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#MeToo has been misrepresented as plot against men, says founder

#MeToo has been misrepresented as plot against men, says founder

The founder of the #MeToo movement has said the campaign she started against sexual violence has become unrecognisable and misrepresented as a vindictive plot against men. Tarana Burke, an American civil rights activist, started the campaign in 2006 with the goal of providing support to survivors of sexual violence in her community. Last year the…

The founder of the #MeToo movement has said the campaign she started against sexual violence has become unrecognisable and misrepresented as a vindictive plot against men.

Tarana Burke, an American civil rights activist, started the campaign in 2006 with the goal of providing support to survivors of sexual violence in her community. Last year the phrase took off globally in the wake of allegations against the Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.

Burke told a TEDWomen event in Palm Springs, California, on Thursday that parts of the media had framed the movement as a witch-hunt and that US politicians seemed to be “pivoting away from the issue” in the wake of events such as the controversy over Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the supreme court.

“Suddenly, a movement to centre survivors of sexual violence is being talked about as a vindictive plot against men,” she told the audience. “This is a movement about the one in four girls and the one in six boys who are sexually abused every year, and who carry those wounds into adulthood,” she said. “Victims are heard and then vilified.”

Burke said she wanted the movement to return to the issues she set out to challenge over a decade ago.

“My vision for the #MeToo movement is part of a collective vision to see a world free of sexual violence,” she said. “I believe we can build that world. Full stop.”

“We owe future generations nothing less than a world free of sexual violence. This accumulation of feelings that so many of us are feeling together across the globe is collective trauma.”

Burke said she felt the campaign was neglecting victims of sexual violence, adding: “This movement has been called a watershed moment, but some days I wake up feeling that all the evidence points to the contrary.

“We have to re-educate ourselves and our children to understand that power and privilege doesn’t always have to destroy and take. It can be used to serve and build.”

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