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October 10 2018

A Warning Over Abusing 'Me Too'

One News Now
featuring Inez Feltscher Stepman

Could the "MeToo" movement cause companies to hire fewer women? One analyst says they could. 

"Let me start by saying that there obviously some really good things that came out of the MeToo movement," Inez Stepman, senior policy analyst for Independent Women's Forum, says of the push to punish Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and other powerful men who are accused of harming women.  

"But that being said," adds Stepman, "I see two things on the horizon with MeToo that worry me."

The first concern is the conflation of what Stepman calls gray area-type claims in the same category as sexual assault, sexual harassment, or even rape.

"And I don't think that that's particularly helpful to the victims of this type of stuff to conflate all of these things into the same category," she says. "I think it engenders a certain amount of skepticism and backlash when we're talking about trying to steal a kiss in the same category as the things that Harvey Weinstein did or that Bill Cosby did."

Her second concern really isn't surprising to many observers after the Brett Kavanaugh accusations: using the "Me Too" movement as a political weapon.

"And exactly what standard of evidence will be required to destroy a man's life, perhaps a man in public service," she says, "and by what standard we're going to judge these kinds of accusations, whether we're going to have any kind of notion of due process or the presumption of innocence."

As to how that affects a corporate environment, the analyst says many have taken steps to report sexual harassment in the workplace. But the "flip side" is that companies concerned about accusations and lawsuits could take a second look at the expense of women in the workplace. 

Stepman also questions how the "Me Too" movement will impact working relationships between men and women.

"There are a lot of young men," she says, "who are thinking about how they can protect themselves from being falsely accused."


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Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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