IN THE PAST YEAR, high profile cases and the ensuing #MeToo movement have raised much attention on issues surrounding gender discrimination, violence against women, and sexual harassment in the workplace. In the United States, allegations of sexual assault and harassment spawned the deposition or resignation of prominent figures in the entertainment, media, dining, and business industries following the onset of the #MeToo social media movement.' In the rest of the world, many people also embraced the online crusade by sharing the hashtag millions of times or creating their own versions of it. Feminists and scholars have since attempted to keep pace with the sequence of incidents, grasp the reasoning for the present occurrence of such a reckoning with issues surrounding gender-based violence at this point in time, and envisage more inclusive processes for all women. Contrary to the widespread discussion that mostly focuses on domestic issues, this Article offers an international perspective on the challenges raised by #MeToo by surveying a sample of countries that resonated the most with the movement-Britain, India, and Sweden- and other countries that experienced a more conflicted reaction- Japan, France, and Italy.
This Article proceeds in three parts. Part I recaps some of the main incidents that triggered the #MeToo social media campaign in the United States. The discussion focuses on the global impact of the movement by surveying the countries mentioned above that have been most receptive and the others that showed a more reticent reaction. Part II explores why #MeToo blew up only recently at the domestic level, and what factors contributed to its international development. Finally, Part III recommends a holistic human rights-based approach to sexual assault and harassment to ensure that the #MeToo's impetus will not fade without having first attained long-lasting change for all women.
54 U.S.F. L. Rev. 215 (2020)