The #MeToo movement is hugely productive in raising awareness for the suffering of sexual harassment victims as well as blowing the whistle on perpetrators, asserts Phyllis Zagano of the National Catholic Reporter. The trend of powerful people using their influence to silence their victims is far too common. This is an issue that permeates all levels of society, from board rooms to Sunday schools. Too often, the victims aren’t believed, which adds to the infinite pain already inflicted on them and discourages others from coming forward. Society needs efforts like #MeToo to allow silenced voices to be heard and abusers to be outed.
While the #MeToo campaign is mostly positive and productive, it also fires up society’s mob mentality, and the quick-to-judge attitude that comes with it, argues Annika Hernroth-Rothstein of National Review. Online, people throw life-ruining accusations around far too easily, which can actually undermine justice being achieved. Crimes like sexual harassment, groping and rape are different from one another and warrant different yet appropriate punishments. This procedure should not take place on the internet, but in courtrooms, with a due process. Even the accused have the right to defend themselves while facing their accuser rather than a trial-by-mob.