Episode 58: Going Beyond #MeToo in 2018 (Repeat)

We don’t have a new episode this week as we’re both tied up with work, so we have a repeat of our 40th episode, Going Beyond #MeToo in 2018 — our first episode of 2018 — where we discuss the #MeToo movement and our initial reactions to it. This issue of sexual harassment and sexual assault has been in the news for most of 2017 and 2018, and recently again with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony against Brett Kavanaugh in the midst of his Supreme Court nomination — accusing him of sexual assault — as well as Grab Indonesia’s mishandling of a sexual harassment case between a customer and a driver. We at Dialogika believe the women, we believe Dr. Ford, and we believe in continuing the fight against the patriarchal landscape which still suppresses and oppresses women everywhere today.

We’ll be back in two weeks’ time with a brand new episode, so stay tuned!

In this episode, we start off 2018 with a conversation about a topic that has been in the news for the last 3 months or so — the #MeToo movement. We’ve taken some time to collect our thoughts and process what’s been happening around the world on the issue of sexual harassment, assault, and abuse, before getting together to have this chat. We will be talking about our own unique experiences and reactions to the #MeToo movement, and critically discuss both the strengths and weaknesses of #MeToo — a particular weakness being the need to once again put the emotional burden and labor on women to tell their stories in order to make men care about the situation. We discuss some of the things men can do when the women in their lives confide in them about issues of harassment and assault, as well as things not to do.

We also look into why there hasn’t been a similar #MeToo moment in Asia, including in Indonesia — perhaps, in part, because of the conservative and deeply patriarchal societies that exist across the continent, and the substantial backlash (including victim-blaming) that happens whenever someone comes out with their #MeToo story. We pragmatically assess the situation in Indonesia and how difficult it is for women to come out and speak against offenders, when there is no critical mass to support the movement, like what’s happening in America. That said, we are hopeful that Indonesia (and the rest of Asia) will perhaps have something like a #MeToo movement in the future — better yet, a movement where no one would ever need to say “me too” again. That’s our hope for Indonesia in 2018, and we’re excited to continue the conversation and fight!

Thanks for listening!

For those interested in learning more about the topic, we’ve provided links to resources as well as other recommended readings.
How Christine Blasey Ford’s Testimony Changed America — courtesy of TIME
Grab Indonesia under fire for ‘mishandling’ sexual harassment report — courtesy of The Jakarta Post
#MeToo and Hollywood — Harvey Weinstein and the scandal that brought #MeToo into the mainstream
Tarana Burke and #MeToo — the origin story of #MeToo, long before Alyssa Milano tweeted about it
The imperfect power of #MeToo — courtesy of Salon
Your Reckoning. And Mine. — Rebecca Traister’s brilliant piece about the personal reckoning we must all face up to in the era of #MeToo
Time’s Up — an initiative to seek equality in the workplace and shift the #MeToo moment in action
Men Need to Do Better After #MeToo — we must challenge men about their attitudes and behavior regarding sexual harassment
Men’s response to the #MeToo campaign must be more than hashtags — courtesy of the Chicago Tribune
Why #MeToo isn’t taking off in Asia — making sexual harassment unacceptable in Asia will require huge cultural shifts
Will #MeToo spread in China? — the story of Luo Xixi, courtesy of BBC
#MeToo in Paternalistic Indonesia — courtesy of the Jakarta Globe
Violated and shamed: Sexual misconduct in Asia — courtesy of the Straits Times