Dr. Whitnah shares about the #MeToo Moment


Jenn Ikeda

Dr. Meredith Whitnah speaking at Westmont Downtown about the #MeToo movement.

Rachel Clyde, Features Editor

Last Thursday, assistant professor of sociology Meredith Whitnah shared an impassioned lecture of her perspective on what she called the #MeToo moment.

Dr. Whitnah started by clarifying what she meant by refering to a “moment” verus the “movement.” Essentially, what we are currently a part of the “moment” following Harvey Weinstein’s sexual allegations exposure in 2017, but the movement has been going on since 2006 when Tarana Burke launched it on MySpace.

Dr. Whitnah continued by covering the #MeToo Moment from several different perspectives. She discussed how government institutions and individual legislators have handled the movement.

Then  she talked about the Evangelical Church and its response to the movement. Whitnah additionally addressed different Christian denominations, such as the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches.

Noah Argao, a political science junior, enjoyed the talk. “My biggest take away…was how to think well about why women choose to speak up,” he reflected. “I think one of the big criticisms is that these women are simply liars and hardcore feminists that manipulate the movement to overthrow the patriarchy. Yet when we think about that claim, it’s hard to see the benefits of lying about being raped. We need to think about how socially and politically risky it is for women to be honest about their experiences.”

Dr. Whitnah also touched on Hollywood’s role in the movement and the many celebrities who have come forward, especially surrounding Harvey Weinstein.

Joy Haan, a senior sociology major, did research with Dr. Whitnah to help her prep for the talk.

“I didn’t really understand where and when it started. It was more communal and about the black women she was working with before the social media explosion. It’s important to remember who it was and still is about now.”

Joy also commented on the talk’s relevance to Westmont. “It can bring up conversations about…what it means to be conscious and careful and encourage people to reevaluate hegemonic masculinity.”

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