MeToo, Captain Marvel and the way forward


PRIYANKA GOVENDER

For those of you who have been living under a rock these past two years, the major theme running from October 2017 to the present has been big vagina energy. And it starts with a black woman, like every legendary story of the 21st century should. Since 2006, Tarana Burke, an American civil rights activist, has been using the phrase “MeToo” to signify the shared experience of so many women who have survived sexual abuse and
assault.

It seems a simple phrase, yet its power is in its simplicity. For abuse victims, MeToo is a release of collective shame and an acceptance into a community of women where one can feel safe and protected. In late 2017, the phase started gaining traction after the sexual abuse allegations against
Harvey Weinstein came to light. Female celebrities banded together in support of one another as sexual harassment accusations against high profile male celebrities started piling up.

Moreover, pay discrepancies and unequal treatment in Hollywood were also gaining attention.The visibility of respecte and admired women not putting up with being downtrodden, activist groups like BLM and the stark contrast between the Trump administration and basic humanity has seen a spike in media representation of women and, for that matter, minority groups, over the last two years.

My Netflix profile has more LGBTQ show options than not. For those of you who watched Captain Marvel, the movie was sub-par but kudos to MCU’s attempt to create an empowering, non-sexualised female role model whilst simultaneously sensitizing the American public to the plight of immigrants.

Underwear models are trans, Asian, black, brown and sometimes have real, visible cellulite and fat rolls. It’s a better (not yet good) time to be alive against the soundtrack of Lizzo Beating making us feel like emboldened bad bitches. Whilst all this representation in the media is empowering, and although I would not go so far as to call any form of progress a smokescreen, I am somewhat failing to see the trickle-down effects of the MeToo movement.

MeToo was supposedly characterised as a movement against sexual harassment and assault in the workplace, but really it was dominated by high profile cases and celebrities. We have not seen widespread measures being taken to legally protect women in regular workplace

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