by the media about victims when they tell their stories, they often choose to keep it to themselves. However, when the truth does come out, former frat boys in positions of power oftentimes choose to defend their accused brother..

When people march and rally in protest of these men, their signs and chants fall on deaf ears and blind eyes. Evidently, the brotherhood extends long after the college years, for the senators back up their own. “It’s a very scary time to be a man in America,” President Trump said in response to the #MeToo movement. But why?

As Lynzy Lab sings in her viral video, “It sure is a scary time for boys… It’s really tough when your reputation’s on the line and any woman you assaulted could turn up anytime.”

Her sarcastic comments poke fun at the fact that men shouldn’t be scared when women are the ones who can’t leave their drinks unattended or take the bus late at night. She urges women to use their voices to rise up against the hate and call out their abusers.

This social movement is crucial because Kavanaugh, sitting in the highest court in the country for a lifetime appointment, will surely receive cases of sexual assault or misconduct. Can we believe he can be unbiased? Or is it a given that he will cover for the accused instead of bringing justice to the victim. #MeToo, however, can make up for the gaps in the legal system and hold people accountable even when the law states that they’re innocent.

In an article that appeared in VOX, Jennifer Pierotti Lim, co-founder of the group Republican Women for Progress, said, “This isn’t just a Democratic issue; this is a Republican issue, an American issue, and, most importantly, a human issue.”

This is not a step back for the #MeToo Movement. It is just another indication that the movement is more important than ever. When celebrities and household names such as Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey are accused of such actions, they are quick to be torn down and shamed by the public. But when men of power, those who control the course of our country, such as Donald Trump and Brett Kavanaugh, are accused, they get away with it. They shouldn’t have a whole system of former brothers backing them up when the country cries out for justice.